I was on my way to Babbo last night when i walked past Blue Hill and decided to give it a shot...and I am very happy I did.
I have heard a lot of different things, how wonderful it is, how over-rated it is... and with all the hype the upsate farm has been getting, I decided now was as good a time as ever.
As you step into the room, it is a nice mixture of warmth and modern decor that isnt pretentious or stuffy, and doesnt try to be anything other than tasteful...... much like the food.
The low ceilings were my only qualm. It felt like you were being squashed.... but on to the food.
First the Amuse Brouche was a watermellon soup with goat cheese foam. It was a delightful combination, and wonderfully fresh, but the soup was a little over-sweetened and the goat cheese could have used a bit more kick. But it tickled the tounge and got me ready for the fresh pea soup with mushroom dumplings.
Absolutely delicious. A reduced vegetable stock with Peas that had been sweated (is that a term?) and sensuous velvety mushroom dumplings. The soup tasted as if the peas had been harvested while I waited and the dumplings were delicate oysterlike orgasims. Is it rude or a complement to lick your bowl?
For an entre I decided on the Braised and Roasted Pork. The Braised pork was the more flavorful of the two but tended to overpower the cauliflower and asparagus. Still the layer of fat, crispy skin, and perfectly done meat left me wishing that this preperation comprised more of the pork than the roasted pork did. The dried cherries and walnut salad did nothing for the dish and could have been left out.... this combo is way overdone (dont they serve it in a McShaker salad)
Anyways, I digress...
the roasted pork was slightly less delicious as the braised, but allowed more of the other flavors to shine. There was a perfect hint of celery root that was so subtle it took me about half of the dish to realize it was there, but it pulled everything together so well it was shocking and a pleasnat surprise on the palate.
For desert I had the cheese plate with three cheeses, of course by now i forget the names, but they were ok, except the conneticut soft goat cheese-ish one, which was wonderful. (im not a cheese guy so i dont even know how to begin to describe it) The three chesses were served with pickled ramps, greens, and raisin chutney, all of which were devine, but the pickled ramps rose so far above the others.. a totally different level. Paired with the Con. cheese, it was heaven.
The wines and the service were both wonderful and while I was sitting at the bar i moved over a few chairs to accomodate another group, which lead the bartender to pour me the Aus 2002 cockfighter freely all night.
To finish it off I had a pear brandy that was devine and not so subtley flavored by the pears... it was shocking how flavorful it was and long the pear lingered.
All in all a FABULOUS meal. I would reccomend it to anyone and I can not wait to get upstate to try the barns.
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