Chef: Michael Gallina
Cititour Review: The organic, natural, local movement has made for some big changes in restaurants since its inception more than a decade ago: instead of the “best” ingredients – prosciutto di Parma or Roquefort from France – the concentration is on the best local ingredients: pea shoots that were just driven in by the farmer himself from his farm a mile away. With these limitations, creativity can take enormous leaps and bounds when inspired; such is the case for chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill restaurant, the New York branch of Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills.
As with any restaurant so closely tied to the daily market ingredients, the best choice here is the chef's tasting menu – this “Farmer's Feast” is made up of five courses inspired by the week's harvest, and has included such simple pleasures as This Morning's Farm Egg (18 à la carte): a perfect farm fresh egg with peas, leeks and pistachios or Stone Barns Pastured Chicken (36 à la carte). This second dish is one of many that tells a story: the chicken itself can be traced back to the very pastures on which it was raised; your waiter will be happy to fill in the blanks, or you can discover it on your own via the Blue Hill website.
Local cuisine has taken leaps and bounds in the past few years: what used to be a new age fad is now a serious undertaking in some of the most chic, unique restaurants in New York, such as this one. While the prices reflect the choice of ingredients – only the best can cost quite a bit – it's worth it. Elegant, understated décor is the ideal foil for food that reflects these same qualities: simple in its perfection, and, of course, delicious.
Review By: Emily Monaco
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
75 Washington Pl (bet. 6th Ave & Wash Sq W)
New York, NY