Blue Hill @SB, Jean-Georges, or Cru?
Four friends (one who is vegetarian) are looking to dine at one of the above places over the holidays. We are not the type of people who get to eat at 3 or 4 star restaurants often, so this is going to be sort of a one-of-a-kind experience (i.e. this will likely be the only time we eat at any of these 3 places). So given that 3 people would like to eat meat/fish and one cannot, that money doesn't matter for this one night, and that we do have access to a car (for the Stone Barns option), which would you choose?
Thanks in advance.
Blue Hill @ Stone Barns is a destination-worthy restaurant in the same vein as The Herbfarm (Seattle), French Laundry (SF) and The Inn @ Little Washington (DC).
That being said, both Jean-Georges and Cru are top notch restaurants by any and all accounts.
But I'd almost always choose BH@SB.
Depending on the night, you may have trouble getting a reservation at Stone Barns. I tried last week for mid-December and they were all booked for decent times (they start take reservations 2 months in advance). If you can get a reservation though, it's definitely worth the trip! My order would be Blue Hill @ Stone Barns, Jean-Georges, then Cru.
I'll be the dissenting opinion on BH @ SB. The night I went in October they kept us waiting almost 40 minutes without explanation, after we'd schlepped out there from the city and had our reservation for over 2 months. It put a damper on the meal for sure, and to be honest, while I really wanted to love the food (I do love the concept) I found our pastas, mains and desserts to be wholly unremarkable (the first courses and amuse, both of which made use of late summer veggies were great, though).
I also found the ambience oddly corporate/suit-y and stuffy, and much less "farm-like" than I'd anticipated.
In all, I was underwhelmed by the experience, and overwhelmed by the bill. I've since spoken to others in the biz (I work in the industry) and have found similar responses..
I vote JG.
Thanks for the input. I'm curious whether J-G could accomodate one diner ordering a vegetarian menu while the other three order various tasting menus. Is that possible, or does the entire table have to order the same tasting menu?