"Just get there man." So read one review that, amongst more eloquent but equally elated others, lured the inter-Nat, Erin and your guest blogger Lo to venture 30 miles outside Manhattan to the promised land of Blue Hill at Stone Barns-- the four-season farm and American restaurant sourcing from its very pastures. The yelpers had hailed, Zagat applauded, the elite powerfully praised and our blessed trio was out to test...
Our early reservation and accompanying pre-twilight arrival enabled us to admire the green grounds before sundown (and, let’s be honest, return to NYC in time for urban dance hour). Through a stoney entry and aside a cozy fireplace and inviting barroom, we encountered our first taste-bud-tingler: a round of delight-filled cocktails – Blood Orange Margarita (tequila, blood orange juice, fresh ginger, lime) for Erin, Black Currant Cosmo (citrus vodka, triple sec, black currant puree) for Natty and the Elderflower Royale (cava, elderflower liqueur) for me. In harmony with the remainder of Blue Hill, oh so pretty and delicious!
Following cocktails, we were escorted into the main dining room composed of cream colored walls, high arched ceilings and framed with dark wooden beams. Like its local farm ingredients, the entirety of Blue Hill's interior oozes FRESH. Refined, clean lines collectively create simplicity of setting, both elegant and comfortable. Freckled with free flowing floral arrangements, an oversized central oak table serves as the room’s focal point and servers’ home base, further intimatizing the space of nurturing neutrals.
Amidst ambiance’s pure perfection and ballet-like service (impeccable throughout – upscale yet understated and entirely unpretentious, the staff was absolutely lovely!), our Farmer’s Feast began: a five-course tasting inspired by the week's harvest and customized to each individual’s taste. No menu, just a list of February 20th’s freshest. I opted vegetarian but Blue Hill transcends such titling…black trumpet mushrooms, Tuscan kale, wild arugula…Cheeses? Yes. Eggs from our property chickens? I’ll pass. Natty picked pescatarian and our exploratory Erin basically said “give it to me.” And they did. To all of us really.
Amuse bouche – mini beet burgers, silver-dollar-sized dollops of flawlessness:
Course 1 – beets (grown in heaven) dusted with a pine nut puree, light leafy greens and a frothy yogurt sauce. Except in their shared exquisiteness, the remaining three savory selections differed for each of us, I’ll save you (myself) from recalling them all, but some favorites included:
Potato onion bread with homemade (well, everything is) butter and vegetable salts:
Ricotta and trumpet mushroom ravioli, and eight-row corn pollenta:
Dessert – lemon meringue atop goat cheese ice cream:
Needless to say, the farm-to-table transcendent experience seduced us all – I want to live there, Natty wants to wed there and Erin “could have died happy drinking bud heavy with those jersey shore cast members we met on the metro north on the way home.”