We had dinner at Blue Hill a few weeks ago. This restaurant, which also operates a farm and restaurant in Westchester, from which it sources many of its vegetables and meat, reminded me of a simple country meal artistically elevated in excellence. It's actually not simple at all, but that's its spirit.
The meal started with some delicious bread that my fellow diners and I kept gobbling down. The bread slid down right good with the addition of some soft-as-a-kiss fresh butter from a dairy farm (though not Blue Hill's). The bread was warm, and cut open with a knife and butter-stuffed was excellent.
An amuse bouche was fresh radish, still on a small stalk, and hung bulb-down in precious stands. These were fantastic radishes, crisp and vivid with the deliciousness of vegetable youth.
We had four courses, but I've forgotten one of them (though I remember liking it). The first course I remember was a beautiful asparagus salad, with slender white asparagus and a kind of pea puree or something like that on the plate. Beautiful ramps decorated the plate. The next course I recall was an incredible vegetarian farro, again in a medley of vegetable purees and touched with parmesan. The freshness of the vegetables was apparent. What I liked about it was the perfect texture of the farro, the bursting-with-flavor zest of the sauce, and an elegant presentation. It was characteristic of the dishes at Blue Hill -- elegant yet colorful both in taste and appearance. Dessert for me was a lovely chocolate bread pudding with banana ice cream. They went together surprisingly well.
Throughout service was professional and unobtrusive. All in all, Blue Hill was a first-class gourmet experience for vegetarians.