Jump to content


Photo

Blue Hill at Stone Barns


  • Please log in to reply
1533 replies to this topic

#1 Wilfrid1

Wilfrid1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42,108 posts

Posted 30 March 2004 - 07:39 PM

Received a cute invitation to preview the Barbers' new restaurant: limited reservations begin April 14 (914 366 9600). The prix fixe will be available at a 20% discount through end of April.

Looks like it's near Tarrytown.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#2 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 23,679 posts

Posted 30 March 2004 - 07:42 PM

Yes.

it's on the Rockefeller Estate at Pocantico Hills, about two miles from the Tarrytown train station, I recall.

I don't know how they're handling the parking. For the Kykuit tours of nelson Rockefeller's home, shuttle buses bring registered guests up to the property.

I believe Cabrales attended the "under construction" party there last Fall.
Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

#3 Wilfrid1

Wilfrid1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42,108 posts

Posted 30 March 2004 - 07:49 PM

I'm suprised she didn't go to the restaurant before they'd even though of opening it - she's getting slow. :P
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#4 pixelchef

pixelchef

    In Memoriam

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,059 posts

Posted 30 March 2004 - 11:16 PM

I've heard rumours she has been camped outside all winter with a considerable supply of champage and uni in a form of cabby hibernation.

#5 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 05:35 PM

For members' ease of reference, here's my old report on the "Outstanding in the Field" event at Blue Hill at Stone Barn during its construction period. The event took place on October 12, 2003.

I'm visiting April 17, and again May 1 (the "official" opening date), and will report. :lol:
_________________________________________________

I was part of the first ever "public" tour of Blue Hill's Stone Barn facility at Pocantico Hills, near Tarrytown NY, yesterday. It was part of a dinner organized by "Outstanding in the Field", served in the outdoors close to the Stone Barn facility. Of course, Dan and Mike were on hand to ensure everything went perfectly -- which, of course, was the case :)

>> Background; Stone Barn Project

The event began around 2 pm. It was an easy Metro North train ride from Grand Central to Tarrytown. There were taxis on hand for the short ride to the first road on the left after the third entrance of the Pocantico Hills school is passed on the right (fare waas under $7). The Blue Hill at Stone Barn restaurant and certain other parts of the large Stone Barn facility are scheduled to open on May 1, 2004. Other parts include: an educational facility; a courtyard that will serve as a community center of sorts; the Hay Barn Learning Center; various greenhouses and farmlands that will be organic certified. There will be certain animals on the property, including free-moving pigs that will eventually become -- DINNER :) It is possible that the ideas of Joel Salafin, with respect to the stacking of animal grazing on land (i.e., have a rotation of animals graze on the same land, so that different animals will take different products from the land), may be implemented at Stone Barn.

We received an extensive tour of the construction site at Stone Barn. I, of course, was particularly fascinated by the decent-sized, separate room, bar area with a fireplace, that would become the lounge to the restaurant. The restaurant is intended to seat 95 in the main dining room, with a potential for 40 more outside when the weather is right, as well as a private dining room served by the main, large kitchen. Separate from this, but likely not to be available in May 2004, is a conference facility which will be capable of housing more than 200 guests and which will be supoprted by its own kitchen.

Interestingly, the former cow barn will become the site of the primary restaurant. Exposed ceiling beams to the high ceiling are expected to remain in place. The dairy would become the bar.

The property is huge, and gorgeous, and enveloped by open lands. It is going to be a fascinating community that would serve as a model for sustainable agriculture (including sustainability in the economic sense). An expansive project with the goals of promoting an understanding of the benefits of local, fresh produce and of the significance of community in the sourcing of food. And, obviously, because of the Blue Hill restaurant there, the wonderful flavors and other taste components of fresh produce :) The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture will play a central role in the organization of the project.

