Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Rocky’s Birthday

To finish up our stretch of co-birthday celebrations last month, the misses and I rented a car and headed north out of the city and up to Blue Hill at Stone Barns for Rocky’s big birthday bash. Since our two-a-day there last summer, Rocky has been calling BHSB her favorite restaurant in the states and has been eager to go back. So I thought a night in a castle, a day at the spa, and dinner on the farm would be a perfect present for her.

blue hill stone barns winter

blue hill stone barns winter

Arriving on the grounds was certainly an amusing contrast between our bright, sunny, lushly green, borderline-scorching visit in July and our brisk, stark, snow-covered wintertime return.

blue hill stone barns table setting

blue hill stone barns dining room

Making our way into the restaurant, we said hello to some familiar faces and took our seats at the same corner table where we finished up last time.

blue hill stone barns winter cart

blue hill stone barns charcuterie

We got the party started with some bubbles(it was a remarkably bubbly meal) as our guy rolled up and showed off a guéridon boasting an attractive spread of pickled and fermented goodies, dried mushrooms, house made paprika, molasses, speck, and bresaola. Then began an impressive onslaught of snacks and small bites.

blue hill stone barns garden vegetables

blue hill stone barns vegetables fence

Vegetables from the garden. A colorful, flavorful lineup of fresh veggies.

blue hill stone barns ice plant lettuce

Ice lettuce. Tender, fleshy leaved succulent.

blue hill stone barns turnips

blue hill stone barns hakurei turnip

Hakurei turnips.

blue hill stone barns fighter spinach

Fighter spinach with root vegetable powder. Lightly earthy with some sweetness from the powder. Delightful leaves.

blue hill stone barns pig heart pastrami

Pig heart pastrami, last year’s asparagus, cured egg yolk. The acidic asparagus with the rich yolk complemented the salty heart nicely.

blue hill stone barns squash blossoms

Squash blossoms. From special seeds from a seed program at Cornell.

blue hill stone barns beet jerky

Beet jerky. Dried, sweet, chewy. Good stuff.

blue hill stone barns carrot plankton crackers

Crackers:  Carrot with curry and seeds. And phytoplankton with tiny shrimp.

blue hill stone barns jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke with curry. Soft, sweet, and lightly starchy inside with rich, thick skin.

blue hill stone barns beets rice

blue hill stone barns beet sushi

Beet ‘sushi’ with sprouted grains.

blue hill stone barns potato

A potato trio.

blue hill stone barns yeasted potato

Yeasted potato. Crispy potato shell with smooth potato puree and chewy cubes of beets.

blue hill stone barns potato caviar

Marbled potato with creme fraiche and caviar. Sweet, salty, almost heavenly. A superb bite.

blue hill stone barns mussel seaweed

Tart with mussel, beer, and seaweed.

blue hill stone barns crispy kale cabbage

Kale & Cabbage. Delicately crisp and perfectly salted.

blue hill stone barns boar sausage

blue hill stone barns boar pepperoncino pickles

Boar sausage with some kick ass pickles.

blue hill stone barns whelks lardo

Whelks and lardo. Sweet, meaty sea snails.

blue hill stone barns beetfurter

Beetfurter. A playful sausage of beets and pork. With preserved tomato.

blue hill stone barns beet burger

blue hill stone barns beet burger

Tiny beet burgers. Complete with bacon and a grilled sesame crown.

blue hill stone barns pork liver chocolate

Pork liver and chocolate. Hard-hitting with a rich lingering chocolate finish.

blue hill stone barns beet cart

blue hill stone barns beet tartare

blue hill stone barns beet tartare cart

Our guy rolled up again with another guéridon. This one decked out with a variety of ingredients and service ware. He gave us a spiel about how much they love beets at Blue Hill and how they sometimes go overboard with them. As he stood at his cart mixing up a beet tartare, a few other beet items arrived.

blue hill stone barns beet borscht

Beet borscht.

blue hill stone barns borscht scallop

blue hill stone barns scallop beet borscht caviar

A large, meaty cut of scallop with caviar and borscht. The salinity of the caviar struck a good balance between the scallop and the beet. The best plate of the beet series.

blue hill stone barns beet series

blue hill stone barns beet tartare quail yolk

Beet tartare with quail egg yolk. Despite all the added spices and condiments, this was still very sweet and a burden to finish.

blue hill stone barns beet bolognese

Beet ‘bolognese’. Polenta with a meaty beet and bacon sauce.

