The Last of the Tomatoes at Blue Hill at Stone Barns *WITH VIDEO*

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I had a lovely dinner at the bar at Blue Hill at Stone Barns a couple of weeks ago. Sorry I’ve been remiss in posting about it, but the restaurant preview got in the way. We started with two well-made cocktails: a tomato water martini and a cucumber martini made with Hendricks gin.

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Here are some new beautiful plates designed by Laura Zindel that the restaurant started using recently. (Love ’em? You can get them in the gift shop at Stone Barns Center!)

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Now for the real show. Tomatoes were the star of the first half of our meal.

This is Tomatoes on a Fence. (I do love the serving pieces at Blue Hill.)

The ones on the right are Sun Golds. So sweet. I’m growing those, too, and they were prolific this year. I’m still harvesting. The ones on the left are Strawberry Tomatoes, a new variety.

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Tomato water gazpacho.

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So much flavor in one little sip. And can you see the little ice crystals? There was also a nice citrus note.

Maybe it’s the name of this dish — tomato burgers — but it almost tasted beefy to me. Another great serving piece, BTW.

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Pancetta-wrapped zucchini. The sesame seeds brought a note of nuttiness that was a great compliment to the vegetable — which was so tender and sweet I thought I was eating a zucchini flower.

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The next time I go to the movies, I don’t need popcorn. I’ll just take these green beans tempura. Crunchy and addictive.

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This silky smooth ricotta comes from Blue Hill Farm in the Berkshires. It’s no coincidence it shares a name with the restuaruant — Blue Hill Farm was owned by the grandmother of chef Dan Barber and his brother (and BH co-owner) David, and they spent many childhood summers there.

It’s the kind of ricotta you dream of: light, creamy, bouncy and crumbly all at once. Nothing at all like the stuff you might be inclined to slop over your lasagna noodles.

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Darn. (slaps forehead). I couldda had a ….

Stone Barns V8.

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Tasted just like it, but better!

Those were all the little tastes we got while sipping our cocktails. Then Thomas Carter, the new wine director, brought out a riesling for our enjoyment with first course.

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Wow. Just wow. Apply, but not in a sweet way. Lots of acidity, which went great with ….

Heirloom Tomatoes and Summer Fruit Salad with Watercress

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You know, tomatoes really are a fruit, right? You can tell with this dish. Tomatoes and the other fruits blended together beautifully.

Then we had a 2005 Monastero Suore Cistercensi Coenobium from Italy, made by nuns and overseen by Paolo Bea, as Thomas explains here. Press play to watch him! (Sorry for the low light.)

Download:

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The wine was lovely with the Summer Bean Salad with zucchini blossom, matsutaki mushrooms and green gazpacho vinaigrette … which you can watch being delivered here:

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Or check out a photo of here:

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I think zucchin and blossom are two of my favorite words when said together.

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Would you like to hear more about the wine? Watch as Thomas explains:

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You won’t want to miss this next video. The wait staff brought out a 30-pound chicken mushroom and explain how it was found. Plus, we got a look at some of the other mushrooms that were in the next dish. You won’t believe how beautiful they are:

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And then they brought the dish: Stone Barns Berkshire Pig, green house greens and this morning’s soft fried egg

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Can anyone possibly understand how much I love eggs in salad? Especially these eggs in salad? Especially in tandem with the mushrooms foraged by a wonderful man named Leo?

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Do you see the pork belly in there, too? This is quite possibly the most pefect dish. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life … it might just be this.

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Then Thomas broke out the big guns: Bordeaux.

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It was earthy and minerally and a great match for the pork …

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Rack of Stone Barns Berkshire Pig, quinoa, corn, pura cassava broccoli, and tomato eggplant purees:

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I really was so full by now, but somehow I was able to eat the dish, which, to me, epitomizes Blue Hill at Stone Barns. It’s deceptively simple, and showcases the distinct flavors of the season clearly and consisely. It’s of the land, no question.

Dessert fans are going to kill me, but I forgot to snap a photo of the last course: Stone Barns Melon Sorbet with Soft Goat Cheese and Stone Barns Melon.

It was not too sweet, but not completely savory or a cheese course, and was light enough that we were able to finish it.

I’m really glad I got to dine here in the height of the season. I would recommend you do the same.

Blue Hil at Stone Barns
630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills. 914.366.9600
www.bluehillstonebarns.com

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About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.

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