Blue Hill Review
I eat out a lot in Manhattan, but I have to say that my meal this past friday at Blue HIll was one of the best and most pleasing meals I've ever had.
We had a 9 pm reservation this past Friday for my birthday. The room has simple decor, muted colored walls and great lighting. The room was buzzing, even as we left around 12 or so.
On to the food...we seriously thought about doing the tasting menu but instead opted to go a la carte. The bread comes out hot and crunchy with deliciously slightly salty butter. I ate way too many pieces of the bread. We were served an amuse of a pureed parsnip shot which tasted like the chicken soup I make at home. It was a nice way to start the meal and a precursor to our whole meal: simple preparation and delicious results.
I began with the farm fresh poached egg with foraged mushrooms. Apparently the egg is poached for 90 minutes. When I broke it, the yoke flowed out and made a soup-y concoction with the mushrooms. It was fantastic. The dish truly encapsulated the earthiness that the restaurant seeks to showcase. My fiance was able to have the scallop clam chowder which was on the tasting menu and she loved it. It tasted like the sea. Scallops were perfectly cooked and slightly smoky which made the chowder delicious.
We were then brought a pureed broccoli soup with a gnocchi and ricotta with little bits of pancetta mixed in. We didn't ask for this; it was compliments of the kitchen. The soup was very foamy - it was so light and delicious and the green color was super-vibrant. I didn't know you could make broccoli taste so good, I usually find it to be a good accompaniment to dishes but never to be served on its own as a course. But this was great.
For an entree I had the poached duck with stewed carrots. The duck was so delicate and perfectly gamey. It tasted as if it were cooked sous vide, which it probably was. This preparation really accentuated the taste of the duck. In a word: amazing. My fiance had the lamb which was cooked perfectly medium rare and sliced very thin. I didn't have a chance to try it but it looked delicious.
Finally, for dessert we split the chocolate bread pudding and the apple crumb. The chocolate bread pudding was spectacular and tasted like a brownie souffle. It had bits of peanuts and salted caramels hidden inside. Absolutely delicious. The apple crumb was fantastic also and tasted like an apple crumb pie without the crust and came in a little staub pot. After, we were brought a tray of coconut crusted marshmallows and mint chocolate truffles. I liked the truffles better than the marshmallows, they had a bitter chocolate taste to start but once you bit into the middle it was mint chocolate goodness.
On top of the phenomenal food, the service was stellar, some of the best I've ever had.
Blue Hill, I see, doesn't get many reviews on here. I hope this one makes more people want to go. I cannot wait to go back.
I wholeheartedly agree with you. Blue Hill is my favorite restaurant in New York. It's not as splashy and flashy as some of it's rivals, but it consistently turns out delicious food and is all served with real flare from their exemplary staff. And I actually appreciate that it's a quiet little intimate "secret" rather than a spot that is sought after by scene seekers.
The last time I was there my amuse bouche was a shot cauliflower soup that I have been working hard to replicate ever since. (Nearly there!) And I had some really divine venison loin with roasted and caramelized root vegetables. Very simple preparations, really emphasizing the power of starting with excellent ingredients.
Oh my, that chocolate bread pudding is unbelievable.