Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

After several aborted attempts (heck, I've even tried to sign on as a volunteer there with no luck), Mrs. Hackknife and I were finally able to dine recently at the much-heralded Blue Hill at Stone Barns, one of America's top restaurants located a mere 30 minutes from the Chuck Wagon in Pocantico Hills. Chef Dan Barber and his crew moved into the non-profit Stone Barns Center (itself repurposed from an old working dairy farm owned by the Rockefeller Family into an agricultural research facility) in 2004 and have been a worldwide leader in farm-to-table cuisine and sustainability initiatives ever since.

Speaking of farm-to-table, you can't get any fresher than what's on the plates at Blue Hill - our vegetable-heavy Grazing/Pecking/Rooting tasting menu (reflecting the bounty of the current season) largely consisted of produce harvested straight from the greenhouses and fields a short walk from the dining room.  As is befitting of a restaurant integrated into a farm complex and its surrounding nature, stately wood beams and hanging plants dominate the space (which was a little dark for picture taking, I might add - forgive the sketchy photos).  All told, the wonderful experience struck me as a combination of Noma and Eleven Madison Park, with a dash of Alinea thrown in.

Assorted Fresh Radishes and Field Greens

Kale Chips (the stand of sticks was not edible)

Badger Flame Beet Pizza

Picnic platter featuring housemade bread and various goose parts, including Blue Hill's "failed goose liver" spread, made from the chef's attempt at sourcing cruelty-free foie gras

Our course in the old dairy shed, now used to grow mushrooms and microgreens

(it was a little chilly - it's New York in February, after all)

Creamy Mushroom Soup

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