The Ultimate Soufflé

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Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pontico Hills, NY – The Ricotta Soufflé

Once upon a time, back when Blue Hill hadn’t jumped the shark yet, you could still order from a menu. And once upon a time on that menu lived a dessert the stuff of fairy tales. Like eating a cloud filled with dreams, whipped into a poof of fluffiness that would even make a Pomeranian jealous. I think it’s safe to say that this is the crowning achievement for eggs and chickens alike.

L’Affable – Cannes, FR – Grand Marnier Soufflé

As Grand Marnier soufflés go, they all could pretty much pass as Ultimates, because A, they’re soufflés. And B, because they have booze in them. But not just any booze, a light, citrusy booze with notes of spice in it that warm the cockles of your soul. Or maybe that’s just the residual heat from the oven still trapped in the ramekin. Well, whatever it is, this particular GM soufflé manages to just barely top the previous frontrunner, Capo in Santa Monica (formerly on the list). It’s just that indescribable X factor. That 1% more fluffiness. That sensational whipped crack they put on top and that drizzle to follow, like a one-two punch and game, set, match. Yes, I’m aware that I just mixed boxing and tennis, but you have to admit, that would make for a VERY interesting new hybrid sport.

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The Ultimate Setting

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While you can’t eat necessarily eat your surroundings, with the exception of that room in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a true foodie must admit that it can be quite integral to a dining experience. So, this Ultimate is an ode to the clothes that make the man.

Chevre d’or – Eze, France

Set atop the picturesque castle town of Eze in Provence, this restaurant makes you feel as though you are attending a royal feast, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from your medieval perch. Think Game of Thrones meets Michelin Stars.

Surrounded by such absolutely stunning views, it’s hard to imagine that anything else could possibly compete, until the food arrives, with presentations that are equally mesmerizing in their own right.

Even the parking lot is jaw-dropping, loaded with Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and Aston Martins.

 

Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, NY

It’s tough to compete with the South of France, but a 1000 acre Rockerfeller farm estate isn’t exactly something to sneeze at. And by farm I mean the poster child for farm to table. Quite literally the ingredients come from the farm just outside your spectacular dining room window.

But what makes the dining room so extraordinary isn’t just the view of the farm. It’s the beautiful marriage of old and new. On the outside, the stone barn building feels like it did centuries ago, having been lovingly preserved all of these years just for foodie-kind. But on the inside, oh on the inside it’s even more beautiful if that’s even possible. A minimalist, modern twist on farmhouse décor, with gracefully bowing iron beams that arch their backs over you head. Soothing earth tones and wood meet soft white walls adorned with art. And then come the platings. A masterful clinic on presentation like you’ve never seen. Custom made trellis arches show off their bountiful garden. Planks of wood boast an arsenal of spears, each skewering a different treat. I could go on and on and on, so it’s probably just a good idea for you to just make a reservation at this point.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Rd. Pocantico Hills, NY 10591 • (914) 366-9600bluehillfarm.com

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This is without a doubt the best restaurant in Westchester. Top notch from food to service to a decor that simply cannot be matched. But let’s not limit it to the suburb of Westchester. This place is world class.

First, the decor is beyond compare, situated in an old stone barn located on a 1000 acre working farm and former Rockefeller estate. As a result, it is also one of the purest farm-to-table experiences you will ever encounter, because said farm is literally right outside your dining room window.

And speaking of the dining room, it so beautifully done you can’t help but notice the modernity paying homage to the building’s purpose in a former life.

But this looker is also one of substance, because head to toe, they don’t miss a trick. Phenomenal service every time I’ve been, which is at least six to ten times, stellar food and a sense of presentation that has grown over the years to what can only be described as a culinary journey.

It starts with a custom-made mini trellis placed before each guest, decorated with fresh weeds from the garden. Yes, weeds. These are to be dragged through herbal spreads, also created with ingredients from the garden. Is this course delicious you ask? Well, it’s not bad. But the novelty of eating weeds and actually finding that you enjoy it makes it worth the price of admission. But the journey is only in its opening credits, so don’t get worried just yet.

Some stand-outs worthy of note in their very seasonally-oriented, ever-changing menu (should your visit happen to coincide) would be their ricotta souffle- so incredibly light it was like biting into a cloud. Another memorable dish was the foie gras consumé – just perfection in a bowl. Even a frequent amuse bouche of theirs makes my all time favorite list – it’s a roasted mini beet burger – so good we usually ask for seconds… and get them. Did I mention I love the waiters here.

Two other honorable mentions in meals past, the pumpkin gnocci – sounds heavy, but was much lighter than you’d expect and mouth bronzing good. And last but not least, a staple there, and perhaps the one dish they always seem to have, their salad with the farm fresh egg on top. The egg is so fresh it’s like you’re eating it right out of the hen’s ass. Okay, that doesn’t very appetizing, but I promise you’ll love it.

In fact the only thing not to love about Blue Hill is that you can’t eat there every day for the rest of your life. You can, however, eat at the Blue Hill in the city, which is also one of favorite restaurants on Earth.

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