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.