Inspired by the Blue Hill review below to post my own thoughts ... We also tried Blue Hill for the first time this past Friday night - we just moved into the neighbourhood - and had a mixed experience ... we did the tasting menu, paired with wines by the glass, and were absolutely blown away by the first three courses - all savory. A phenomenal scallop dish, followed by a striped bass, followed by some incredible lamb. Wine choices were also great - an interesting veneto white, followed by a provencal rose, followed by an outstanding California Barbera that paired beautifully with the lamb. It all fell apart there though ... next course, billed as a rhubarb soup, made no sense at all to us - yes we could see pieces of rhubarb, but we sure couldn't taste it. The soup had a flavor that was somewhere between frozen blueberries and red jello. The mint "sorbet" that accompanied had dissolved into an unfortunate sludgey consistency before arriving at our table.
The last course on the tasting menu was a chocolate bread pudding, which seemed like a strange way to conclude a seasonal tasting menu in july ... my wife isn't a chocolate fan though and said so at the beginning of the meal when we ordered the tasting - the server said no problem, the chef would be happy to do something more to her liking for the last course. Anyway, I had the bread pudding with caramel ice cream, which was fine if unexciting ... but here's the weird part - the server came after the rhubarb soup to ask C what she'd prefer for dessert. she said her ideal would be a cheese course, but if that wasn't available maybe something citrus-y ... like a lemon tart or something ... the server said she'd see what she could do, and we barely saw her again ... when the food runner brought the desserts, we were surprised when he brought her "strawberries and cream" ... it might have been good once but it had clearly sat in the hot kitchen for a while - the panna cotta (the "cream" component" had started to fall apart) and the strawberry granite had melted to mush ... again, I was wondering why, with such beautiful strawberries available, the pastry chef had done something that involved turning the berries into jam, freezing them into granita, etc... I mean we can eat "preserved" strawberries any time of year, right? incidentally, the wine pairings with the desserts - a wimpy beaumes de venise with the berries and an overpowering Australian Tokay with the pudding - were the least successful of the evening .... also no coincidence that at around the time we were puzzling over the rhubarb soup, the place had filled up and our server was working a huge section - including a party of 8 - by herself ... surprised to read below that blue hill offers a cheese course - if we'd only known, and had been able to end our evening with some fab cheeses and a sturdy red wine we'd have given our dinner much higher marks ... we loved the room, and were very impressed with the quality of service for the first half of our meal, before the place got to busy ...
Anyone else have a similar experience? Is the trick to not go on a busy night, or to stay away from the desserts? Or did our luck just run out after that fantastic lamb?