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blue hill stone barns - report

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blue hill stone barns - report

queue | Oct 11, 2005 08:39 PM

Here's a report on my meal at BHSB two weeks ago (sorry it's not more recent, I left for vacation two days after the meal and haven't had a chance to post until now). Thanks to those who responded to my original post.

Let me say outright that I enjoyed the meal but was not blown away. Perhaps my expectations were too high. I was REALLY into the concept of the place (actually, I still am). Or perhaps we should have ordered the tasting menu. Or maybe it was the excruciating drive home that took the edge off (we ended up borrowing a friend's car for fear we would not make the last train).

For cocktails we had the purple basil mojito and elderflower champagne cocktail. Both very good, in particular I loved the champagne cocktail.

Amuse was a shot of smoked tomato soup - this was very good.

For a first course, we had the salad with poached/fried farm egg. As others have reported, this was a wonderful salad and a highlight of the meal. The egg was amazing, wonderful mix of baby greens, and the pistachios were a nice touch.

Our other first course was cavatelli with dried and fresh basil & roasted & confit tomato. We had to send it back because the cavatelli was undercooked - actually crunchy in the middle. The sauce was very good but the cavatelli themselves (even the corrected ones) were not as good as the ones at, say, Enoteca I Trulli.

For second courses we had the chicken and pork (we wanted to stay with meats actually produced on the grounds - the lamb was local but not produced at stone barns). The chicken was interesting - a deskinned chicken breast cooked sous vide, over a succotash-like medley of corn, lima beans, and chanterelles. The chicken had incredible purity of flavor and the texture was melting. The dish had VERY subtle flavoring (if not for quality of ingredients, one would say "bland") - hard to adjust to after the cavatelli, which were quite robust. I am not remembering the pork dish very clearly anymore. I seem to recall a lot of disparate ingredients that did not come together into a unified whole. Though the quality of pork was, of course, superb.

We also had a side of roasted corn & lemon-thyme, which was excellent. I am definitely going to try this at home (probably will have to wait until next year, unfortunately). They brought us a few extra sides of spaetzle and carrots napoli (which were kind of sweet and soft - maybe cooked with coriander?) to make up for the undercooked cavatelli. I thought this was a little odd, personally I would rather have been comped cocktails or dessert, rather than been given free sides I didn't order).

Despite other posters' comments, we really enjoyed the dessert. Unfortunately, I can't remember it in any degree of detail. It was a fruit based dessert with an interesting ice-cream accompaniment.

For wine we had a cru julienas, and I'm blanking on the producer and year, which went quite well with everything and was one of the more modestly priced bottles. The wine service was very good. The wine list itself was adequate, comprehensive but not particularly interesting. Markups were at the high end of what I would consider reasonable (about 150%). The final bill was about $250 for two.

Let me say again that the drive home was incredibly painful. I would not want to do that again.

Overall, although it was a good meal - with several memorable components - it did not wow. Maybe they take themselves too seriously? I would be interested to return, but only if someone else is doing the driving.

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