Photo provided by Trinity River Audubon Center.


Trinity River Audubon Center’s Songbird Supper

Don’t miss this dinner in a field.

A pink-winged spoonbill cut an arc over the pond just before sunset, its feathers a precursor to the sky’s rosy hues. This morning, I woke recalling owl calls and dreaming of kale salad eaten in a field in the gloaming.

Every year, the Trinity Audubon Center holds its Songbird Supper, an event that raises money for the center. If you’ve considered going, do.

This year, the chef was Graham Dodds, whose aesthetic is singularly suited to the setting. Locally sourced produce found an echo in the surroundings of native grasses. His menu included some of his best dishes at Wayward Sons—his lasagna with tender wagyu beef Bolognese and goat’s milk ricotta; chicken and dumplings with Windy Meadows chicken festooned with sprouts and shaved fennel. There were mounds of sweet, tender squash: roasted kabocha, blue hubbard, and delicata a symphony of fall in a vibrant, garlicky walnut salsa verde.

The dinner, like a wedding feast in a meadow, offers the pleasure of a single, long, family-style seating, and serenades not only from birds, but also musicians wandering with guitars. It’s almost surrealistically bucolic. It’s also a lovely reminder that some of our best dining can happen al fresco. And in this case, for a cause.

Photo by Eve Hill-Agnus.
Photo by Eve Hill-Agnus.