Blue Hill at Stone
630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, NY
Dinner at Blue Hill is an experience. The focus is on
sustainable food grown on the property and other nearby farms. Guests are
presented with four menu choices, which are essentially the number of courses;
4, 5, 8 or 12. That’s it. The food then begins to emerge from the kitchen in
multiple morsels of pure delight. Almost all of the courses are quite small, so
it is never very clear where the amuse-bouches end and the actual menu starts.
Suffice it to say you should not be in a rush if you go to dinner at Blue Hill.
The menu changes daily, so trying to recommend one or more dishes is a futile
exercise. Eating at Blue Hill is an experience best approached with an open
mind and palate.
Wine Director Thomas Carter oversees one of the best and
most interesting lists in the greater New York City area. In practically every
major region, Carter features hard to find artisan growers of the highest
level. Maybe it’s a question of compatibility, but for just about every region,
these are precisely the types of wines I want to drink, especially with this
food. Champagne, Burgundy and German Riesling are among the strengths. A handful
of carefully chosen aged Riojas that are rarely seen these days will reward
those who take the time to go over the list with care. Carter also offers an
extensive selection of artisan beers and ales. Although I am not intimately
familiar with handcrafted beers, I can certainly see how they would be fabulous
with the food at Blue Hill.
I never miss an opportunity to drink one of Cédric
Bouchard’s wines when I see it on a wine list. I had a pretty strong suspicion
the 2007 Rosé de Saignée Le Creux
d’Enfer would be tightly wound, and it was, but it was still a thrilling
wine to savor with our first courses. Miani’s
2009 Sauvignon Saurint seemed to fill the entire room with its
extraordinary bouquet. World-class all the way, it literally burst from the
glass with the most exotic, seductive Sauvignon aromas and flavors imaginable.
Every year, I take my full allocation at Miani, and am rarely disappointed. On
this night, the 2009 Saurint was simply stunning.
Two wines from Domaine Leroy fell short of my expectations.
The 1998 Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux-Monts
was quite attractive, but it was the Leroy style that came through most, rather
than a true expression of Beaux-Monts, one of the great sites in Vosne-Romanée.
The 2003 Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremières
was enigmatic, at best. It remained heavily reduced and totally muted over the
several hours we followed it.
Things took a turn for the better with a stellar bottle of Domaine Dujac’s 1980 Clos St. Denis.
From one of the most overlooked vintages in Burgundy, the 1980 Clos St. Denis
hovered on the palate with sweet mint, perfumed fruit and the silkiest of
tannins. It was pure class, but also fully mature and at its peak of
expression. The same can’t be said for the 1999
Clos de Tart, which came across tightly wound and wiry. I loved the purity
of the fruit, but this is a bottle that was opened a few years earlier than
would have been ideal. Readers holding the 1999 are in for a treat when the
wine enters its early maturity.
Smoked Tuscan black kale
Sliced winter fruits and root vegetables
Stone Barns egg carbonara
Red beet burgers
Salsify with sesame and pancetta
Cranberry with Stone Barns pork jowl and bok choy
Leeks with Maine scallops
Blue Hill Farmers Cheese with plums and bone marrow
Brioche with Swiss chard marmalade and Blue Hill Farm
Homemade Berkshire pig charcuterie
Biocharred #502 squash with chicken liver, smoked apple and
Smoked Maine lobster
Sweet potato ice cream
Peanut butter sorbet with strawberry jelly
Cédric Bouchard –Roses de Jeanne Rosé de Saignée Le Creux
Miani Sauvignon Saurint
Domaine Leroy Vosne-Romanée Les Beaux-Monts
Domaine Leroy Chambolle-Musigny Les Fremières
Domaine Dujac Clos St. Denis
Clos de Tart
[Photo and credit: Blue Hill at Stone Barns]