Best Communal Experience | Bethesda Magazine


Best Communal Experience

Editors' Pick

“Dirty Dinners” at Calleva

It’s a warm summer night and 120 people are eating dinner outdoors at long, communal tables on a farm. The food and wine are locally sourced, and a bluegrass band plays the night away.

Welcome to “Dirty Dinners” at Calleva Farm in Dickerson.

Several times each summer, Calleva holds the farm-to-table dinners in a field or a barn on the 165-acre farm run by brothers Nick, Alex and Matt Markoff. The working farm is also home to well-regarded camps and a Haunted Forest around Halloween. The food is prepared by the camp chef, and the meat and produce are from Calleva or other local farms. The servers are all farm or camp employees.

“We want people to eat in the field, where the food comes from,” says Julie Clendenin, the former Calleva marketing director who organized the dinners in 2013.

Ticket prices last summer ran $125 a person—not cheap, but a great way to commune with nature, and with others.

Calleva Farm, 19120 Martinsburg Road, Dickerson, 301-216-1248,

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