>> Participating Farmers and Community Members

The West-Coast-based organization, "Outstanding in the Field", conducts similar farm-to-table dinners primarily on the West Coast. Eliot Coleman, who operates a year-round farm in Maine and who supervises the expansive greenhouses to be placed on these lands. The product providers on hand included:(1) Paul Dench-Layton of Violet Hill Farms in Livingston Manor, NY (BH in Washington Sq. frequently uses poultry from this provider and it's good); (2) Don Homer from Hudson Pines Farm, Pocantico Hills; (3) Amy Nicolson from Red Jacket Orchards, Geneva, NY (red jackets are a type of apricot; pastry chef Pierre Reboul has made preserves from them); (4) Lydia Radcliff from Rupert, Vermont; (5) Franca Tantillo, of Berried Treasures Farm, Cooks Falls, NY (provider of beans); and (6) Joanthan White from Bobolinks Dairy, Vernon, NJ. Wine representatives included (1) Trent Preszel from Bedell Cellars, Cutchogue, NY, and (2) Christopher Tracy, winemaker from Channing Daughters Winery, Bridehampton, NY (a former pastry chef at March, where he got to know Mike).

>> Meal Description

The outdoors dinner achieved was of course a perfect beginning to the "farm to table" program espoused by Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, and a wonderful next step in Dan and Mike's emphasis on the utilization of the freshest local produce in their cuisine.

Dan of course has significant experience with off-site catering, from the Dan Barber catering facility.

"Outstanding in the Field" has a tradition of having diners bring their own meal plates. Conforming to that tradition, I brought a plate from Maison Troisgros. However, few of the other diners brought plates.

The meal was really out in the middle of fields. Due to the slight rain that preceded the meal, we sat inside a translucent, white-toped, humongous tent. :)

We began with a bit of Dr Konstantin Frank's Dry Riesling 2002. We were seated at two very long stretches of tables. I took a strategic seat facing the open cooking area where Dan, Mike, etc. were adding the final touches to their creations.

(1) Country Eggs. This dish featured a succulent, appropriately slightly-sweet flan that was presented at the table like a cake, with big wedges that I ladled more than once onto my plate, of course ;) Inside the flan were sections of purple potatoes (unclear whether Peruvian variety, but clearly produced locally) that brought to mind mega bluberries lodged inside the flan. Delicious.

(2) Smoked Tomato Soup, with Channing Daughters Vino Bianco 2002. The tomato soup was wonderful, and its temperature was nice too, being slightly heated but not very much so.

(3) Fall Farm Platters -- Braised Veal Shoulder; Ballotine of Capon; Shell Bean Salad; Eggplant Puree; Corn Salad; Mizuna and Wild Arugula, with Bedell Cellars Merlot 2000. Yummy too. The veal shoulder was a packet of previously braised, rilette-like texture veal that had been pan-seared and slightly caramelized on site. The result was a flavored, delicious bundle, particularly when one considers the effects of the caul fat mesh that had protected the shape of the veal and also lent its flavor to the veal. Mizuna and wild arugula were good choices for the raw greens served alongside the veal, as they added a slight bit of bitterness or pepperiness to the overall dish presentation.

The capon ballotine (room temperature) was excellent, with a wonderful ring of significant poultry fat being the exterior barrier of the ballotine. Sections of white and then dark meat, with the slight sweetness of a tiny section of carrot, and some veggies inside. Gorgeous, and a good accompaniment for the eggplant (creamy) puree accompaniment.

Corn salad was so appealing. Everything during the Fall Farm Platters stage of the meal was served on large platters, adding further to the sense of community and family-type sharing in the meal. Mike, pastry chef Pierre Reboul, etc. brought their children to the event, and that was wonderful too.

(4) Cheese!

Good cheese from Bobolink -- the white cheddar was nicely developed, and had an interesting crust section. The "Jean-Louis" cheese (yes, named after Palladin) was also good. This farm is among the stronger US producers of cheese.

(5) Apple Pie, Provencal Style. Last Chance Plum Crisp. As usual, desserts that pleased me, although I have not necessarily been taking desserts with meals recently. :)

http://64.85.30.7/bluehill/stonebarns/
(the future website)

http://www.stonebarn...r.org/home.html
(information on other purposes served by Stone Barn)

#6 Robert Schonfeld

Robert Schonfeld

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,272 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 05:56 PM

Good cheese from Bobolink This farm is among the stronger US producers of cheese.

Maybe a small thing in the context of this longer report, but I believe that some here will take issue with this.
They're really rockin' on Bandstand.



