Friday night, I went to Blue Hill with a friend. I've read posts on this board about the restaurant, and was looking forward to the meal with great anticipation.
The reservation was at 9. Unlike my usual self, I arrived on the dot, my friend trailing a few minutes behind me. Since I got there first, I ordered a glass of wine at the bar. I'm very glad I did, because we did not get seated for another half an hour. By this time, I was starving. Famished. I don't like waiting, this is why I make reservations.
While the tasting menu looked tempting, neither one of us wanted to eat that much food. Everything on the menu looked absolutely divine, and it was hard to make decisions. But they had to be made. After ordering, we were brought an amuse - but oof, I forget what it was, the wine on an empty stomach was starting to get to my head. A basket of yummy chewy doughy breadsticks was also brought to the table, along with a crock of butter.
To start, we split the mushroom tartlette, which came divided on two different platters. It was simply exquisite, thin slices of mixed wild mushrooms delicately layered over a base of mashed fingerling potatoes. I regretted it when I came to my last bite, and regretted even more that we didn't each order our own appetizers so I could have had this one all to myself.
As a main course, while the poached duck looked interesting (I don't think I've ever had a duck that was poached), I instead ordered the grass-fed lamb, and was very glad I did. Slices of medium thickness, cooked perfectly so that they were done on the outside but still a lovely red on the inside, lay atop a sauce of curried chickpeas. I was slightly worried that the curry would be overpowering, but wanted the lamb enough to risk it, and I'm glad that I did. The curry was there mainly as an accent, and complimented the meat perfectly. Chickpeas were not mushy - I hate mushy chickpeas. My friend ordered the cod - I'm afraid I don't remember what accompanied it, but I had a bite and it was great. He loved it, and he comes from a family which owns a seafood restaurant, so he knows his stuff.
For dessert, I ordered the apple dessert - a terrine of hudson valley apples, served with an apple sorbet and creme fraiche. The terrine was layers of apples, caramelised and very sweet. The sorbet acted as a perfect counterpart, tart and refreshing. My friend got something (I am obviously bad at paying attention to what other people order) with a yummy pear sorbet (I tasted), a pear poached in something and chocolate something, I'm not really sure. I was too entranced with my apple sorbet.
Serving sizes were perfect. I left sated, but not full. It came to about $120 before tip, for 3 glasses of wine, 1 appetizer, 2 entrees and 2 desserts.
We were seated in the front room, which is dimly lit (but not to the point of having to squint) with low ceilings. Very noisy. It was hard to hear my dining partner at times. It is a vaguely more romantic atmosphere, but worked well for two friends who hadn't seen each other in a while and wanted to catch up. Service was excellent. It's a great date place, not really for large groups, but I would definitely return for any reason.