Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blue Hill at the Stone Barns Farm

If you ever have the opportunity to eat here, seize it. I am so glad that I decided to take the chance and book something that was a bit of a trek from the city.
I think I left you all at the table as I decided to have the Farmer's Feast. I also threw myself at the mercy of my wonderful server and asked him to bring me whatever wine he deemed appropriate. I polished off the Elderflower Royale and swapped it out for a glass of Riesling from the Finger Lakes area of New York State. (I just want to add as an aside that I carried a Moleskin City Diary with me on this trip and I used it at every opportunity. The notes from my Blue hill dinner are a little hard to read, but i can feel the xcitement just reading the little half phrases I scribbled on the page...)
The first item at the table was the signature Vegetables on the Fence. I swear they were dressed with a light vinaigrette. The baby carrot was smaller than my baby finger, just to give you an idea of size. They tasted like the earth, the way vegetables should., And it made me laugh...
I didn't get a photo of the face bacon, the next offering, but Ed Levine of Serious Eats has a great shot of it...

The corn that I saw the chef smoking earlier? It arrived at my table in the form of a beautiful chilled smoked corn soup. I will admit to a geeky thrill as I realised that I had actually seen this prepared earlier...

The next offering didn't wow me quite as much, probably due to the fact that I ate it all wrong and ended up with smoked kale shrapnel all over myself and the table....

The mini tomato burger was out of this world and a harbinger of what was to come... Pure tomato flavour, what I suspect was chevre and an almond flour based burger bun. I could have made a meal out of these alone.

The final amuse was a miniature summer squash wrapped in pancetta, coated with sesame seeds and fried. Like a little piece of meaty salty candy....

As I finished up my amuse, a couple was seated at the table next to me. The guy had obviously been here before and I started eavesdropping a little to see what he had to say about the restaurant. He told his wife they had to order the charcuterie and I silently kicked myself for not having thought of that..


My disappointment was quickly forgotten as the first dish arrived; marinated bluefish with pigs ear and caviar. The bluefish was at once creamy and salty and the pigs ear and caviar added a wonderful crunchy texture. I tried to savour each bite, but it was gone way too fast, along with my lovely riesling. Mindful of the fact that I had to navigate the train back to NY that night, I told my server that I would have a different wine, but I wanted to just have one more glass. He presented me with a wonderful Gewurztraminer.

THe next course was a warm tomato tart. The base was watermelon, topped with goast cheese, bacon and chunks of beautiful heirloom tomatoes (another server had brought a platter of tomatoes around moments earlier and given me a mini lesson on varieties... very cool). My first bite was delicious, but the second... welll, I hit the hidden nugget of tomato water sorbet. The tomato flavours exploded with the shock of the temperature change. I think I may have giggled to myself....

During this time, i had also struck up a conversation with the table next to me. Turns out they also loved food and he was a produce supplier for a lot of manhatten restaurants...

Another tomato dish arrived from the kitchen ~ a salad with water cress, tomato gelee, fresh tomatoes and creamy fresh burrata cheese. It was somewhere around here that I realised that the Gewurtz that I had switched to was made for tomatoes..

A soft boiled egg, panko'ed and deep fried, floating in a flavourful broth with the last of the season's peas.

Eggplant Parmiggiana with a rich tomato caper sauce ( I actually broke out the bread at this point to soak up the wonderful sauce).

The delicious looking Berkshire pigs from the field finally made an appearance on my plate., The quartet of pig (loin, sirloin, boudin and belly) were accompanied by tiny little nugget potatoes and fresh ratatouille. (scribbled in my book? WOW. Underlined three times...)
Dessert came in two parts. I had finished the Gewurtz, so asked my charmingly perfect server fro a dessert reccomendation. He presented me with a Tesauro Recioto Di Valpolocella 2004 (it was so good, made him write it down for me).

First dessert was a plum soup with apricot sorbet.

Second dessert was Roasted apricot with basil sorbet, yoghurt and blueberries....
I was so happy, so content and SO FULL. I happily signed my life away on my credit card and stumbled out to my waiting taxi. I can only hope that I will be able to eat their again one day....

As a bonus, my cab driver for the return trip was wonderfully gregarious and took me on the scenic route back to town and the train station. I got to see the beautiful Pocantico hills countryside and it cost me a dollar less than the trip out to the farm.Somehow, I made it back to my little room in Chelsea to collapse, on sensory overload and completely exhausted....

4 comments:

Ulla said...

yeah it was a sensory overload! so fun though!:)
great blog. how long are you in chelsea for? i live there!

Katie said...

Loved this post...I feel like I was eating alongside you.

linda said...

Ulla, unfortunately, that was my last night in Chelsea... If i had known you lived there, I would have hit you up for suggestions!
Katie, thank you!

Summer said...

I love blogs with photos! yours are wonderful and the recipes and sharing your thoughts is great too...lovely blog. :)