Eating Gluten Free at Blue Hill and Blue Hill Stone Barns

Blue Hill Stone Barns Gluten FreeLast night I had my birthday dinner (a day early) at Blue Hill in New York City. It was fantastic but so poorly lit because the air conditioning was not working I am using pictures from flickr to talk about the experience. Thank you to all the photographers who use a creative common license!

Blue Hill Stone Barns is outside of the city – about 45 minutes. Blue Hill New York City is in the West Village. The difference between the two restaurants is quite striking but both are very good.

Blue Hill Stone Barns feels like a Michelin Star experience. Large but extremely educated wait staff, extensive and at times mind blowing presentation, and exceptional food. I ate at Blue Hill Stone Barns in March, not a time you would think “great time to head to a farm focused restaurant” but it was still fabulous. The Chef is focused on creative vegetable dishes and almost every course was to die for. We did the four course pre-fixe. I recommend going to this place if you can! They even have gluten free home made bread.

Last night, in my own neighborhood, I went to Blue Hill’s New York City location. The experience at this location is different. Not as many people on staff and an al la carte menu option. The gluten free bread was exceptional as it was last time! But I believe the better dining experience is to head to the source – to the Barns outside of the city.

We started our dinner with a taste of salami from the Barns. It was perfect. I really enjoyed my Summer Bean and Pea Salad with Peaches. I opted for a vegetarian dish for my main course because I was so impressed with the food at the Barns in March. This was not the best choice – Stuffed Zucchini. My husband’s entree was much better. He ordered the Stone Barns Berkshire Pig. Everything on his place was amazing.

If you live in NYC the better option is to head to the Barns if you want to enjoy this chef’s preparations at Michelin Star level. You can take the train out there and they handle cab service for you. This location shines a light on the phenomenal things this chef can do with vegetables, even in the middle of the winter. I suggest going on there in the middle of the day so you can walk around the grounds and see what is happening on the farm and then eating an early dinner.

Address: 75 Washington Place

Address for Stone Barns:  630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY

Websitewww.bluehillfarm.com/

 

Thank you for the picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ulteriorepicure/

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Eating Gluten Free Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Gluten Free GranolaEleven Madison Park. Michelin 3 Star. Impossible reservation. Unbelievable experience. Truly the ultimate in gluten free eating. Courtesy gift from the chef: amazing gluten free granola.

Eleven Madison has an approach that is highly specific to each diner that is perfect for someone with a food allergy. The waiter arrives at your table and asks you to pick one item from 4 rows of words. Each row is a course on the 4-course pre-fixe. He or she will then ask you what you do not like. This is your chance to laundry list everything you hate!!

Eleven Madison MenuMy selections: Octopus – Lobster – Beef – Chocolate.

My modifications: Gluten Free. Pregnant so avoiding raw shell fish. No poached eggs, liver or foie gras. The waiter already knew I was Gluten Free because I added it to my open table reservation (read more about this gluten free tip here.

Eleven Madison Amuse Bouche Gluten FreeWhen the first amuse-bouche arrived I got a big pit in my stomach.

Crap, are they really going to not cater to my allergy?

The two tiny toasts with quail eggs on top looked almost exactly alike (except one egg was well-cooked).

My husband said “can she eat this?”

The waiter said “yes we cooked the egg for her!!” in an excited voice.

And I said “I am allergic to gluten.”

“Oh, THAT! Its on a gluten free toast!” he answered.

This was a moment. I realized wow, they just assume that I know they are taking care of me and I do not have to worry. The kitchen has it covered. This is the kind of gluten free moment that I live for, where I can just throw it over to the chef and relax.

Eleven Madison Amuse Bouche 3 Gluten Free

A series of amuse-bouche followed that I enjoyed. The last one was memorable: a yogurt lollypop with a thin crust over the top and a slight taste of curry. It had a sour essence that I assume was presented to warm up our palettes for the first course.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free OctopusOctopus

The true genius behind this dish was the dried chorizo. It was like bacon-bits on steroids. The octopus was cooked perfectly with its garnishes of pickled onions.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free Lobster

Lobster

The best thing about this plate? The leek. Of course the lobster was perfect. But, I have never had a leek that was cooked like this. It was so easy to cut it. The texture was not stringy or chewy. It was like cutting bread. It blew me away. This dish include gluten free bread crumbs and was surrounded by a very complex mole sauce.

Eleven Madison Gluten Free BeefBeef

The beef was perfectly cooked medium rare sirloin strip. The accompanying sauce was amazing along with the dried shallot bits.

Throughout the meal I was served bread from Everybody Eats. The bread platter included French Bread, White Bread and a bread with nuts. The French bread is the best gluten free bread I have tasted in the United States. It was very similar to the awesome gluten free bread I had in Barcelona. I highly recommend checking out any of the places that carry Everybody Eats on their website.

Chocolate

I was not a huge fan of the desert process at this restaurant. They serve a freshly made New York Egg Cream before the desert courses are served. I am not a fan of milk and at this point was so FULL that this novelty was lost on me. My husband was also less than enthused. A New York Egg Cream has neither eggs nor cream. It is made with milk, seltzer (Brooklyn made NYC Seltzer in this case), and chocolate syrup. It’s a heavy choice to lead into desert and my opinion the fizzy choice is also not great for your stomach before eating ice cream or a cheese plate. It felt way out of place like a kid threw it on the menu.

I was served gluten free cookie crumble with lavender ice cream. The ice cream was ok but not at all near exciting which surprised me. There are so many local ice cream proprietors that make mind blowing creations here in the city yet here was this crappy ice cream. The dish was hard to understand.

How do you get a reservation at Eleven Madison?

This restaurant books out 28 days in advance on Open Table. It is sold out every day. I had to monitor the website and count off the days to get this slot. I also accepted a slot on Monday which is likely not as busy as the days that lead up to the weekend. Another thing I noticed is that it may be less busy during Easter / Spring Break. In short, plan your visit in advance and mention your Gluten Free needs in the comments section of Open Table!

Neighborhood: Flatiron

Address: 11 Madison

Price: Very Expensive

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