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The Farmhouse at Bedford Post - Went Last Night

wincountrygirl May 28, 2009 08:11 AM

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary last night at the Farmhouse at Bedford Post. In all, it was a good experience, and Westchester does need a fine dining destination other than Blue Hill. However, although it has potential, the Farmhouse still has a bit to go. We arrived at the restaurant and saw a large open parking lot and no signs or attendants, so we parked ourselves. As we walked towards the restaurant a young man came out and announced that there was valet parking and he needed to re-park our car, so we gave him the keys and noted that there was nothing indicating that there was valet parking. OK, no biggie. The grounds are beautiful and the hostesses were gracious. We did not opt for the tasting menu, and my husband has a dairy allergy, so we explained exactly what he can and cannot have to our server and were easily able to come up with menu items that would not be a problem. Once we ordered our meal and our bottle of wine, we were presented with two large pieces each of homemade bread, one Harvest and one cranberry walnut, both delicious. After my husband had finished both pieces, the waiter passed by and said “oh, I should have brought you some olive oil” as he stared at the empty plate (had we needed it, we would have asked, but to ask if we wanted it at that point was a bit after the fact). The waiter brought over our amuse – a shot glass of puree of pea soup with a citrus gremolata. My husband inquired about dairy in it, and the waiter said – oh, you can’t have this. Ok, he forgot momentarily. He did go into the kitchen where they prepared a shaved fennel amuse for him. The pea soup was delicious and very subtly flavored. The gremolata added a nice kick. I did not order an appetizer, but my husband had the Crudo of Japanese Hamachi. It was excellent, delicate scented with Meyer lemon and that, again, was a great kick. I must go back to the wine service here. It seemed that almost every time I took a sip of wine my glass was refilled – it was a bit fast, like they wanted us to buy another bottle. For a main course, I had the Wagyu beef tenderloin in smoked butter with spinach, bacon and potato robiola fondutta, which was puree of potato with a foam of cheese on top. Let me say here that the tenderloin was good but I believe that wagyu tenderloin is no different from regular tenderloin, since the point of Wagyu is the marbleization and tenderloin has none. The meat was tender but lacked flavor and needed the smoked butter which was non-existent on my plate. (Sometimes because my husband can’t have dairy they assume they should leave it off my plate, too). By this time our waiter had become a lot harder to get hold of, so by the time he finally came over and got me some smoked butter – my food was pretty cold. That being said, the smoked butter was again, very subtle and very delicious. I did not taste any cheese foam on the potatoes, and they were really just run of the mill potato puree. The spinach was 2 leaves with a brunoise of bacon on top. There was also a roasted shallot. My husband had the Berkshire Pork which was excellent, with a mixture of onions and red peppers on it. It was served with a creamy polenta which they prepared especially for my husband without any dairy. After our plates were cleared we could not get our waiter for a very long time. He finally came over with the dessert menus and left. We did not see him again for about ½ hour. Luckily, the new manager was someone we knew so as we were talking she took our dessert order. My husband opted for a liquid dessert – a glass of port and I decided to finish the wine with mine. Remember how fast they were pouring at the beginning? We could not get anyone to pour that glass of wine and finally got the waiter’s attention who actually said to me “yeah, yeah, I know, wine, right?” So, I think you can see that service here is lacking. For dessert I had the donut sampler. It was the highlight of my meal. There were three little fresh, hot donuts – one cinnamon, one strawberry jelly and one with hot melted chocolate. It was served with scoop of vanilla ice cream in a coffee cup to which the server (not our waiter, but the person who brought the food) added some hot decaf espresso. It was a great touch, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (thanks Thomas Keller and the French Laundry – everyone is doing their own version of his coffee and donuts). After our meal we waited for what seemed like an eternity to find the waiter and get the check – which came with a plate of 4 chocolates. The meal cost us about $350 with the tip, and here is my problem. For that kind of money I expect great food, great service and a great ambiance. At this point, the Farmhouse has the ambiance and good food. Service is another story. While I think they have great potential, they are not there yet. Having eaten at restaurants like the French Laundry, Martini House in the Napa Valley, and even Blue Hill at Stone Barns, this meal did not rank near those. We will go back again, though and this time we want to try the tasting menu with wine pairing. Hopefully, we will get a better server!

