Guess what I was surprised with for Valentine’s Day?
Special heart shaped donuts from Doughnut Plant [Creme Brulee, Coconut Cream, Ginger *heart*, Rosepetal *heart* and a Passionfruit] and a 50th Anniversary edition of Hello Kitty :] Best ways to this girl’s heart… thru her stomach and her kitty ;D The Hello Kitty is squishy and comfy and the doughnuts were even tastier than they were pretty!!!! Favorite of the bunch were def the tres leches and the coconut cream. I. LOVED. FILLED. DONUTS. Apparently he got me an Oatmeal Donut too [he knows my obsession with oatmeal] but they didn’t put it in the box. I bet he just ate it ;D JK.. maybe.
“Be my Valentine”
Okay, okay okay…. Ya’ll must know by now that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday *sarcasm* and was ready to boycott it… but……….. :] Things change.
I was surprised with an hour long drive to a farm for a special 8-course dinner at Blue Hill at Stone Barns all the way out in Westchester, NY. Now THAT’S planning….
Car rented, and trying to get there by a 9:30pm reservation – off we went on an adventure….. we actually got there, FREEZING, at 9 and immediately got seated…
We’re on a farm….
Hmm.. kinda funner to say “We’re on a boat…”
Kinda creepy late at night and in the winter… cozy but creepy.. especially watching the Ghost Adventures marathon the other day on Travel Channel… hahaha [sorry I don't really like the show, the main guy Zak is kinda douchey.. but I'm excited for the Salem episode this week... AND... I love creepy things - the Vday epi was mad cheezey tho, couldn't stop watching... it was filmed in my hometown :D] Oh sorry, tangent, onwards…
The Walkabout Map…
Must be SO gorgeous in the summertime :] Gonna make him take me here again… hahaha hopefully they have animals to play with… MOO. Cluck cluck. BAAAAA *sheep poo*
We got seated at a gorgeous and spacious booth and were handed the set menus for the special Valentines Day meal…
Now USUALLY, the just give you a list of ingredients and you tell them what you can’t or won’t eat and they’ll make a set menu for you.. but tonite was special. :] Waiter comes over, I nod and drool over the menu…. all is well, no changes for meeeee [aka no lamb or goat cheese] so All of the Above plus Wine Pairings…. :]
I loved the ambience… the restaurant was quiet [for once.. my mom always complains about how American restaurants, no matter how fancy, are super noisy] and very cozy. With high ceilings and a very cottagey feel to it.
“If we were stuck in a natural disaster or end of the world I’d like to be stuck here” – Z
Hard to see, but there were GORGEOUS huge vases of flowers as centerpieces in the middle of the room. GORG!
By the way, date was ninja and stole me the tulip as my Valentine’s Day flower after the dinner ;D SO Ninja. Stealthy.. melikes.
Before we continue I have to apologize for the dark pictures. But trust me, the ones with flash are tacky and gross looking. You’ll have to go on blurry dark and mysterious ;D And my descriptions… which are fantasmic [of course]
Amouse-BoucheFarro Crisps and Add-ons…
Lardo, Sweet Potato/Onion Chutney, Pork Confit, Ricotta and Butter…
They were soooo good.. crisp… I loved it most with the sweet potato and onions… omg so good.. the pork tasted a bit gamey too me and super asian… :] The ricotta just tasted like butter to me… haha…
…and they came with juice shooters to cleanse the palate
Grapefruit and another fruit… sorry forgot.. citrusy and sweet :]
First pours of champagne…
Z has been telling me about Blue Hill’s poached eggs and bread and butter since last year…. so even though the waiter said the bread didn’t come til 3 or 4 courses in…. Z, being Z, asked for some bread anyways… and did it live up to the expectations?
OH BOY DID IT!!!.. and then some… they were warm, crusty on the outside and chewy/soft on the inside…
PLUS, it came with the butter… a cheesy butter.. tasted cheesy, maybe an aged butter? AMAZING
STONE BARNS PANTHEr SOYBEANS
tofu, oyster, american caviar
Paired with: Schramsberg Brut Rose Calistoga, California 2006
I was surprised that the tofu came out speckled and brown… I wish there was more caviar in it… or more incorporated/tasted in it… they were scattered on the bottom. There was a citrus gelee on top [which I thought was caviar at first haha] which was kind of on the sweet side. The tofu was super tender and the oyster was really really fresh. Adored the soybeans – so good.