-------------------------------------------------------------
Advocating integrated avatars and sig lines since 2006

#7 Wilfrid1

Wilfrid1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 42,108 posts

Posted 07 April 2004 - 06:14 PM

Yes, I hope and believe that Bobolink is some way down the list of US producers; but thanks for repeating that, Cabby. I can't decide if I have time to go during the preview period.

On the other side of the argument, I can readily see that it's appropriate Stone Barn should try to offer locally made cheese, as long as they can find a consistently acceptable product. Maybe I'm being idealistic, but I think it's right they try to do that; whereas I'd find it odd if an upscale Manhattan restaurant didn't offer the best imported cheeses.

(Two posts now merged.)
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#8 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 09 April 2004 - 02:35 AM

Food & Wine has a piece this month on BH at Stone Barn. The cost of the overall project is apparently $30 million :lol: :lol: :lol:

The model is a very interesting one, in that Dan/Mike don't have to buy the produce from the farm, and the farm doesn't intend to sell only to those chefs. The idea is to show that sustainable agriculture is not only sound policy-wise, but also sound economically.

#9 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 11 April 2004 - 06:34 PM

The BH at SB website now has content, although menus are not yet up. ^_^

http://www.bluehillstonebarns.com

#10 ahr

ahr

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 92 posts

Posted 11 April 2004 - 08:34 PM

All that Flash stuff is pretty annoying.
"To Serve Man"
-- Favorite Twilight Zone cookbook

#11 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 16 April 2004 - 12:10 AM

Blue Hill at Stone Barn is open tonight (soft opening) :lol: :lol: :lol:

#12 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:55 PM

I had a beautifully evocative meal at Blue Hill at Stone Barns last night.

I took the Metro North train (Hudson Line) from Grand Central again. The ride takes about 40 minutes in some instances, and costs $7 each way. Some part of the train ride borders a river, which on the day in question was glimmering with the effects of moderated light. There are usually taxis at the Tarrytown station that would take you to the property for $7-10; one has to get off the train quickly to obtain a taxi before other train riders do. Another alternative to get to Tarrytown is to book Tarrytown cabs, which usually offers a single trip from Manhattan for around $66 before tips and toll (toll usually nominal); 914-333-0888. The scenery along the taxi ride from Tarrytown to Pocantico Hills (it's just past the Pocantico Hills school, on the left-hand-side of the road along Bedford Road) is relaxing, and even the air we took in seemed a bit more pristine.

Mike (the restaurant's executive chef) and Dan were both present, as Washington Square is closed for a short period for renovations. When one walks into the impressive courtyard (only two sides of which are bordered by the restaurant), there are windows where one can see the interior of the kitchen. Just continue walking, until you can't walk anymore, and move a bit to the left. Those are the windows with the kitchen.

The lounge/bar with its fireplace is now beautifully modern. I saw some people taking in quick meal at the seats along the bar. Apart from the bar, this room offers two general sets of sofas (each set accommodating perhaps 4-5 people). The "single seat" sofas are sculped and modern, in black leather. The sofas seating more than one person are grey and other muted shade. Beautiful flowers had been placed on top of the fireplace, in a short vase mimicking bamboo. The flowers evoked spring, with little pink buds peeking out besides gentle green leaves. On the walls are dark, almost black-rimmed mirrors. One arrangement has a number of convex mirrors arranged in the shape of a circle. The lampshades in this room are principally orange, with a wood-pattern that glows with the light emanating from within them. The tables are modern tables made to look like the stubs of trees.

The signature mixed drink is rhubarb cosmopolitan, with rhubarb replacing the normal cranberry component. We did not order that, but began instead with a bottle of Delamotte champagne. This was around $45/bottle, and was a bit thin-tasting in the mouth, but, like other wines included in the provisional "soft opening" shorter wine list, very well-priced at a total price of no more than 1.5-1.7x retail in many instances (i.e., that's not the mark-up, that's the total price). Delamotte is a property owned by the same group that owns Salon, although the Delamotte champagne is more reasonably priced and therefore does not rival its sibling.

The bar/lounge area was buzzing with clients and activity, as was the restaurant (on only its third evening of soft opening operations). We were then escorted to our table in the single, large dining room. In the middle of the dining room was an enormous wooden table on which were placed various items assisting the serving process and also vases with delicately pink tulips. The beams of the structure were painted a dark brown/black and the room was modern and neat-looking (in the sense of not ostentatious, but comfortable and polished).