  1. s
    sibeats May 28, 2009 09:23 AM

    Thanks for the report, I've been wondering about this place. I was looking at their website trying to find a menu, but could not come up with one. Do you know if it is on-line anywhere? That's a pretty steep price for the meal/service you described. Have they been opened long or still working out the kinks?

    1 Reply
    1. re: sibeats
      wincountrygirl May 28, 2009 09:32 AM

      They have only been open a few months I believe and I'd say still working out the kinks. The chef is very nice and passionate about his food. He was personally serving one couple their tasting menu and they were looking at options to have a party there. Here is a link to the menus.


    2. jfood May 28, 2009 10:52 AM

      Thanks for a great write-up.

      Jfood is wondering about the price point. The menu does not include prices and jfood was wondering about the prices for the apps and entrees.

      If you could give some guidance, jfood would appreciate it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jfood
        wincountrygirl May 28, 2009 12:30 PM

        I only remember a few specific price points, but the wine we chose was $125, my beef was $45. I think the pork was in the $30's. Generally the entrees ran in the 30's and apps and pastas in the teens. The tasting menu was $90/pp and if you wanted a wine pairing with each course it was $150. The number of courses on the tasting menu varies, I understand, but is approximately 6 courses plus little amuses in between. The whole table must participate and the chef does two different tasting menus for the table, so if there are a couple there, the gentleman would get one menu, the woman the other so they could taste both.

      2. BAFU May 28, 2009 11:07 AM

        I ate there in January with my folks and some friends and the bill was just jaw-shatteringly high. As in NYC prices but add in 20% "just because". We all had the tasting menu and while it was good, it didn't reach out and grab me the way a tasting menu at a comparable place (Le Bernadin or even Per Se) would. And the wine prices were just stupid...300-500% markup? Methinks that's not right...

        I would count on spending at least $100-$120 p/p for food and wine is just up to you. Suffice to say that even breakfast can run you $30...or more!

        2 Replies
        1. re: BAFU
          LW1 May 29, 2009 12:47 PM

          Per Se's tasting menu is $275 a head, which hardly compares to the $90 at farmhouse or the $125 at blue Hill.

          1. re: LW1
            wincountrygirl May 29, 2009 01:04 PM

            Right - and I think the tasting menu at the Farmhouse is reasonably priced. I was not comparing that as I have not had the tasting menu at the Farmhouse. I was comparing the food, because clearly , this venue is trying to be an upscale dining venue and in comparison to others I have been to, it doesn't stack up - yet. I still think it has potential.

        2. roxlet May 28, 2009 12:38 PM

          We considered this restaurant for our anniversary dinner, but decided to go into the city and revisit Chanterelle, where we have not eaten in a long time and where we have had many exceptional meals. We just didn't want to eat at another place with jaw-dropping prices without the food and service to justify those prices. It sounds like this is another such place, and I am really looking forward to Chantarelle on Wednesday, postponed from last week.

          18 Replies
          1. re: roxlet
            wincountrygirl May 28, 2009 12:48 PM

            I have heard wonderful things about Chantarelle. Let us know how it is!! Enjoy.

            1. re: wincountrygirl
              Dim Sum Diva Jul 1, 2009 06:04 AM

              We are headed to the Farmhouse this weekend. Has anyone been there lately, any updates? Also, we are not big drinkers, will we be treated like second class citizens because we won't be ordering cocktails or wine?

              1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                rikerspharm Jul 1, 2009 05:58 PM

                We were there last Fri eve - party of four. (Second time in 4 weeks) Hostesses were lovely, as mentioned. Seated us in the room to the left as you enter - table with children with mom on cell. Out of there - please! Seated us along the window in the main room - fine. Sullen waitress. Sommellier coudn't advise on the wine we selected. Honest but he never poured the initial taste - just poured the 4 glasses. Apps were OK. Entrees - three fish dishes, one meat - were room temp.
                Worse than all that was the noise level. Horrendous. Place was filled by 8:30 PM.
                Last visit we were only two and sat in the inside room which I remember as quiet compared to last Friday. Can't compare to Blue Hill and I live five minutes from Bedford Post Inn and so wanted it to be a place we could go to regularly. I see another Emily Shaw's in the making. Give it six more months and see-ya!

