Cookbook Collection | Thursday Trials - 1770 House Meatloaf

I decided to post this recipe a little late, as today is not Thursday, but it is a special edition of my cookbook collections. Each week *I try* to make a new recipe from one of my many cookbooks, and review it here on my blog. I had been waiting months for yesterday to come, the day I met Ina Garten. East Hampton Historical Society held an exclusive event to honor Mrs. Garten for all of the help and work she puts into their town. I was lucky enough to purchase two tickets in time to be apart of the 80-100 people that came.

East Hampton is about 75 minutes east of where I live. We left around 4pm, dropped our daughter at the babysitter's house and headed on our way. When we arrived to main street, we were way earlier than expected! Actually, we were the first ones to arrive, besides the help that was setting up! At the front of the historical center, two ladies sat outside checking tickets. Since Ina was not going to be there for another 45 minutes, we went next door (at the ladies recommendation) to a restaurant called the 1770 house. The restaurant was quaint, with a very narrow and dark staircase leading us to a bar and seating downstairs.

My husband and I spoke to the bartender/waiter for a bit, where he shared the news that Ina comes to the restaurant really often, heck, she was just there three nights ago! We heard many of the staff gush over how nice of a person Ina is, which got my excitement at peak. My always hungry husband ordered the Tavern Burger ($25) which was 80/20 and a mix of different meats including kobe beef and short rib. It's not easy finding a perfect burger, but this was nothing short of amazing! Cooked precisely to medium as requested, with plenty of juices and a homemade seasoned bun (that was almost the best part)! Their homemade rosemary & sea salt bread to start was also divine.

I, on the other hand, saw the words "saffron risotto" on the menu and knew that was all mine. The side portion was 9$, and I wish I had ordered three of them to go. This risotto was executed flawlessly, not mushy but not too hard. It was creamy and flavorful, served in a small cast iron ramekin. I was in heaven, to say the least. The 1770 house restaurant & inn was spectacular and we cannot wait to visit for a full sit down dinner next time! Knowing it is one of Ina's favorite places (she told me herself) made it that more special in anticipation of the night to come!

Saffron Risotto from the 1770 House Restaurant & Inn

Right at 6pm, we hurried out of there to go back to the historical center (Clinton Academy). We walked in to the house, where there was a small showcase of the late Jackie Kennedy. My husband said, "there she is! there is Ina!" ... my heart took a nose dive into my belly. She was standing there with her tall friend that is sometimes on the show, and it was the four of us in the room. I suddenly got too nervous and scurried out into the backyard of the house, where the wine was being poured. A few minutes later while indulging in my glass of sauvignon blanc, Ina walked out into the back with her long time friend, Frank Newbold. It was incredible to me how small the space was, as it seemed like only a few of us were there. The grounds of the Clinton Academy were exceptional, with gorgeous flowers all around, a jazz band playing, and a big carousel-like tent. Being passed around were hor d'oeuvres, including filet of beef on a stick, shrimp, cauliflower bites with a pea pesto, feta and grape pastry cups, and more. The weather was a tad humid, but a breeze came through ever so often, and the sun stayed shining.

EHHS presented a unique, engraved gift to Ina. When they asked her to come up, we were next in line to say hi. She looked at Frank and us and said "do I have to?" I was surprised to see her shy, but it was comforting at the same time. She quickly came back and said, "you guys were next, I didn't forget."

Ina was dressed in her typical get up, black pants and an overly spacious black collared button up. She had a gentle smile, and greeted everyone like she knew them. It took my husband about 10 minutes of nudging me to go up to her. I introduced myself and told her I am apart of almost 100,000 people from an Ina fan club Facebook group. Exclaiming how much love our group has for her, she was pleasantly surprised and happy to hear about it. My husband asked Ina if he ate on the north fork (where we live) and she said "of course!" We continued to talk about a few things, including the meal we just had next door, snapped a picture and happily walked to another area in disbelief that I just met my favorite chef. Kevin pulled Ina's cookbook from my bag reminding me that I forgot to ask her to sign it! How could i?! To the back of the line we went (about 12 people), and I told her I was so nervous that I forgot to have her sign my book, and she obliged with no second thoughts. "To Kim, xxxIna." This was my second cookbook to have her sign, although I didn't get to meet her face to face the first time.

In this photo, we were sharing a laugh about my comment "you should see page 158, it is the messiest page in the cookbook because I make your penne all vecchia all too often" Frank continued to say what a compliment dirty cookbook pages are!

The rest of the evening was lovely, and to hear and see how happy she made everyone was so pleasing. She is a kind and gracious woman, and it was an honor to experience this event!


Because of our impressive dining experience at 1770 house, the recipe I chose for this weeks trial was Ina Garten's 1770 House Meatloaf. This is out of the very book she signed, Foolproof.

Ina Garten
Page 130-132
1770 House Meatloaf

After having this meal, it's almost unfair that the restaurant gave the recipe out, as I would've traveled the distance to order it at their restaurant! Kev said hands down the best meatloaf he's ever had. It was tender, juicy and exploding with fresh herb flavors. The garlic sauce tied together the entire meal, although mine didn't get quite thick enough. I am not really sure why, being it was broth, butter and the sautéed garlic and I let it full boil for the allocated time - but it was still tasty and soaked into the meat. We even drizzled it on our roasted potatoes and corn on the cob.
Bring on the cooler weather so we could make this meatloaf more often!

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