Dinner at a working farm, with food sourced straight from the barnyard and greens harvested in the fields, where mushrooms are foraged and butter can be attributed to the exact cows who produce the milk. That is a dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where one cannot find a greener dinner anywhere else around New York City.

P and I trudged to Blue Hill at Stone Barns on a steamy evening last week after a grueling shopping trip at Woodbury. After remedying the initial snag of being inappropriately (read too casually) dressed, we were ushered into a large, comfortable dining room inside a expansive barn. The server sat us with cold sparkling water, a menu with no options, just a long list of ingredients and set off a flurry of amuse bouches on us, including:

asparagus shooters

A creamy shot of asparagus soup with creme fraiche;

panko crusted asparagus

Skewers of asparagus crusted in panko and sesame seeds, a kebabs of sorts;

avocado burger

2 mini burgers stuffed with creamy avocado, sitting on a bed of white sesame seeds, while slathering on sweet churned butter sourced from the dairy cows on-site and thick ricotta drizzled with honey

charcuterie plate

We nibbled offerings from a homemade charcuterie plate, including an unctuous pork terrine, and great, spicy, slightly wet french sausage. Pickled ramps, cauliflowers and fennel, as well as sharp mustard helped cut the richness of our appetizers.

kampachi with rhubarb gelee

Our first courses only arrived after we polished the charcuterie, for me a beautiful slab of kampachi set over a bed of tart rose-colored rhubarb gelee and for P a refreshingly frothy shotglass of carrot yogurt and a tiny sliver of fiddle-head fern tart.

lettuce with edible flowers

Second courses were what I call a gorgeous pair of green, flowery things. For me half a head of young lettuce sitting in deep green, sweet lettuce broth.

asparagus terrine with goat cheese

and for P an even daintier plate of chopped asparagus wrapped with cooked chard on top of a swipe of tangy goat cheese.

smoked sturgeon

Finally we get to protein, some fleshy slices of smoked sturgeon, mild tasting yet reminiscent of bacon. Who can say no to smoked meats? The broth is green again, but this time nutty and creamy with the addition of pistachio and fresh green peas.  

gnocchi

Morels are in this season and the next course featured the meatiness and succulence of the mushrooms simply yet effectively. The gnocchi were plump and the potato pasta melds seamlessly with the ricotta filling.

this morning\'s egg

This morning’s egg is perhaps the most celebrated dish at Blue Hill and our tiny egg had a brilliantly orange yolk that spilled over the mixture of mushroom and greens to create a rich, savory dressing. However, the ones our neighbors had looked even more amazing with a deep fried poached egg and I suffering a serious case of covetou-ness

pork belly

We rounded out the savory courses with 2 meat dishes, a square of crackling pork belly on more green sauce and chickpeas. The meat was tender, the skin crisp but pork belly has become so de riguer that there is hardly any excitement in eating fatty meat left.

trio of lamb

The next dish of young spring lamb however was amazing. The trio of lamb included a lamb chop that was tender to the bone, a piece of confit lamb neck that was stronger tasting, and a quivering piece of sauteed lamb brain that was surprisingly mild tasting. These all sat on a bed of nutty couscous that were a delight to eat.

herbal tea trolley

We’ve been eating steadily for almost 3 hours by the time desserts were served. We polished off glasses of strawberries topped with champagne foam and other sweets that unfortunately slipped my mind. We moved outdoors to catch the last rays of sunlight and enjoyed a tisane of herbs freshly picked from the Blue Hill garden. The server picks honeysuckle, sage, 3 types of peppermint and other herbs I cannot even pronounce from a trolley wheeled to the table, boils the water in front of us and steeps the herbs in a see-through pot. A one-of-a-kind tea service, and at $15 is priced like it. But so is the experience of lounging outdoors with a loved one after a leisurely meal, watching geese amble through the slopes with the knowledge that almost everything you ate can be located within 100 miles. And that is almost priceless.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Rd, Tarrytown

www.bluehillstonebarns.com

 

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