AMUSES

We were very happy with the excellent amuses. According to our dining room team member, we sampled all of the amuses that the restaurant has been serving. First, a very pristine green asparagus veloute with a subtle parmesan foam on top, in a shotglass that (unlike the Washington Square shotglasses) was curved in the shape of certain vases. Very communicative of the taste of asparagus. I've had a version of this veloute at BH Washington Square (the original BH) before.

Besides the shotglasses were curled spoons in which were carefully placed strips of wild sea bass carpaccio. So gorgeous tasting, with the bass also curled and beautifully presented. Two types of pepper were included in an appropriately limited manner on top of the sliver of bass -- one was alepo pepper that Mike likes using at Washington Square.

The other set of amuses we received included a spoon with a slice of duck confit accompanied by a vinaigrette (in the spoon) that reminded me of certain Vietnamese preparations. The vinagrette had acidity which worked very well with the duck, which almost was like certain confit pork preparations in Vietnamese cuisine. Finally, a piece of crunchy toastette with a rectangular piece of poached foie gras and little cubes of red wine gelee underneath. All four amuse preparations were impresive, and left me anticipating the meal to come.

The restaurant offers a three-course prix fixe meal or a four-course prix fixe meal. Each course has perhaps 4-7 selections. Currently prices are reduced 20% (prior to May 1). Instead of choosing, I had the chefs cook for me.

(1) ASPARAGUS WITH RUNNY EGG (not official dish name)

Of course, Dan and Mike chose, for my first course, what I thought they would choose because of the runny egg yolk in the choice. Eggs were heavily represented in the first course choices, with a sablefish tart containing a deep-fried egg on top and a Stone Barns farm-grown Bibb lettuce salad containing a split boiled egg with a soft yolk interior. BH has a flock of chicken, and they produce eggs that have a flavor one rarely finds for eggs in the US. Not only richer and more intensely creamy, but also a yolk that is just simply more expressive of yolk. :lol: :lol: :lol: Eggs :wub: -- how much more perfect could a BH be relative to my subjective preferences :wub: A dining companion noted the superior quality of the Bibb lettuce. The Stone Barns farm is not yet at full operations, and some ingredients are being purchased from other local farms. However, the Bibb lettuce is grown on-site.

My app were cross-sections (lengthwise) of young green asparagus, gently cooked. They were set forth one next to the other, in a clean pattern. At their stems sat, on its own (i.e., without any egg white), a runny egg yolk. It seemed to smile at me, like a cherry little sun on my plate. When I saw it, I giggled out loud. What a great choice Dan and Mike had made for this course -- which was perfectly in keeping with my subective preferences and which was stunning :P When I broke the invisible exterior membrane of the yolk, warm yolk gushed out, spilling its glory onto the asparagus stalks. :lol: :lol: :lol: How perfect, I though -- egg yolk saucing for asparagus (and also intellectually provocative, as egg is the base of certain sauces with which asparagus has classically been associated). The binding texture of yolk, its creamy and golden inherent nature filled me with happiness :) Bits of roasted hazelnuts were on top of the asparagus.

What was even more special about the dish, and the crucial part of the dish objectively (instead of subjectively, since that would have been the egg yolk saucing by a wide margin) were the sublimly evocative aromatics of fresh herbs, in a pile beside the asparagus. Emanating from that mixture was the refreshing feel of mint, wonderful chervil, adorable chives and much more. The flavor of the herbs was striking in their balanced glory, and also their pristineness from having been freshly gathered. This added a dimension to the tasting of the asparagus that was surprising and wonderful. I liked this dish very, very much. Very aromatic and balanced herb utilization.

Accompanying this dish was a skewer/sicle of whole asparagus coated with white sesame seeds. It might have been pan-fried before the coating was applied. A nice textural contrast with the vegetable semi-suppleness of the natural texture of asparagus in the main part of the dish.

