Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Pocantico Hills, NY
This is a tough review for me to write, because without wanting to sound too dramatic, this experience and overall concept has really improved my views on fresh ingredients and simple preparations. First of all, this dinner was my birthday present from my incredible wife, who knows that I have been wanting to dine at Blue Hill at Stone Barns for several years now. The fact that it was a surprise, and that we took the train from Grand Central to Tarrytown, made it all the more special.
Dan Barber is seemingly doing more for the farm-to-table movement, at least on the East Coast, than any other chef at the moment. He has a family farm in the Bershires, the magnificent Stone Barns, and a top Greenwich Village restaurant. He is really a leader in the movement and appreciates food to a degree far superior than most. His knowledge and reverence for quality ingredients and simple preparations has really changed the way that I approach food, at least in theory, if not in everyday practice. We greatly enjoyed the 8 course meal, which is really 12 or 13 courses counting all the extras. From carrots and radishes with stems to lamb’s neck with asparagus, this meal is foodie heaven. If I had the means, and it was more accessible, this is the way that I would want to eat daily. Even in a jacket and tie, I felt more connected to this meal from the surrounding farm than I have to anywhere else.
I could go on and on about each course, and the education we received on the individual ingredients, which were all the freshest I have ever had, but this very recent article from Serious Eats: Blue Hill at Stone Barns, The Most Important Restaurant in America reflects my sentiments, plus it has photos, which we were not allowed to take inside the dining room. I have listed the basic courses (without flowery descriptions) and photos from a tour of the farm. Check out the article, and if you appreciate food and are able to splurge, visit Stone Barns, it is an extremely important restaurant that reconnects us with the past, hopefully impacting our future.
Potato and kale chip
Zucchini wrapped with panchetta and sesame seeds
Fresh farm vegetables
Deconstructed farm salad
Bread with fresh ricotta and pea jam
Egg and copa with asparagus
Bread with fresh butter and carrot & kale salts
Polenta-crusted Halibut with mussels
Smoked turkey and beans
Lamb and morels
Raspberries and mint sorbet
Berry tart and almond ice crema
Strawberry shake and chocolate chip cookies