When I started planning this East Coast Roadie, I started plotting destinations on a map. What I realized very quickly was that along the route was a very special restaurant, one that I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I put my nose to the grind stone and worked my magic to get a Sunday afternoon reservation which worked perfectly into the road trip plans.
A visit to Blue Hill at Stone Barns (as there’s a Blue Hill in Manhattan as well) is considered by many food lovers as a pilgrimage to Mecca. First of all, it’s not located anywhere close to anything, so you’re making a trek to Potantico Hills, NY just for Stone Barns. Secondly, the experience isn’t just about the meal as your visit should include time before/after to walk around the farm to gain a connection with the land. It may seem frou frou to some, but I like these types of educational adventures that allow me to gain a better understanding of food.
We set off on a sunny Sunday, from Philadelphia to upstate New York, for an afternoon of food education on lands formerly owned by the Rockefeller’s now known as Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
Any visit to the restaurant should be accompanied by a visit through the grounds of Blue Hill, also known as “the Centre for Food and Agriculture”, if not for the educational piece, but definitely to work up your appetite for the meal ahead.
What you learn on your visit is that the food from the restaurant is closely tied to what is being produced on the farm. So the animals that would end up on your plate, were the ones living a wonderful life outside, and the fruits and vegetables we’d see growing in the fields, would be picked at their peak and prepared for us with a gentle hand. I’ve read a lot about Chef Dan Barber, and have seen his TEDtalks on youtube and fully buy into his philosophies behind creating a consciousness about the effects of everyday food choices and food sustainability and his theories behind the connection of local food sources and the creation of delicious food. After an hour walking around the farm, and recounting many of Barber’s interviews, I was very excited when it was finally time for our lunch reservation.
The inside of the restaurant was gorgeous, fine work for the former stables on the Rockefeller estate. We were seated at a lovely table overlooking the room with a glass of bubbly.
Again, I’ve waited too long to write this post, with no notes as a reminder. I’ve done my best to remember the specifics of the meal.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns was an amazing experience. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve had all year but I have set the bar very high as I have been very spoiled in this year of eating. As I ate through many courses of skillfully prepared, beautifully presented, simply delicious food I felt the pride of the chefs who were able to do all of this with ingredients outside their door.
Blue Hill at Stone Barns – 630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills, NY