(2) Lightly smoked mackerel with scallions

Gorgeous pieces of mackerel, on top of a significant base of chopped scallions and a slightly acidic, gentle, translucet-colored saucing. Saucing was dotted with chives, which are a personal favorite :lol:, and had just the right hint of acidity. Smoking was very very light, appropriately. The scallions were cooked, and retained their persistence in the mouth while gaining a bit of subtleness. The scallions carried a bit of acidity -- I wondered that was from manipulation prior to cooking or from the saucing. The mackerel was slightly warmer in temperature than most fish preparations at BH Washington Square, but that went well with the scallion base. I really liked this dish. :lol:

We chose Lucien Crochet's Sancerre, 2001, "La Croix de...." (under $40?). My dining companions had sampled this before, and we went with it instead of the other possibility of a Guy Rulot Mersault (also at a very reasonable price).

(3) Dumpling, fried chicken chunks, sweetbreads, in a meat-stock-based bouillon, with black trumpet mushrooms

A very yummy dish. :P Nicely paired with glasses of a Spanish wine called Partal (100% Monestrello, sic), which we liked enough to later order the bottle of. The broth was appropriately intense and thin, carrying, in the middle of the dish, a plump round dumpling. Yumm. Then, two medium-sized pieces of fried chicken! :) Two large pieces of gently cooked (and separately cooked) sweetbreads. Plus a large quantity of glorious black trumpet mushrooms (among my very favorite mushrooms). The mushrooms carried a texture of slight crunchiness (that's not the word, but imagine cloud ear mushrooms) that was attractive and reinforced the earthiness of the broth.

The broth also contained pieces of a naturally sweet white turnip and even sweeter small rectangular-cut parsnip flesh. Interestingly against the sweetness was the bitterness of a parsley variety or similar herb that also carried a matte quality. This dish, like the asparagus dish described, illustrates the continuing improvements in BH's already excellent cuisine. Even more pristine, even fresher, more diverse herbs are now available for incorporation into SB dishes.

A dish with multiple components that all worked together, and an example of a complex dish that I like (unlike complex, numerous-principal-ingredient-type dishes at other restaurants).

(4) Baby lamb with Swiss chard

A substantial dish, with three pieces of bone-attached portions being cooked nicely pink and being supported by the intensity of Swiss chard. There was also a saddle or other baby lamb cut that was cooked with a different preparation. The lamb originates from Vermont, and the dish was a clean preparation that highlighted the inherent flavors of the lamb.

(5) Passionfruit souffle with spoon of passionfruit ice cream

I've described this many times, as it is frequently served at BH at Washington Square. A delicious, light souffle, coupled with a slightly more acidic ice cream accompaniment. Even though I generally dislike desserts as a category, I was happy taking in a good amount of this course.

(6) Rhubarb Soup with Fromage Blanc Sorbet and Herb Sorbet

Very good dessert. Rhubarb in its vegatable, celery-stalk-textured-like state, cut up into pieces. A very beautifully burgundy-colored soup that was so clearly communicative of rhubarb. Nice use of fromage blanc in a quenelle of sorbet. Another quenelle was basil and/or verbena, and reinforced the vegetable aspects of the rhubarb.

A gorgeous, excellent meal. And at an amazing price of $100/person with tax and tips included (although price becomes irrelevant at evocative experiences of this sort). ;)

PICTURES

Please access the following web address (not linked) to see BH pictures:

http://ebozz.ashst.c...Pass=&album=ALL

#13 Rail Paul

Rail Paul

    Advanced Member

  • Admin
  • PipPipPip
  • 23,679 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 02:57 PM

Thanks for the pictures. They're very helpful.
Dreams come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.

#14 Orik

Orik

    Advanced Member

  • Technocrat
  • PipPipPip
  • 21,792 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:21 PM

There are usually taxis at the Tarrytown station that would take you to the property for $7-10; one has to get off the train quickly to obtain a taxi before other train riders do. Another alternative to get to Tarrytown is to book Tarrytown cabs, which usually offers a single trip from Manhattan for around $66 before tips and toll (toll usually nominal); 914-333-0888.

Another suggestion, in case certain members plan to go there very regularly, is to obtain the number of 1-2 local taxi stations and call them about 15 minutes prior to getting off the train. This generally guarantees they'll be waiting for you and saves the need for rushing off.
sandwiches that are large and filling and do not contain tuna or prawns

#15 cabrales

cabrales

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,262 posts

Posted 18 April 2004 - 09:32 PM

Another suggestion, in case certain members plan to go there very regularly

I don't know about members, but at least one member plans to go there regularly :lol: