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May 8, 2008 05:58 AM

Blue hill NYC, still worth it?

Anniversary (very soon) dinner with lovely pregnant wife. SO a nod towards some organic and healthier choices maybe.

Thinking of:

Blue Hill, NYC because we have been to the one at Stone barns and LOVED IT. But is the food just as good at the city location? Ive also heard the seating can be bisto style cramped and no privacy between you and the table 6 inches away.

Pure wine and food because even though we are omnivores we have found this place to be delicious, well done and nice decor. Haven't been in 2 yrs.

So what do you think of Blue Hill and if not there, where?

Thanks in advance for all the help.

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  1. I've never been to Stone Barns, but my family has and loved it. I've been to Blue Hill NYC and had a wonderful meal. We got the tasting menu last year and it was such a clean, thought out, honest meal. Nothing too fancy, but all the ingredients were top notch. We were fortunate to sit in the back room in a quiet corner and it made the night even more special.

    1. i recently went back(two weeks ago) after having not been in two years. have to say that i had one of the best meals in a long time. had the chef's tasting menu and everything that came out of the kitchen was delicious, fresh, and vibrant. i definitely recommend this place.

      1 Reply
      1. re: artfuldestruct

        What a coincidence! My wife and I are thinking of going there for our anniversary, in June. Now I'm convinced. Thanks. How far in advance do you reccommend I should make a reservation for June 13th?

      2. I adore Blue Hill - both Stone Barns and here in NYC. But the NYC restaurant is indeed cramped, a sense enhanced by the low ceiling and basement location. The food is spectacular, but I don't think my wife and I would go there for our anniversary. It doesn't say "romantic" to me in any way (though Stone Barns does, obviously).

        Other thoughts (though your healthy, organic request is being somewhat ignored):

        - Eleven Madison Park
        - Cru (I didn't enjoy my meal there a few years back, but I'm clearly in the minority on that one)
        - Del Posto (highly, highly under-rated in my opinion, and a gorgeous room)

        Congratulations on your baby! I have an 8-month old and it's just the greatest.

        2 Replies
        1. re: binkis

          I have to say Blue Hill is one of the best meals I have had in NYC - on a very short list.
          Spectacular is right. But yes, reservations should be made well in advance.

          1. re: dwaves

            I have been to Stone Barns and found it to be fine, but not as great as everyone brags it is.
            Never been to the NYC branch

        2. OK, have to come clean here. Yesterday was our anniversary and had reservations elsewhere but starting getting cold feet after seeing and hearing some off putting reviews.

          After seeing your comments in this thread I called Blue Hill around noon and asked for an early reservation (pregnant wife), also asked for the garden room since someone in here said it was the better spot. Reservationist said 530pm was available and perfect for us in this case. Also said the garden room was closed for a private party. She said that in fact the front room was roomier and more quiet. i said fine but we did not want one of the cramped and no privacy 2 tops along the wall which had gotten bad reviews on CH. She said fine and would give us a quiet corner with room for wife to get up with ease for frequent visits to the bathroom.

          So, we arrive at 530pm to an empty room. So weird to be at such a nice place at 530pm and the first table seated. They sit us right in the middle of the two tops row along the wall opposite the bar. We figure, what the heck, she probably has no one on either side of us so thats cool. Wife has to sit with back to room so she can get up as needed. Sucks but she was fine with it. Well, within 30 minutes we were closed in on both sides. People on one side were sweet older ladies who chatted us up and very nice. Other side was a stuffy stuffy couple annoyed at the wine selection, whatever.

          Food: We had the tasting menu and I got the wine pairing. Loved it. Clean, fresh, interesting. The "Coffee and Cream" dessert was the most amazing thing. coffee on the bottom with alternating layers of whipped cream and chocolate cream topped with chocolate cookie crumble. The " Morning egg" dish was out of this work, same for the pork dish although ive had enough of Berkshire pork. I think the trend should die before Mcdonalds starts to offer it.

          The wine pairing was phenomenal and unusual picks. Actually enjoyed it more that the food for its flavors, complexities and regions. They were all on the sweet side but I guess that is because of the dishes being served and the season.

          Service was top notch and the room is lovely. Small and low yes but clean, proportioned nicely and nice decor / lighting.

          All that being said, as we walked down the street and around Washington square park, we realized that it was an awfully expensive meal and not sure just how blown away were by the dishes. I do have to say that as a chef I cook pretty well at home and we do try some great places so maybe we are a bit jaded. But we do not make a habit of dining at 4 star restaurants and we cant afford to on a regular basis.

          It's just that once we were out of the environment we felt a bit at a loss. Not sure really how to describe it. We also talked about how our forays into ethnic family run places often produce wonderful surprises and a fraction of the cost and in it's own way the food can be better than any 4 star place around town. So maybe that was it as well.

          Thank you all for the input. We really did love it and would recommend it to anyone. But if you have been feeling the same way of late then maybe not.

          Aside from the reservationist / hostess screwing with us in regards to seating the whole thing was a hit.