I've often tried to explain to you how lucky I am. I don't know what happened in a past life, but this one continues to treat me tremendously. The dinner that I had at Blue Hill at Stone Barns was the most elegant and (at twenty-plus courses, we stopped counting) definitely the most luxurious meal I've ever experienced. In a word? Epic.
How could I afford a farm-to-table restaurant like this? How could I even hear of such a magical spot nestled forty-five minutes outside of New York City? Who on earth would treat me to this decadent night of gluttonous desire? The one and only Paul. A man who repeatedly takes birthday celebrations to another level. There will never be an appropriate way to thank him, so I'll just have to outdo him come October 20th.
I was not at all joking when I mentioned that there were over twenty courses. We didn't even get bread until course nine! The plates began very modestly and tiny, then continued to grow and grow with no end in sight. I'll never know how we ate what we did that night. It's still sort of a haze. Here's one example of the beauty that we devoured.
When you arrive, you let your server know if you have any allergies and off you go. This place is not a restaurant, this place is an adventure. The menu changes with the seasons and whatever is at its peak in the season will be dominantly featured in the majority of the courses. We went in mid March, so we got beets. I know what you're thinking because at the time I thought it, too. But this night turned me into a lover of beets. It still feels weird to even say that. I don't know how to tell you how incredible everything tasted. I really wish I knew the words that would express how fresh and alive each course felt. It felt like hours of work went into each ingredient. God, the venison? Fuck. Never in your life are you gonna taste meat the way they cooked it here.
We even got taken into the kitchen to have a course at a table set up in there, which made me feel like a judge on Chopped (ie. better than you). There were over thirty people doing a billion things in there and it was neat as hell to see how a place like this could be run.
At the end of the night when the waiter came to our table with a birthday candle in a piece of cake, they had another waiter walk infront of him (blocking him) all the way to the table so that the candle wouldn't be visible. Is it just me or is that classy as hell?
Whenever I try to explain this night to anyone, I make sure that 50% of what I say will describe how amazing the food was - and the other 50% is devoted to the GORGEOUSNESS of the presentation of it all. I swear we probably saw one actual plate the entire night - food was instead served on slabs of heated rock, in eggshells, hanging from plants. I can't even begin to describe the dessert FOREST that was the finale. Does it sound like I'm making this up? It should, because these details are ridiculous AND WONDERFUL. I wish I would have taken more photos, but we were too busy enjoying it all.
I can only describe the experience as holy. Am I trying to say that my friend Paul is God-like? I guess I am. He's the most generous person I know and I'll never forget this night as long as I live.