brioche, pancetta, spinach, leeks
Paired with: Vinatigo Gual Canary Islands, Spain 2007
How gorgeous is this? As soon as we got this dish, we realized we were sitting WAY too far apart, so he scooted on over to my side of the table :]
Simple yolky egg with a sprinkle of black pepper…
The pancetta was so fatty, salty and delicious….. the leeks were melted down and super fresh and leeky tasting… the spinach tasted just steamed and delicious. I liked my egg most with just black pepper sprinkled on top tho… the brioche was soooooo buttery and delicious tasting – I immediately lost interest in the other bread and wanted a loaf of this stuff. *sniffs it like crack*
“I’m getting full…” – Z
WHATTTTT?? My eyes bulged out… he also wasn’t super excited about the next dish.. that’s cuz he didn’t realize how amazing it would be… [btw he insisted he was just STARTING to get full... I blame the bread... but he ended up eating more bread anyways... and all of his food ;D]
winter flavors and textures
Paired with: August Kessler Riesling Trocken’Rudesheimer Bischofsberg’ Rheingau, Germany 2001
Olives, Ham&Cheese, Pickled Radishes
The greens were super fresh and delicious.. so crisp and clean tasting… bursting of flavor. I actually enjoyed the salty black olive puree the best with my bites of the greens… the ham & cheese were an interesting and delicious touch as well. Z ate most of the radishes [hahahahaha butthead] and tasted a sort of lemongrassy-ness to it [even tho it didn't have it, there were other elements that kind of mimicked the flavors], I didn’t tho and was expecting KIMCHEEEEEE… cuz I’m Corean ;D Obviously.. hahahaha [btw, I'm NOT Korean]
Honestly I could’ve done with more greens!!! You know me, I love my veg.. esp fresh veg :D
And then out came more breaddddd!!!!!
We found bunnies in our bread!!! We buttered him up with the cheesy butter and ate him up… I got the head/ears :D CHEEEEEEZY BUTTER… omg I want a whole stick of it right now… and that piping out steamy crusty chewy soft bread…. nom nom nom.. I should get back into baking again…
And finally.. some protein….
TURBOT & MAINE SCALLOPS
curried cauliflower, grapes, almonds
Paired with: Dirler Muscat Grand Cru ‘Saering’ Alsace, France 2005
The turbot was a lot firmer than I imagined/remembered it to be… perhaps slightly overcooked? It was extremely oversalted…. I adored the curried cauliflower with the grapes and the almonds on the bottom, it was cooked perfectly… the scallops were sliced thinly atop the turbot and panseared.. I had a few perfect bites that weren’t over-salted.. but me and Z both concluded it was too salty.
[btw, Z had warned me that their veg dishes were better than their protein ones.. and that they had a tendency to oversalt... curious]
BOURBON RED TURKEY CREPINETTEjerusalem artichokes, romaine, portobello, truffle
Paired with: A&G Fantino Barolo ‘Vigna dei Dardi’ Piedmont, Italy 2003
I loved this presentation. I expected REAL crepes.. but they were little deilcious turkey meatballs wrapped in different “wraps” as a “crepe”… L-R was romaine, pear [altho now reading the menu, I feel like it's artichoke? Still tasted kinda like pear tho.. *confused*] and portobello.. the brown sauce in the front was truffle sauce. SO good…. I’m not huge on sauces but I did a tiny dip and went left to right. I adored the portobello the most, bursting with mushroom flavor.. loved the sweetness from the pear and the brunch of the romaine…. can I just have it all in one bite? I adored the meatballs, I’m such a meatball girl ;D
Good thing we told our waiter ahead of time we like our steaks rare.. extra rare….. these came out a little more cooked than expected… which leads me to think that they’d be TOO overcooked if we didn’t say anything at all [strange that they didn't ask us actually, how we would've liked it cooked]
GRASS FED BEEFchickpeas, hummus
Paired with: Señorio De Peciña Rioja Reserva, Spain 2001
Beauty isn’t it? I didn’t enjoy the beef tho… and actually only ate a piece and gave the rest to Z… I loved the chickenpeas… but something was off about the sauce and the beef to me :T I couldn’t figure out the herb in the green pesto sauce but it was totally throwing me off taste-wise and I could barely stomach that one slice… sadness… I love cow…
BLUE HILL FARM YOGURT SORBET granny smith apple and celery gelee, noble sour vinegar
This was amazing. The yogurt sorbet was sooooo creamy and amazing.. Z and I were craving Red Mango after but it was almost past midnite so we knew we missed last call for Red Mango back in the city *sad* I loved how it wasn’t overly sweet and the subtle apple and faint faint taste of celery in the glee. Amazing. Simple always goes a long long way….
CHOCOLATE BRIOCHE granola ice cream, milk jam
Paired with: Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon Loire Valley France 1996
It was like a molten lava cake with lots of texture.. it tasted like healthy lava cake hahaha… the ice cream actually tasted like granola.. mind blowing… granola with raisins.. but NONE of it were in it *mind-blowing* I would like a pint of that please… or a gallon ;D
My double espresso ;D So I wouldn’t fall asleep on the ride home… hehehe [which btw, it did it's job quite well!!!]
We also got more desserts at the end.. chocolates and mini milkshakes…
Shiesty lighting, my apologizes again, but these chocolates.. completely hidden into the marble slab…. were delicious. They were little sandwiched chocolates… with chocolate :] Dark and velvety smooth and creamy on the inside….with the crunch of a thin hard chocolate on the outside.
Nice candle tho huh?
Picture by the fireplace…
Thanks for such a delicious Valentines Day ;D