Surprise Date Night

Last night, Kendrick surprised me by hiring a sitter and telling me to put on a pretty dress (I went for this dress, an Ippolita necklace, and the amazing Lena Erziak purse I won in a raffle at the Accessories Council) …and then taking me to a place I’ve been dreaming of going to ever since we stopped in to buy some fresh eggs on our first house-hunting trip in the area two years ago. (He was apparently planning this date for months, because where he took me isn’t exactly the kind of restaurant you just drop into.)

Stone Barns is an organic farm and educational center (and the place where I get my spatchcock chickens from), and Blue Hill is the restaurant on the property – it’s all seasonal, local, organic food, and the waiters get as detailed with the explanations as you’d like, even telling you the names of the farmers who they buy the products from. When you sit down, they give you a little booklet listing what’s being grown on the farm that month and ask you if you have any food restrictions, but other than that every dish is a total surprise when it comes out.

Anyway, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and completely incredible. Some highlights:

Pickled Ramp Gibson

Raw vegetables dressed in lemon and olive oil (weirdly, my favorite course)

Cutting our own pea shoots

Fresh-baked bread with butter, lard, celery salt, and carrot salt

Of course there were entree-type dishes as well (most notably scallops in parsnip risotto and bio-char cabbage wrapped in speck, oh my god), but my favorites were the small plates that came at the beginning. Partially because I was starving at that point, and by the time the sixth course (duck) rolled around I was in a food coma, but also because it felt like that was where the farm really got to show off what they do best.

A splurge? Yup. Worth it? YES.

Oh, yes: and romantic. So romantic.

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