So the real reason we made the little trip upstate was for Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a unique restaurant very much dedicated to sustainability and fresh ingredients. Since Saturday reservations are near impossible, we headed up without one and decided to get there as soon as it opened to claim bar seats. We were told the full menu was served there and it seemed like a great idea since I actually really enjoy eating at bars anyway. Just a minute before 5pm, the doors opened and we tentatively stepped inside (literally the first guests there) and successfully secured ourselves some seats at the bar. (Note, the bar filled up within 15 minutes.)
Here, the tasting menu is known as a "farmer's feast." And a feast it is. It is also incredibly accommodating and tailorable. I overheard many odd requests (e.g., one girl asked for a vegan tasting, another didn't eat beets or peppers); we said we'd eat whatever they put in front of us. Seems like the only proper way to do these, no?
I loved the rounds of canapes (new EMP style) which included fennel soup, crudités, beet burgers, salsify, kale & potato chips, and charcuterie (the picture is missing two slices - oops).
Perhaps the main food highlight was actually a plate of shiitake mushrooms with very thin slices of seckel pear. It sounds underwhelming almost, but what an incredible combination it was. There was also a plain piece of grilled onion served with four different spreads. The breaded egg with chicken hearts was great, too. I had my very first smoked lobster which was served with a "Manhattan" style chowder and first goat (from the farm). A slab of berkshire pork was lovely as well.
Also, I must emphasize how amazing the bread is. First of all, it is piping hot. The crust is super crispy and the innards are fluffy and perfectly chewy. And naturally, dessert was polished off with no problems.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a beautiful place overall. Well worth a revisit in the springtime. :)