Monday, March 3, 2014

Local Food at Blue Hill

As much as we love wine, we love good food. Living in New York City, we may be a bit removed from the day to day of the wine making industry, but, in exchange, we get to follow a cutting edge food scene.

With our obsession with all things "local," we are always on the lookout for restaurants that embrace  "localvore" food--dishes composed of food from nearby sources. There are various economic and environmental reasons to follow the practice, but for us we simply prefer fresher food. An apple eaten straight off the tree tastes better than one picked, sent to a processing center, then to the grocery store, then on to our kitchen. In terms of wine, although grapes are usually grown close to the production facilities, we still prefer to drink as local as possible in an effort to support the local wine community. Local is simply important on so many levels.

When we heard about Blue Hill, we knew we had to go. Inspired by the farm on Blue Hill Road, they work with farm fresh seasonal ingredients under their "Know Thy Farmer" philosophy. Knowing this, we were willing to try their chicken. This may seem like an odd statement, but we seldom bother with chicken at a restaurant. It's such an ubiquitous ingredient, but chicken is normally bland and dry (or the accompanying sauce or side dish is the star of the show). We're also not wholly comfortable with how chickens are raised on large commercial farms. A farm fresh chicken is a thing of beauty: rich, succulent, and full of tasty juices. Once you have had a well-prepared breast just a few hours past butchering, it's hard to go back. You're reminded of a different time, when things were done more slowly. At Blue Hill, a simply prepared chicken with seasonal vegetables was perfection on a plate, especially with a nice, crisp New York Riesling with bright flavors that made the sweet chicken pop.

White Wine Glass

And that brings us to the other reason we felt compelled to try Blue Hill--local wine. All too often, high end restaurants are afraid to offer any wines from outside France or California. Thankfully this place that celebrates the meat and produce of New York is also willing to embrace the State's wine, offering bottles from several of our favorite producers. To get a glass of great local wine with some great local food is a great night out.

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