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photos by gluttonforlife

10.17.12 Whey To Go

Last week, G and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary over dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a fascinating restaurant previously written about here, here and here. We were joined by G's sister and her husband who were celebrating their twelfth. We'd all eaten at the restaurant before—multiple times, in fact—and while we were excited for the 8-course tasting menu, we also faced it with a bit of trepidation. We worried about stuffing ourselves sick, and were slightly aghast to be worried, given the amount of money we were poised to fork over. High class problems, right? No doubt about it. Despite having a beautifully prepared meal that delighted us to no small degree, we all came away questioning whether we ever wanted to eat that way again. It has begun to seem too rich, too precious, too prolonged. So I felt a sharp pang of recognition when I came across this recent article in the New York Times. (Don't miss the equally illuminating and entertaining reader comments!) It explores the current state of the tasting menu in elite restaurants across the country, and from it I can conclude that we are not the only ones disenchanted with the onslaught of dishes and the equally overwhelming prices. That said, I found much of what I ate at Stone Barns to be extremely inspiring, including these divine onions slow-cooked in whey.
Tagged — Stone Barns
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photos off the interwebs

9.28.11 Stoned Again

It seems that birthday celebrations call for Stone Barns. And not just birthdays—the place is thick with tipsy bridesmaids and full-on wedding parties. You may recall that last January I chose to turn 48 within its glorious confines. G and I dined there recently with a group of friends to fête the marvelous Matthew on the occasion of his 50th. Each of the three times I've been in the last 18 months have been revelatory experiences; not only the food, but the service and the ambiance elevate this restaurant above most others. It's part of a multi-million dollar farming, education and hospitality enterprise, and much of the food served is raised on the grounds or locally. This summer, I was lucky enough to get a little window into the kitchen when my sister-in-law secured an externship as part of her program at I.C.E. In lay terms, that means she worked there. She assuaged my jealousy by religiously recounting tips, techniques and stories from behind the scenes at one of this country's finest restaurants. It was almost as good as eating there...
Tagged — Stone Barns
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all images taken from Stone Barns' website

1.24.11 Everybody Must Get Stoned

It was my birthday on Saturday and I had the great fortune of celebrating with friends at Blue Hill, the restaurant at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills. You may remember I wrote about another delectable meal I enjoyed there back in May. In a perfect world, I would eat there four times a year. The menu is linked to the seasons and what is grown on the farm—beef, pork and lamb included—and sourced locally. Stone Barns is a beautiful and fascinating place, an educational center as well as a non-profit working farm and a fine dining restaurant; please visit their websites (here and here) to learn more about the many things that go on there.
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the picturesque barns are indeed made of stone

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5.13.10 It Stoned Me

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Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills
Last night I dined at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the much lauded restaurant that is at the heart of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. The restaurant sources pristine ingredients from the surrounding fields and pasture, as well as other local farms, and some farther afield--including the Barber's own family farm in Great Barrington, MA, also called Blue Hill, where it all began with their grandmother. There are just two tasting menus available—5 courses or 8—and the menu lists only a long series of ingredients (more than 100), so that diners can see the palette with which the chef Dan Barber is working that day. He is deeply invested in building flavor literally from the ground up. I once saw him speak about his attempt to grow carrots flavored with almond. (It didn't work.) This is seasonal, farm-to-table eating in locavore heaven. Their websiteis very deep and rich, and you can lose yourself for ages there reading fascinating stories and watching wonderful little videos about their eclectic providers (the mushroom farmer, the berry guy, etc.). I recommend a visit—to the website and the restaurant, and to the farm, for that matter.
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chefs at blue hill forage in their own fields

Tagged — Stone Barns