blue hill

New York Review: Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, NY10591
(+1) 914 366 9600

For my graduation dinner I wanted to bring my family to Blue Hill at Stone Barns.  I had been there once before in March 2010 and although a lot of dishes were over salted for my palate, I was impressed with the service and overall ambiance of the restaurant and had a very enjoyable experience.  But our reservation was quite late and we couldn’t see the farm at all.

This time, as we arrived at Stone Barns, we saw the cattle, lamb, chickens and vegetable patches.  The farm was bigger than what I had imagined.  As we walked into the restaurant and were greeted, they asked us how we had arrived so they could call a cab for us after our meal.  We were shown to (what I thought was) the best table in the restaurant.  A corner booth seat by the window, overlooking the patio.  We of course choose the 8 course farmers feast.

As the amuse bouches started coming to our table I realized that we were getting a lot more than the other tables around us.  They had noted that I was a CIA student from my visit a year ago, so they gave us special treatment.  My family was thoroughly impressed but worried about being able to proceed through the whole dinner.

Wax bean (from the garden) tempura
Their signature amuse bouche- the vegetable fence
Radish with butter (from the dairy cows on the farm)
Smoked kale chips, pancetta chips (SO good!) and yucca chips
Summer peas with lardo
Coppa with corn crackers (the coppa melted in my mouth- was absolutely delicious!)
Mini sweet pea burger with bacon
Sesame covered eggplant
Fish balls with phytoplankton sauce
Pigs heart terrine with chocolate
(Adorable) Garden greens wrapped with duck prosciutto
Amuse #12: Cold sweet pea puree soup with yogurt and corn pancake
Finally, our first course! Garden vegetables- each component was seasoned perfectly and I really enjoyed the flavors of each vegetable.  They were either raw or quickly blanced.
Brioche with zucchini paste and freshly made ricotta cheese (from the dairy cows on the farm) and ground black pepper.  We scooped some cheese on the brioche and topped it with some zucchini paste and black pepper.  The cheese was warm and perfectly good on its own too.
Smoked lobster with dairyless corn chowder.  One of my favorite courses of the night.  The lobster wasn’t too smokey and the texture was perfect (ぷりっぷり!)
Zucchini carbonara with shaved cured immature chicken egg.  Break the yolk, mix into the zucchini and voila! you have carbonara 🙂
Handmade pasta with ostrich egg, fava beans and chicken heart.  The chicken heart and fava beans paired together nicely and the pasta was unbelievably smooth.
My mother doesn’t like lamb so she got pork done three ways.  Everything was cooked perfectly and the pork belly was tender and divine.
Lamb neck, tongue and belly.  I was so full by this point but everything was delicious (slightly oversalted again in my opinion)
A refreshing dessert of blackberries and grilled corn ice cream
A souffle with black cherries and vanilla ice cream

We finished our meal with small shooters of berry yogurt smoothies (rather refreshing) and fresh seasonal berries…

This meal took nearly four hours and the service was flawless.  I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant in the US and didn’t make a single complaint.  The servers were all attentive and the food came out at the right timing for each course.  Our captain was knowledgeable and friendly, and I was impressed yet again with the synchronized service (for putting down and taking away plates).  They offered for us to have a tour of the kitchen and by the time we were done they had already called us a cab to go back to our hotel.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a truly exceptional restaurant and I can say with confidence that this was the best fine dining experience I’ve had in the US.  A truly epic meal!

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