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blue hill goodness

excellent meal last night at blue hill, followed by drinks at danny’s with kirk singing.

and, i’m surmising, thanks to the kitchen’s attention to food network’s tyler florence, we got extra courses to make up for the slow start in the kitchen.

thanks, tyler.

he was at the table next to us. much bigger in person than you might imagine. he’s a big guy. i wouldn’t have even noticed him–i was too busy scowling at his loud-mouthed tablemates. but kirk pointed him out, and he seemed charming and understated even though his five dining companions were a bit raucous. anyway, the kitchen kept sending out bites and noshes on skewers and such to his table, and i think that gave the kitchen a bit of a slow start.

not that we were in a hurry, so it didn’t matter. i love lingering over a great three-and-a-half hour meal.

so here’s the rundown:

started with a glass of kir. blue hill has disappointing kir…too watery for my taste. after i got this, i remembered not liking this same kir the last time. they need to upgrade.

amuse: shotglass of cauliflower soup with herbed cracker-y thing and roasted garlic cracker-y thing. very concentrated flavors–especially the roasted garlic cracker which had a sweet cookie-like texture and taste.

bonus course: hudson valley foie gras with toast, microgreens and apple tapioca sauce. this is what they sent out by way of apology for the slight delay in bringing out the first course as (my guess) they scurried around to impress food network’s tyler florence. loved the apple tapioca sauce.

first course: this morning’s farm egg, lightly poached with beluga lentils and celery root salad. wine–sighardt danobaum neuberger “spitzergraben smaragd”, wachau austria 1999. worth the wait. the celery root was a puree and there was also in the lentils tiny pieces of the most finely minced celery root you can imagine. those ingredients blended with the egg yolk very nicely…very creamy and good.

fish course: roulade of monkfish with winter vegetables, with jerusalem artichoke and lettuce sauce. perfectly cooked monkfish. he/she would not have been happier had eric ripert himself cooked him/her. wine: paul coulon domaine du beaurenard cotes du rhone chateauneuf-du-pape france 2004. great wine–very watermelon-y but, as kirk rightly pointed out, a rose that was served too cold. we let it warm up a bit.

meat course: flat iron steak with salsify and brussels sprouts and cranberry condiment. this tasted best when eaten as a whole–the cranberry condiment (unsweetened cranberry sauce with barely-cooked small whole cranberries added at the end of prep) wasn’t strong on its own but blended nicely with the steak. wonderfully caramelized salsify. brussels sprouts were just the leaves, not the whole intact sprout. wine: ocone aglianico del taburno ponte italy 2001–nicely tannin which went well with the bitterness of the cranberries.

palate cleanser next thingy: the first dish to pass the spontaneous giggle test. it was a glass of hudson valley apple gelee, topped with apple mousse and apple sorbet. the mousse provoked the giggle. it had that tang which makes the corners of your mouth turn up, and the giggle followed.

dessert: steamed cheesecake with dark chocolate and maldon salt. the combination of the sweet dessert and a really good chunky salt provoked the evening’s second giggle. great balance here. wine: quinta do infantado tawny port

espressos at the end.

we had a $50 opentable.com certificate (if you are going to make the reservation, you might as well get something for it) which reduced the total bill to $270 with tax and tip.

shocked at the price? it’s world-class food, it’s my anniversary, and the meal was worth every penny.

too indulgent? get over it. life’s too short not too splurge and enjoy yourself every one in a while.