Blue Hill @Stone Barns- how early?
Just made a reservation for 4, and I think we'll be doing the farmers feast. I've heard this should take about 4 hrs- is this accurate? Trying to gauge how late we'll get home, since we have a few hour drive.
Also, if we plan to tour the farm, how early before our 6:30 res. do you think we should get there?
For dinner, yes 4 hours is about right- my husband and I finish just under, with 4 most likely a little over. Also, if you are going all out for the feast I really recommend the wine pairings- they are always spot on, beautiful wines. (not sure if this mixes with a long drive @ about 8 pours per person so be careful)
As for the farm, it depends how much you want to see, the grounds are pretty big. I think I spent 1/2 day there my first time. Perhaps pick 1 or 2 things everyone wants to see, you could do that in about 1 hour. Watch your shoes- this is a big, muddy, dirty farm, and then you are going into a really nice restaurant. Everything is at least a 5-10 minute walk and it is not all paved. Have fun!
The wine pairings are rather expensive at (as I recall) about $75 per person. We're going at the end of July and I'm also concerned about the amount of wine as my DH doesn't drink too much and I would actually like to start with one of their special cocktails (and don't want to get totally sloshed). Do you think it's so much of an advantage to get the pairings (for an already expensive meal!)?
The pairing are definitely an indulgence, I think $75 pp is correct. My DH is probably more passionate about the wine than the food, so to find somewhere that does such an excellent presentation is a huge treat for us. (We have tried doing pairings at other Westchester restaurants and it was a total waste of money, I think some places serve whatever they are trying to dump)
However, I would say you will be totally sloshed by the end ;) It's A LOT of wine. To start with a cocktail, have a bottle of wine with dinner and perhaps finish with an aperitif is also a great way to go.
Ask if you can share a wine pairing between two people. My husband and I first did this at the server's suggestion at Eleven Madison Park and have asked for it at numerous top restaurants in NY and California. It is not an uncommon request in a place that really prides itself on its wine and food pairings as well as its service. Just tell your server that you would like to experience the tastings but that you are concerned about drinking too much and ask if they can split a wine tasting. They should give you each a half glass of whatever they are pairing with each course. Some places are more generous than others on the "half" pours.
Also, although the farm is great I agree with domestikate that you have to be prepared for a hike. Luckily in this season you should be able to see the chickens and lambs from the road without going into the pasture. However, unless you bring shoes to change, I would not recommend a hike into the woods to see the pigs. With an hour before your reservation you can easily walk down to the greenhouse to take a look around, then back up to the kitchen garden for a stroll before heading to the restaurant.