Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blue Hill Farm at Stone Barns

Spring has finally arrived in NY. In a matter of 10 days we went from barren post-winter trees to full bloom. Those 80 degree days a couple weeks ago gave Blue Hill Farm an early start on its asparagus season, the vegetable becoming a ubiquitous part of their 5-course tasting and in a matter of a few crucial hours the tasting became our newfound tradition for late April birthday celebrating. We gave up all control when we told them we were open to anything and everything. With that said, they strayed from our favorite rhubarb (shucks) and instead tested our palates with veal marrow and sturgeon caviar, delicious wahoo in a soup made from fresh garden greens and bouchot mussels, and the sleeper hit lamb's brain (sharing the same richness and texture of sweetbreads). Before the courses even arrived, we were given a taste of the garden then farm(s): fresh asparagus, carrots and turnips; asparagus terrine with goat cheese yogurt, topped with minced rhubarb and paired with a sweet riesling (this perfect pairing was described as a "no-brainer" by the sommelier, um, sure); Ronnybrook Farms butter, home-made cottage cheese and carrot salt served on warm country bread; sesame encrusted asparagus with prosciutto; venison sausage; that morning's farm egg with a thin slice of copa. At the last minute we went for the cheeses: goat cheese paired with minced apples (perfection) and a Virginia cheese (not as perfect) with dried fig, and washed it down with dark beer, which was a stretch for the sommelier (we thought it was a pretty perfect match ourselves).

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