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Help me make sense of my Blue Hill experience?

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I had a disappointing experience at Blue Hill recently. But instead of writing a bad review I want your input so I can make sense of my experience.

The thing is my disappointment can simply come from unreasonable / inappropriate expectations, so it can be my fault instead of Blue Hill's.

So I want your thoughts on this: What should I have been expecting from Blue Hill? Why is it so highly regarded? What do you guys like about it?

I have read every single review on Blue Hill I can find on google (some before, some after my visit), but I would really appreciate it if you guys can be as concrete as possible. Until now I have only read things like "the lamb tasted so fresh" or "the porkchop was the best ever", which I find pretty vague and not useful to ground my own experience. What does it mean for the lamb to be fresh? What made the porkchop so good?

The more particular, concrete and specific you guys are, the better I can orient my expectations and experience.

Thoughts? Let's get the discussion started!

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  1. Okay, here's mine:
    1. The ambience of the place was appealing to me because it was not pretentious. The patrons seemed down-to-earth and I happen to like that.
    2. Our server was nothing short of wonderful. She was not only very knowledgeable, but pleasant and friendly to boot.
    3. The food seemed fresh and certainly was tasteful to my tasebuds. (I do admit that for me less is more.) I am not in the majority of those who prefer rich sauces and extra added things to my fish/meat/poultry. Simple, clean, tasteful and fresh to me is best. This I found in abundance at Blue Hill.
    4. Menu choices were appealing to me.
    Minuses: Perhaps the tables are a bit closer together than I normally like but not obtrusively so.
    Ditto the noise level, which was okay. (These are nitpicks)
    Lucky for me, I happened to have an "up" experience there and I will return until the time that it let's me down.
    But you, yourself never said what it was that turned you off. So what was it?

    1. i prefer the stone barns version and even with a relatively enjoyable experience, i still think the food took a back seat to the entire experience of being up there (out of the city, comfortable environment, nice room, great night). the food was merely okay.

      the village version doesnt have the other elements that i enjoyed about stone barns so we're left with the food. its not bad at all but it doesnt wow me whatsoever.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I also found Blue Hill to be underwhelming, and am interested in what people really have to say about the restaurant.

          1. I lived in San Francisco for several years and Blue Hill always reminds me of Alice Water's famous Chez Panisse. They also attempt to let the ingredients shine rather than using rich sauces and spices as mentioned above. I find that this works maybe 50% of the time. I've had great dishes there and then good dishes which I've liked but thought that I could have done myself on a good day. And I do love that they source many of their ingredients from their farm in Westchester. I tend to walk in on the weekends at closing time in very casual clothing (ready for a late night out) and they are totally friendly and professional. The staff is really knowledgeable about every aspect of the food. And the prices really aren't so bad. You know, it reminds me of the way Zagat has a separate favorite category. I think Blue Hill is one favorite restaurants, but not necessarily at the top of any other categories.

            2 Replies
            1. re: shane

              I agree with you Shane.
              Blue Hill is no Per Se, Jean George, _____________ (fill in the blank) and shouldn't be included in their company when rating first class, upscale restaurants.
              And as far as I am concerned, that is one beautiful comparison to Alice Water's famous and highly regarded Chez Panisse. I remember eating there many years ago and because I happen to enjoy healthy foods minus the heavy, rich sauces and spices, it would naturally make sense as to why I am enamoured of Blue Hill.
              I can also see how others into much more experimental or ambitious presentatiions, would not understand what the hype of Blue Hill is all about.

              1. re: idia

                I'd say Shane and idia nailed it.