Let me go home

I have a secret recurring obsession that I will one day live on a little farm.

Though I'm a city girl at heart, I grew up in a small rural town so nothing pleases me more than indulging in silly daydreams of riding horses in cool capelets, picking bouquets in patches of free rambling wildflower patches, having my own araucana chicken that will lay pretty blue green eggs to make as many fresh sunny side up eggs to put over everything and anything (my favorite) while I pick fresh parsnips to roast for dinner and push a wheelbarrow wearing a giant cozy sweater a la a stella mccartney ad. As you can see I've clearly thought this all through in much unnecessary vivid detail.

So nothing made me happier than having an evening dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barn for the first time last week and then revisiting the farm during the day on Easter.

I don't usually write reviews about restaurants as the general consensus in NYC is that if a restaurant is good, it's good and you will for sure hear about as it turns up in the common vernacular of any  NYC foodie/blog that's in the know, complete with photos of every plate. I went to a popular dining spot a couple nights ago and saw that there were a few different tables where there was at least one person who was fussing and snapping a photo with their fancy canons of every plate that came out and I wondered why they didn't they just sit back and enjoy the moment, enjoy the food, leave it as a visceral memory as taste rather than a direct image? Whatever happened to surprise?

Blue Hill is one of those places where you'd want to photograph every plate that comes out, as no two dining experiences are ever a like since the menu changes every day and works like Japanese omakase - it's a tasting menu based on the chefs creation and what kinds of foods you customarily prefer. But it's also one of those places where you should really just luxuriate in the moment - it's on a rolling farm in Sleepy Hollow where all of the ingredients are based on the harvest of the farm or neighboring farms and the actual restaurant itself is a beautiful old Rockefeller estate complete with ancient silos, old fashioned windowpanes, magical stone walls and weathered wooden boards.

On to the food - amazing. Hands down one of the best meals I've had. We settled on the five course tasting menu, instead of the grand eight course option.  About seven or so amuse-bouches later, we had finally moved on to the actual five course dinner feeling insanely content even at that point. A total of about 15 or so kinds of dishes served, the final tally of our meal was thus:

Lightly dressed miniature vegetables served from the greenhouse, tomato soup puree, different kinds of vegetable chips, mini beet burgers, salsify wrapped in pancetta and deep fried, a charcuterie spread of homemade coldcuts served with bread, cheese, lardo, carrot salt and fresh butter; bone marrow with caviar, the best spring vegetable salad with foam dressing, perfectly cooked striped bass in a stew like soup of ramps and baby garlic (my favorite of all), pancetta with a sunnyside up egg over fresh brioche, lamb with the last of the winter vegetables, a fromage blanc casserole with cauliflowers, peony tea, beet cake with icecream and chocolate. Yes, I ate this all in one sitting.

See for yourself. Be surprised. Already looking forward to going back.

Ruffle1

1. deconstructed watercolor radishes
2. some photos I took at Stone Barn Farm
3. pencil sketch looking at the marc jacobs gauzy spring 10 ruffles


Bernadette Marie