Here is another review in a series of the places that my husband and I dined at in late July on a long weekend visit to Manhattan.
We went to Blue Hill on a Friday evening at 9:00 pm. My husband is in the wine business and had received several restaurant suggestions from one of his New York wine colleagues; Blue Hill was at the top of the list. We also separately mentioned we were travelling to NYC to some friends that live here in Chicago now and a chef friend that used to work in Manhattan and they also really recommended Blue Hill. We participate in a community supported farm here in Chicago, so love eating based on what is in season and fresh from the farm.
So, to provide full disclosure, a couple of our friends/colleagues let Blue Hill know we'd be there, and we did receive some complimentary items. I did, however, also keep a close eye on the service that other tables received and it seemed to me that everyone was treated as if they were a special guest (in particular, I noticed two different occasions where they accommodated diners with seating requests). Staff were friendly and spent time with each table.
We were fortunate enough to have the chef cook for us, so we never looked at the menu. I know that this doesn't happen for everyone, but hope that my comments on dishes that I had might be helpful. I thought everything was beautifully plated: simple, but colorful and letting the vegetables and meats speak for themselves.
We had a round of initial amuse bouche that included: 1) simple fresh crudite with salt: a carrot, a cherry tomato, a gooseberry, snap pea and romaine--yes this was simple, but all the flavors were so refreshingly good. 2) a crispy bacon swirl 3) mini tomato and ricotta "burgers" on an almond bun (an intense burst of flavor) and 4) house cured salamis
Next we had a fabulous summer dish: tomato gazpacho with melon and peppers with a yogurt sorbet. I love gazpacho and this was a different take with the melon and pepper tastes.
Next a simple summer salad with greens, tomato, cucumber, grilled peach and herbs. It was a beautiful dish and the grilled peach was fantastic!
Next was one of the dishes that we'd been told to make sure to try. I believe they make it a little differently depending on the season. It was the "Today's Farm Egg" and this one was on top of corn, potato and bacon. Looking back on our weekend, this was one of the standout dishes (and we had a lot of tasty food.)
Next was a pork course: it included pork belly, shoulder, and loin. To me the loin was one of the best cooked and flavored pork dishes I've had in a while. The shoulder was accompanied by a mustard/pistachio sauce that is sat on and there was also radicchio and cherry sauce on the plate.
The final savory course was grilled duck breast with eggplant puree, eggplant and chili. This was not my favorite of the courses as I'm not much of an eggplant fan, but I'd had my chance to voice my allergies and/or dislikes and didn't put anything on the list, so they wouldn't have know that. My husband very much enjoyed it.
At this point, we were still drinking our red wine and the sommelier was nice enough to add a little cheese course to go along with it.
Finally, we ended with a watermelon dish that was a watermelon disk/soup with melon sorbet. It was a nice, light way to end the evening.
The wine list is diverse and focuses on organic or biodynamic producers that create wines which complement the style of the cuisine.
Overall, I thought the room was very comfortable, the staff was very warm and friendly, the food really let the fresh flavors shine through and was beautifully plated and I look forward to returning.
75 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011