                1. re: domestikate
                  Dim Sum Diva Jul 2, 2009 07:49 AM

                  Wow. I usually like to take CH'ers comments "under advisement" but this seems like it would be a serious waste of hard-earned $$$. Do you think we should cancel our reservation and go elsewhere? I should also add, my spouse is not an "adventureous" eater.

                  1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                    wincountrygirl Jul 2, 2009 09:47 AM

                    I think you'd get better service and food elsewhere. it is a beautiful place, but so is Blue Hill and the food and service are superior. IMHO the food, ambiance and service are better at X20 and it's not as pricey.

                    1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                      domestikate Jul 4, 2009 06:52 PM

                      Well, I guess I was perhaps a little too blunt with my previous post (that is now gone), I am usually not a rant-er on these sites, so let me re-phrase:
                      Diva, IMHO, I would try somewhere else. We were very disappointed with the overall experience at Bedford Post.

                      1. re: domestikate
                        intrepid Jul 5, 2009 03:40 AM

                        we eaten there many times over the years, most recently in the newer space,room is pleasant looking, food is still pretty good, service is ok, not great, and yes indeed the noise level is bad, they need to work on that

                        1. re: intrepid
                          wincountrygirl Jul 5, 2009 04:04 AM

                          Yep, and I think that is the point. At this price, " pretty good food" and "ok service" are totally unacceptable, IMHO.

                          1. re: wincountrygirl
                            intrepid Jul 5, 2009 04:13 AM

                            hi, having said all that, i still will go back, I will choose to dine later in the eve, perhaps 930 or so,

                            1. re: intrepid
                              EIF1lady Jul 5, 2009 06:52 AM

                              I had lunch at the Barn several days ago and was disappointed. I must say the hamburger was excellent, but I don't know if it made up for the indifferent service and salad we ordered. We had the chopped salad, which was not really chopped, shockingly small(especially given the price) and was nothing special. I did not really care for the citrus dressing. I do not know if I will return.

                              1. re: EIF1lady
                                amypink Jul 5, 2009 02:57 PM

                                I had brunch at the Barn and I thought it was wonderful from start to finish. Cheerful,unpretentious service,sweet to my kids,etc.The food was so delicious,poached egg perfection,bloody mary done perfectly,and homemade donuts!All served on a gorgeous patio surrounded by lush greenery and flowers.I can't ask for more...

                        2. re: domestikate
                          wincountrygirl Jul 5, 2009 05:40 PM

                          I'd love to know what you said!!!

                        3. re: Dim Sum Diva
                          domestikate Jul 5, 2009 04:54 PM

                          DimSum Diva: Can't wait to hear what you decided...did you end up going?

                    2. re: wincountrygirl
                      roxlet Jul 6, 2009 05:20 AM

                      winecountrygirl, Chantarelle was fabulous, as usualy, but we also had another lovely celebration dinner at X20, which is my new go-to place in Westchester for a special and delicious meal. The service had improved dramatically from the last time we were there, and it was nice to see Peter Kelly in the house.

                      1. re: roxlet
                        Dim Sum Diva Jul 6, 2009 07:43 AM

                        Okay, I know I am going to take some flack for this from certain CH'ers, but I did cancel the reservation, it just didn't seem worth it. We ended up going to Morton's Steakhouse and having the steak & seafood "deal". For $99 (total), we each had a salad (ceasar or house), steak (filet), seafood side (scallops or shrimp) shared 2 sides (veggies/potato), and each got a dessert (key lime pie or chocolate lava cake). You know what? It was plentiful, and it was good, cooked perfectly and it was just what my spouse wanted. You can find the special on their website, but not on the menu when you get there (you print a certificate from the web site).

                        1. re: Dim Sum Diva
                          BAFU Jul 6, 2009 07:50 AM

                          No flack here. Morton's may wrap their steak in plastic (ewwww) but it's good meat. $99 for 2 sounds incredible given the amount of food you were able to get. Thanks for the tip!

                        2. re: roxlet
                          wincountrygirl Jul 6, 2009 09:12 AM

                          I personally don't care for Morton's steaks, but the place is nice as is the service and you were probably better off for the$$

                          1. re: roxlet
                            wincountrygirl Jul 6, 2009 09:13 AM

                            I need to try Chanterelle. Glad you also enjoyed X20. I like Peter Kelly a lot - always nice to see him out and about!

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