September 27, 2013

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

Some dinners are just more memorable than others. Some dining experiences stay with you and raise your expectations for all other dining experiences. In case you couldn't tell, this is one of those experiences. 

I booked a table at Blue Hill at Stone Barns for my husband's birthday earlier this year.

We drove up early to explore the farm - it's about a 45 minute drive from the city. The grounds are gorgeous, and they have one of, if not the largest, greenhouses in the US. 

When we finally got to our table, I reviewed my level of veganity with the waitress and she let me know they were already aware and fully prepared. (I noted this on my online reservation and called ahead). 

We started with fresh baby vegetables lightly drizzled with a vinaigrette. They were so fresh and flavorful and presented so well. If all vegetables tasted this way, people would eat a lot more vegetables. 

Next, pea shoots still in the soil, which you clip off with scissors and drag through a mix of oil and herbs. This was ridiculously fun. 

Celery Root Sushi was next. Crunchy, salty and super tasty. 

Shredded Brussel Sprouts on a housemade cracker - I loved the textures together. 

Dehydrated Vegetable Chips - I only remember the kale, but they were also white (tarot, daikon?) and red (I'm thinking beets). Super salty in a very good way. 

Fresh fennel followed, it looks so simple (and it was), but it was very flavorful. I loved the simplicity.

DIY Kohlrabi Tacos - thinly sliced kohlrabi as the base, topped with shredded watermelon radish, spinach, squash puree, soybeans, cayenne salt and watermelon hot sauce. 

And my 2nd favorite savory course - grilled broccoli rabe and scallions topped with an almond saffron sauce and nut shavings. You drag the vegetables through the sauce and then the nut shavings. The flavors were so intense and I loved the presentation and action required to fully experience everything. 

I'm not normally a fan of cooked cabbage, but when charred and served with pea soup, it totally works for me. The edges were so charred and full of goodness. 

In between courses, they served Potato and Onion Bread and butter. For me, instead of butter, it was olive oil and salt - beet and carrot. The beet salt was a gorgeous magenta color and the carrot salt was a lovely peach. 

Smoked Rutabaga with apple puree and sweet and sour vegetables followed. A gorgeous course with a nice balance of sweet and sour. 

Then it was onto Heirloom Grains and Stinging Nettles, which was like a rustic soup, topped with fresh crisp microgreens. 

And my favorite savory course - Parsnip Steak with kale and cranberry ketchup. I cannot fully remember the sauce that topped the parsnip, but I do remember it was beyond delicious. The parsnip was so flavorful and tender, and the cranberry ketchup was absolutely divine. Seriously, I was blown away by this dish. 

Now, onto the sweet. 

Green Apple Granita with Pistachio Ice Cream. This was so amazing and refreshing. 

Between courses, I had a fresh juice made of lemon, citrus, verbena, cinnamon and ginger. 

An Apple Terrine with Chocolate Sorbet and Honeycomb came next. I didn't eat the honeycomb, but the terrine and sorbet were amazing. 

Since it was my husband's birthday, they gave us a chocolate cake that was also vegan so I could partake. Very considerate. 

And when we thought we were finished and couldn't eat anymore, they brought dried fruits, nuts and chocolate to finish the evening. 

We were so over the moon about the entire experience. It is definitely a splurge, but it was the best food splurge we've made. And every season, they change up the menu based on what's in season. And if you let them know you've dined with them before and when, they'll make sure everything you experience is new. Make your reservations in advance - they book up super fast. But I've heard you can also be put on a waiting list for cancellations. 

September 25, 2013

The Alcreamist

While at the Brooklyn Flea, I stopped by The Alcreamist for a vegan push up pop. 

Lemon and lime sorbet with a vanilla cake at the bottom. So perfect - it's like an ice cream cake on a stick. They also have all kinds of vegan ice cream by the scoop. Smorgasburg, the food portion of Brooklyn Flea goes until November. 

September 22, 2013

Phatty Beet Slider . Follow Up

I am a huge fan of the Phatty Beet Slider from Chickpea & Olive. You can see my original post here.

Their burgers are made from beets, brown rice, mushrooms and lentils. And they are perfectly charred. 

The Bacon Ranch Cheeseburger is topped with eggplant bacon, ranch dressing, lettuce and tomato on a vegan brioche bun. 

And the Polka Burger is topped with roast mushrooms, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli on a vegan brioche bun. 

They are so amazing, I can't even describe the complexity of flavors and textures. You've only got until November before they hibernate until the spring. Go now

September 19, 2013

North Fork . Part III

For my final post on the North Fork, I wanted to highlight a couple of my favorite things we ate while dining in, and some more beautiful spots on the island.

Stuffed French Toast is always a great way to start the day. My mom used fresh raspberries, blueberries and vegan cream cheese.
There are fragrant lavender fields on the island, which make for great photo ops.
And if you make your way to the lighthouse, there is an absolutely incredible beach.

The water was cool, but felt so nice in the heat.
My favorite snack during the week was my mom's vegan pate. Spread over bread with salt and is so good.
It was super relaxing and great to explore somewhere new. If you go, NY mag has a great guide.

September 17, 2013

North Fork, Long Island . Part II

As I mentioned, the beaches are beautiful. And the water is really refreshing.

The best spot to catch the sunset is just off Nassau Point Road. It's a gorgeous spot to take a stroll.

In terms of food, we ate in quite a bit (my mom is an incredibly talented vegan chef). But we did find several spots with vegan/vegetarian options...

Love Lane Kitchen is a cute spot in Mattituck, walkable from the house we rented. Their dinner menu changes weekly, and while we were there they offered a Tofu, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato Sandwich. Leaving the mayo off to make it vegan leaves it a bit dry. A side of balsamic vinaigrette is always my solution for this.
At Legends restaurant, they have several vegetarian/vegan options on the menu. I went for the Grilled Vegetable Muffuletta with zucchini, roasted red peppers, eggplant and vinaigrette on focaccia. And it's walkable distance to the beach, so it's great for lunch or an early dinner.
Part III coming later this week!

September 14, 2013

North Fork, Long Island . Part I

 In July, my family took a trip to Long Island. The North Fork to be exact. 

Here are some of the highlights...

North Fork potato chips - these are made locally and I can't resist potato chips. I really liked the Salt and Vinegar flavor.
The North Fork is gorgeous, so many great beaches. And totally chill, not fussy or scene-y at all.

There's a really cute brewery (Greenport Brewery) next to this old jail in Greenport. Greenport is a great spot to explore. It's small, but has really cute shops and restaurants, like Local Knit
They also have a camera obscura, but unfortunately they have no one to operate it. I was quite disappointed.

But anyhow, funny enough, the best thing we ate was take out pizza. Not that we didn't have good food eating out, but this pizza (from Village Pizza) was outstanding. No cheese needed. We ordered thin crust with their tomato sauce, peppers, onions and eggplant. The eggplant absolutely made it. It was sliced thin and crispy and delicious.
 Holy yum. We were there a week and ordered it twice.

Part II coming soon...

Starbucks . London

Starbucks at the London Heathrow Airport has a great to go vegan option - the Moreish Meze. It's a tabouleh salad with sweet potato falafel, roasted vegetables, hummus and chimichurri sauce. 

It was the perfect snack to take on the plane.