blue hill stone barns biochar

blue hill stone barns squid celery root charcoal

blue hill stone barns biochar

blue hill stone barns cabbage quince

We were presented with examples of Blue Hill’s biochar process. Then a few items prepared with the biochar. First a pretty effing delicious, dense, dark mix of squid, celery root, and charcoal. Then a badass wedge of cabbage cooked over biochar and topped with speck alongside an uninspired quince puree.

blue hill stone barns ricotta

blue hill stone barns whole wheat brioche

blue hill stone barns ricotta brioche

In-house ricotta. Whole wheat brioche. Kale and green vegetable marmalade. Black pepper. A welcome repeat from our last visit and a wonderful combination. Rich, fatty ricotta with sweet, vegetal marmalade, spicy black pepper, and toasty, buttery brioche.

blue hill stone barns broccoli cheddar

blue hill stone barns broccoli cheddar

Broccoli & Cheddar. A perfectly tender yet firm broccoli stem with cheddar foam, seeds, and sprouts.

blue hill stone barns fighter spinach

blue hill stone barns cod head

A marvelous little bowl of fighter spinach and seaweed along with a salty, meaty cod head. Rocky didn’t do so well with this fish, so I got the majority here. It had some glutinously gelatinous highlights. The eyes were particularly chewy and tasty.

blue hill stone barns parsnip bordelais

blue hill stone barns parsnip bordelais

Bordelais – parsnip ‘steak’ topped with bone marrow, fried egg, and bordelais sauce with accompaniments of creamed spinach, caramelized onion, and cabbage ketchup. The parsnip was nice at first but got tiresome. The egg and onions were nice. The spinach was fairly bland.

blue hill stone barns bread service

Bread service:  potato onion bread, local butter, corn salt, beet salt.

blue hill stone barns venison

Halloran Farms venison with brussels sprouts, cabbage, and caraway. Some quality cuts of gamey venison. The sprouts were amazing – nutty, almost sweet – the best part of the plate.

blue hill stone barns cheese cart

blue hill stone barns cheese plate

blue hill stone barns cheese

Another service cart rolls up. This time with a giant wheel of Rupert, an aged raw cow milk cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont. Our guy shaved several strips off the wheel and served them up with quince, pumpkin seeds, and rye sourdough pretzels.

blue hill stone barns parsnip sorbet

blue hill stone barns parsnip sorbet

Parsnip sorbet with lemon and charcoal. The tart lemon rind set off the sweet parsnip.

blue hill stone barns vanilla caramel birthday cake

A vanilla caramel birthday cake for Rocky!

blue hill stone barns honey tasting

blue hill stone barns honey tasting

blue hill stone barns seasonal honey dessert

Honey expressions. Three textures of honey from three seasons. Spring honey with carrot and tarragon. Summer honey with Carolina Gold Rice. Fall honey with pistachio. Quite a tasting. The summer and fall were dynamite. Presented handsomely in stacking dishes resembling honeycomb cells.

blue hill stone barns petit fours

blue hill stone barns mignardises

blue hill stone barns sourdough biscuit berry jam

A fairly serious spread of sweet treats. Sourdough biscuits with berry jam. Apple. Dried honeycomb with chocolate, stunning. Quince pate de fruits. Crispy, sweet dried carrots. Honey truffles. Blue Hill Oreos. Arugula meringue resembling needles in a haystack.

blue hill stone barns white chocolate eggs

White chocolate eggs with candy cap mushroom. These sounded interesting but were overly sugary and fairly awful.

blue hill stone barns dried fruit

Hazelnut ‘puppy chow’. Wheat clusters. Dehydrated slices of apple. Light, melt-away carrot chips. Cookie tuiles.

As I mentioned at the top of the post, it was a remarkably bubbly meal.

blue hill stone barns michel rocourt  champagne

My buddy Charles greeted us with some Michel Rocourt Blanc de Blancs.

blue hill stone barns jerome prevost  la closerie

We followed up with La Closerie.

blue hill stone barns vouette sorbee fidele

And then Vouette & Sorbée fidèle.

Chardonnay into Pinot Meunier into Pinot Noir. The sharp, crisp Rocourt was a nice treat to begin. Then two amazing bottles from my two favorite producers of the moment. What Jérôme Prévost does with Pinot Meunier on his tiny two hectare vineyard Les Béguines in Gueux is magical. And Bertrand Gautherot’s Vouette & Sorbée wines are consistently compelling show stoppers. Some damn sexy grape juice to celebrate my little lady’s birthday.

Date of visit:  March 2, 2014

Blue Hill at Stone Barns. 630 Bedford Road. Pocantico Hills, NY  914 366 9600



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