2018 On-Farm Dinners: Shoshanna Hafner of The Littlefield

When I was in high school, one of my best friend’s parents used to throw an extravagant New Years party. Whole fish were flown in from the coast. Caviar arrived from overseas in a box that could have held a toaster oven--boxes within boxes like Russian nesting dolls down to four tiny tins nestled in a bed of gently steaming dry ice. Sweet smelling cigars were laid out on a narrow silver plate. Good wine. Good booze. Cracked ice and crystal.

And then the night of, their guests arrived. They wore sweaters with frayed cuffs and mended elbows. A pile of winter boots grew by the front door. There wasn’t a high heel in the room. One of my favorite women wore mismatched wool socks. They wore jeans...and not even their good jeans.

What I loved about those parties--what I learned from them--was that you can love people by sharing really fine food with them AND that you can do that while putting people at ease and accepting them exactly as they are.

When I think of a chef that brings that same feeling to life in a Cincinnati restaurant, Shoshannah Hafner comes instantly to mind. Honey was like that. And The Littlefield has that feeling in spades. Hafner’s food is warm and comforting while also elevated--enough challenge to educate her customers up to new food and flavors, but not so much that she alienates.

And since a bunch of us CHFers are Northside natives, we’ve been frequently noshing at The Littlefield or bellying up to the bar for a brilliant cocktail at the end of a long hot week of farm work. 

It feels like family there, which is why we can’t wait to translate The Littlefield’s vibe and Hafner’s amazing culinary skills to our wee terrace for the CHF on-farm dinner this weekend.

As always, we welcome our Sunday guests for a great meal, and we’ll try to make the rest of you jealous you weren’t here with pictures on social media come Monday.