It Happened: Blue Hill at Stone Barns

by Marisa Olsen in ,

Well I can cross out one item off of my bucket list. Thanks to a generous gift from fellow Connecticut College alum, Will and I dined at Blue Hill at Stone Barns this past weekend. I purposely didn't capture many photos, as I didn't want picture-gathering to take away from the meal. I did manage to snap a few, albeit dark from the candlelit atmosphere. 

I can't tell you how excited I was for this wintry weekend away, especially after the withdrawal from the Asia extravaganza. Our experience at Blue Hill was top notch and certainly fits the bill as "farm to table."  We planned in advance (which is a must in order to get a reservation) and found a nice deal at the Tarrytown House in New York State.  
We also ended up booking a cab from the hotel so we wouldn't have to worry about the dark roads and too much wine. (I'd definitely recommend this mode of transport.) 

The arrival at Blue Hill was quite special. Guests drive up a long windy, road, and are greeted by an attendant who checks you in, and directs you along a brick path--lit by twinkle lights--to the restaurant. Upon entering the main building, you immediately feel like you're in someone's cozy, rustic Upstate home. A roaring fire was burning, votives filled the room, and there was an air of hushed excitement.  We sat by the fire, awaiting our table, and enjoyed a fancy cocktail. 
Once our table was ready, we sat in the main dining room that reminded me of a Martha Stewart photo shoot. The room resembles a converted barn with high ceilings, metal beams, tons of candles, farm-like vases, crisp white table cloths, and just screams refinement, elegance, and comfort.
Artisan-made ceramic pottery plates and wooden platters were delicately dolloped with small tastes of the farm and ushered to  our table. We tasted items as simple as cauliflower and radishes with a light vinaigrette, to farm eggs with bacon, to local venison with beets. The food was so utterly fresh, it's truly amazing. You can practically taste the dirt and I say that in a good way.
The service was also memorable (especially thanks to Julio). Every last detail was executed to perfection. For dessert, we were asked to "take a walk" and we were relocated to a winterized room, which was originally used as the milking room. We sat in this candlelit oasis and had a private dessert tasting with warm rye rounds with homemade jam, ice cream with hibiscus, and truffles. Our experience at Blue Hill  was one of the most memorable meals of my life. I highly recommend this splurge!

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
(914) 366-9600

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Mustard Roasted Cauliflower and Chick Peas

by Marisa Olsen in , , ,

So now that we are well into January, we're in the throes of post-holiday binges and healthy eating galore. As I look for healthy recipes, I find myself turning toward Gwyneth cookbooks. I found a roasted cauliflower with chickpea recipe, and decided to spice it up with whole wheat pasta to make this vegetarian dish a bit more hearty.

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Mustard Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Serves two

1 cauliflower, stem and leaves removed, roughly chopped
1 can of chick peas, drained and dried
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of spicy mustard
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
2 scallions, white and green part thinly sliced
1/2 package of whole wheat rigatoni
pepper (I used black and Aleppo)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a baking dish, toss the cauliflower and chick peas with olive oil and salt. Bake for 40 minutes.

Boil a pot of salted water, add pasta, and cook for five to eight minutes. Drain and set aside. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Add in scallions and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together roasted vegetables, pasta, and stir with mustard sauce. Drizzle with olive oil and add black pepper. Top with parmesan. Enjoy.