We left NYC via Lyft with plenty of time to spare to get up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, thankfully we left early as the New York traffic wasn’t our friend. Blue Hill had suggested coming up about half an hour early for our reservation so that we could explore the grounds which we definitely wanted to do.
They’re set on a beautiful farm with a greenhouse and many stunning gardens and it was wonderful to have some time to explore. We’re welcomed into the lounge for a tumeric spritz to start. It’s served in little eggshell shaped glasses on a plate that resembles an egg tray, very clever.
We enter the dining room and are nicely welcomed in and to our table. The lighting isn’t great in the dining room for photos however it’s very pretty and you really get that farm feeling. Our menu is explained, there isn’t really a menu they take the card back to the chefs and they decide based on what is fresh and from the farm that day.
We’re told there will be lots of dishes to eat with our hands to begin and that they will come out fast. And they sure did. The wine list is like a book however easy to navigate and we opt for a bottle rather than the unconventional pairing.
Vegetables from the farm are up first and its selection of Zucchini, Capsicum, Cos Lettuce, and Gooseberry. All delicately flavoured to enhance the produce. Our wine is served in Zalto glasses which makes me so happy, they’re my favourite by far and we haven’t had them for a while.
Out comes a flower delivery from the garden and it’s Orion fennel, slightly dressed and delicious. Kohlrabi, nasturtium and pickled pear. Really nice and well prepared with flavour.
Tomatoes and grape tomatoes on the vine. Carefully strung together. Amazing and fresh.
Peach and poppy seed again from the garden. Lightly salted and the poppy seed gives it a nice little pop.
More flowers! Jerusalem artichoke and Okra flowers. The flower is tempured which is so clever and oh so good.
It’s thick and fast like they said it would be however we’re off to an incredible start. Corn cob lemonade, surprisingly good.
Tomato Pizza, I found this one a little too acidic however the table loves it.
Squash that wants to be an avocado and Levon crackers. Sweet but acidic.
Face bacon, delicious like crispy bacon almost like a jerky.
Fennel salami, using all the offcuts. It’s nice and they leave the salami on the table so we can eat it all. Nice to have some meat as we were all thinking it was a very vegetarian focus so far.
Corn in Nuka, this is preserved with barley. Nice and refreshing after the salami.
Stone Barns Duck Feet, very similar to the chicken feet we had at The Clove Club. Very good and still very clever. We’re still going very fast and there is barely time to think and savour the food.
Duck liver and chocolate. Really rich and decadent and a surprising combo I’d totally try again to replicate at home.
We can hear the birds chirping outside and are then taken into the kitchen. I forget my notebook and they kindly bring it in for me. Very nice!
They bring in a sunflower from the garden and it’s massive! This is to go with the sunflower marrow and petals. Such a creative dish and I’m super impressed that our courses are brought out by the station that creates them.
Currant tomatoes and young ginger. The bowls are inspired by children’s pottery classes where they learnt to create bowls using their hands. Oh and the dish, delicious.
Our silverware for the night is on the table in the kitchen and it’s a little kit for us to use however we want. The vibe in the kitchen is jovial. They’re also super interested in the blog, I love it when people show a genuine interest!
Immature delicata squash and shishito peppers. One word, delicious.
Delicata stem bolognese, just gorgeous.
Raw badger flame beet tartare to eat raw and cooked roasted badger flame beet, lonza and lardo. Served on two separate plates that come together. Oh my goodness, this is incredible.
Stone Barns tomato and bone char cheese. The cheese is aged in the bone char that they use for cooking with. It’s like a cheese course from another universe.
I notice our candles were changed after we went to the kitchen, I wonder what this is about.
Three eggs are brought out and we’re told they’ve been experimenting with feeding 20% of the chickens differently and putting them in separate pastures. The result is the chickens having a red pigment in the yolk. We write on our eggs and have to wait and see who gets it!
For our bread course, we have 100% whole wheat bread and its served with two types of butter one from Alice who is nine years old and people friendly and one from Billy who is best friends with Rhonda who escaped once. Personally, I couldn’t taste the difference in the butter but absolutely loved the backstory!
Out comes the eggs all covered up for show and guess what!? I got the red one *smiles*. Oh, what the hen *giggles*. So good and you can really taste the flavour difference in the yolks.
Our cutlery is taken away and we’re told it’s time to graduate to a new system. The bathrooms are beautiful and for the hand lotion and soap, they have their very own Blue Hill Lavender and Rosemary. The best so far!
Our knife for the next course comes out and it’s made from an old tractor. The waitress noticed I’m lefthanded so placed mine on the opposite side, what incredible attention to detail!
Pastured duck and red napa cabbage. So freaking good. Words can’t describe.
Dry aged tromboncino steak and grass-fed beef. The candle from earlier is made from the rendered beef tallow. Fantastic and nowhere near as gimmicky as our friends at Alinea. Just clever presentation. This one didn’t quite match my palate but what an incredible course.
Charentais Melon, it’s frozen and beautiful. I can’t help compare this to Saison it’s nothing on that. Would have been nice mixed with the sheeps milk to add a little creaminess.
Blue Hill Farm reduced colostrum ice cream and milk jam. It’s like a dulce de leche and just fantastic.
We asked for a napkin and it seemed to take some time, turns out our wonderful waitress Jordan had been out and handpicked some mint and poured some lemon honey water over it to create a beautiful warm towel. Over and above service!
Blue Hill Farm Colostrum Souffle. Incredible. Cooked perfectly. Just incredible. Again, words can’t describe.
We opt to have our final course outside and it’s doughnut peach doughnut, which is just as incredible as everything else. The service on the courtyard is just as impeccable to the point Jordan created a table for fiancee and I to sit with a candle and spoke to mum while we had a little romantic moment to ourselves.
We met Dan Barber himself and he was just so humble, almost surprised we were so pleased with the meal. Also had a fabulous herb garden tour.
It’s the little touches, the farm, the experience, the food the everything that makes Blue Hill an evening you’ll never forget. It’s what I’ve been looking for, a bit of the playfulness, a bit of the experience and background of the restaurant, incredible food and service that just goes above and beyond anything you’ll ever expect. And that’s why my friends you have our new number one!
That said, if Eleven Madison Park had the farm they’d probably take it.
- Blue Hill at Stone Barns
- Eleven Madison Park
- Tim Raue
- Piazza Duomo and Reale
- Asador Etxebarri
- Le Calandre
- The Ledbury
- The Clove Club
- Le Bernardin
- Dinner by Heston
- Astrid y Gaston
- Restaurant Steirereck