Monday, April 6, 2009

Saturday was my birthday.  We went out to what I think was the most incredible dinner experience I have ever had.  We pulled a few strings and got a reservation at, Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, just north of Manhattan.  It is on the property of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.  Which, according to their website the mission of this "unique, nonprofit, member-driven collaboration is to celebrate, teach and advance community-based food production and enjoyment, from farm to classroom to table."  They hold all kinds of classes and tours, and it is certainly a wonderful place just to walk around and learn about the food we eat.

But Blue Hill is an experience in itself.  They give you a menu which is just a list of the many ingredients that have been harvested and are available to possibly be a part of your meal.  You choose from the five course tasting menu or the eight course "Farm Feast."  They discuss with you your likes and dislikes and if there are any foods you can't eat and then they prepare your meal.  Then the food starts coming to the table.  We ended up with sixteen or seventeen small plates of food, each one fresher and more incredible than the next.  There were miniature beet burgers, squab with risotto, this mornings egg soft boiled with a crunchy crust and lentils in a broth, there was a fresh salami plate with four different types of fresh salami including vennison, a wonderful celery apple juice, a lot of vegetables including incredibly fresh spinach, beets, a display of mini carrots, radishes and lettuce.  

And the service is probably the best I have ever experienced.  We felt as if the staff was performing a choreographed dance around the dining room.  We had as many staff serving our table and there were diners at our table.  Pure heaven.

And I can't forget to mention the dining room and overall all decor of the restaurant. Beautifully done, not the really rustic farmhouse look I was expecting, but expertly refined modern and luxurious.

Just the idea that all the fabulous food prepared at the restaurant is all locally grown, fresh picked, and  in season, including a large portion of it right there on the Stone Barns property, is enough to experience this meal, but the service, style, decor and quality of the food was second to none.  Oh, and to top it off, because we had pulled those strings, (thank you Peter Kelly), we got a kitchen tour and got to meet the chef/owner Dan Barber.  The cherry on top!


  1. Wow, looks amazing! Sounds like you had the most fabulous birthday feast.

  2. The only meal I've had that reminded me of your dinner was at a French restaurant in Lucerne, Switzerland owned by the late chef Freddy Giradet. A warm greeting, then after we were seated we had a discussion of food likes and dislikes and what ingredients the kitchen had that day. Soon the food started coming - small tastes of exquisite creations. . . and five hours later we departed with an incredible memories of an incomparable experience. No restaurant since has ever come close. I can't wait to try Blue Hill!

  3. Hi! Visiting from blogging your way. This place sounds really great! And Happy Birthday :)