In the last two weeks I have had omakase at Masa and Morimoto, mutton at Keen’s, everything at Degustation, dinner in the kitchen at GRatL and the dining rooms at Boqueria, Varietal and Klee, and the classic with cheddar at BLT burger, stopped into Cru for dessert and dessert wine, had delivery from Surya and Pio Maya, roasted a chateaubriand, broiled a sirloin, made truffle creamed chestnuts, and attended a Lynches Bagges wine dinner at Eleven Madison Park hosted by The Wine Workshop. I don’t say this to brag, I say it to illustrate that when I said to Wife “what would you like to do for your birthday?” I feel I was offering a wide variety of options, which would make her choice most telling. Given all the things we could have done, Wife’s inclination was for the humble little restaurant down the steps in the middle of Washington Place.
Wife is one of those special animals born and raised entirely on the island of Manhattan so it makes sense for her to choose Blue Hill; few things are as New York. An awkward space, probably better suited to a Laundromat, has become the sleek/comfortably contemporary little place where New York ingredients are celebrated by New York people at a level befitting the greatest city in the world.
Since my write-up last spring not enough has changed to merit a re-report, it is still one of the unique great ones the town has to offer. The only note would be that the room was a touch more crowded on this visit which I am sure can be attributed to the Times’ 3-starring during the summer, but the feel is no less authentic. If anything, the food is more confident, dishes less adorned, products allowed to speak for themselves even more. All I asked was that they feed us and here is what we got:
Acidulated purple cauliflower and green apple beet juice.
Beet chip and garlic cookie.
Blue Hill Stone Barns Salad.
Seared fennel bulb, toasted quinoa apple purée and green apple matchsticks.
Bass and buttered carrots and walnuts.
Lamb leg, chop, loin and belly on cracked wheat and artichokes
Green apples, green apple jelly and green apple mousse.
Pear & Almond Cake with red wine granite and cream cheese ice cream.
Quince Coupe Cranberry gelleé and granité with ricotta cream and candied almonds.
Chocolate Bread Pudding salted caramel roasted peanuts caramel ice-cream.