The Hudson Valley Restaurants



Blue Hill at Stone Barns

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Blue Hill at Stone Barns Review

This outpost of Dan Barber's famed Blue Hill restaurant (in Manhattan) occupies a barn on the grounds of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. The seasonal menu features the center's own produce and meats as well as the bounty of other local farms. The space is beautiful and elegant in its restraint, with high picture windows and the barn rafters. Banquettes are dressed in brown and set off against cream walls. Dinner is prix fixe, two to four courses. The exceptional menu changes frequently; you might find pea-green gazpacho, roast pork with braised bacon, or lobster-filled cannelloni. Desserts, including a molten chocolate-and-caramel cake and passion-fruit soufflé, are extra but worth it.

    Restaurant Details

  • Reservations essential.
  • Credit cards accepted.
  • Closed Mon. and Tues. No lunch.

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Food  

    Blue Hill at Stone Barns Review

    EMPEROR'S NEW FOOD: a culinary tale

    We cook quite a bit, grow our own food, and really love to try new places, so when we received a gift certificate to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, we were very curious about this place so many people have recommended. Yelp is full of raves, but of course we tried to keep an open mind, and not get our expectations up too high.

    After spending about 15 minutes on hold for a reservation (where we were repeatedly told to dress appropriately during the automatic message), we were able to get a reservation. The tasting menu for the pre-Valentines Day weekend was on offer.

    There is a huge staff. Each course is served by a different person. They are all really nice. Each course is elaborately presented. We decided to also have the wine pairings.

    The first course was a few home-made crackers served on one of those things used to arrange flowers - the crackers looked like they were on a bed of nails. Little did we know that this would be a sign of food to come. The crackers were accompanied by a dab of "lardo" which tasted like Crisco, and a crumbled mystery meat that reminded me a bit of cat food. There was also a bit of (maybe?) ricotta and a few other dabs of things spread across a piece of slate.

    The second course was one kumamoto oyster (my favorite oyster in the whole world) in a watery citrus puddle with edamame. This blasphemy was dappled with caviar which literally swam in the puddle. It was amazing to eat one of my favorite foods and for the first time realize why people do not like oysters.

    There was one plate with a single scallop which had, I think, some crumbled bacon, but really just as tasteless as everything else we had eaten so far. There was a ceramic dish shaped like an egg carton with a poached egg and little dabs of bacon (okay, this was not so bad....but who doesn't love eggs and bacon?). There was a course of dried out balls of turkey served with a truffle goo. The really decent wine (an Italian Barolo) made me a bit more lighthearted, but by the time we got to the meat course, squares of dry meat, swimming in a nouvelle-y presentation of CHICK PEAS(!), I was sickened about this meal and the accompanying hype.

    Even with the $150.00 gift certificate, we still paid over $650.00 for this meal for two. I kept thinking about meals at Jean Georges (priced lower). Or even closer to Westchester, such as the Kelley brothers and their good-quality restaurants like Freelance in Piermont, or Matt Hudson's place in Nyack, the Hudson House. People turning out good-quality, good value food without the enormous wait staff. I also kept thinking how amazing it is that people come back to this place.

    The two brief moments of respite during this meal were the Barolo (one glass in the wine tasting), and the bread and butter. The bread was amazing! Really memorable. When I asked about the bread, they said it was from Balthazar. My office is across the street from Balthazar, so I should have known, but wow. Really, just wow. The bread was the best thing on this menu and they had it ordered in. I recommend going to Balthazar and eating their bread, and not doing what we did which was pay an extraordinary amount of money for the culinary equivalent to the story of the Emperor's New Restaurant.

    by LS1691, 2/15/11

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