Saturday, April 26, 2014

Blue Hill Café at Stone Barns // Know thy farmer!

It was a cold but sunny spring day and we got out of the city fairly early. Took a Zipcar and drove up the Hudson Valley. 


We wanted to go to DIA:Beacon and, time permitting, Storm King Art Center, but being the foodie that I am, I of course also had to fit in some culinary treats. More on DIA and Storm King in a later post, for now, I'll focus on Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, a beautiful old farm tranformed into a learning center and restaurant less than an hour away from Upper Manhattan. I had its Blue Hill café in mind for our breakfast-pit-stop which turned out to be a great idea and a perfect way to start the day.





The café opens at 10 am, and there is only out door seating available, so keep that in mind! There are plenty of cakes, scones, muffins, and Danish to choose from, and since I couldn't make up my mind, I took a pain au chocolat as well as a small apple pastry. 

Now, the pain au chocolat was really good, but that apple pastry - wow, it blew my mind! It wasn't overtly sweet, and the pastry dough was sort of crisp, plus there was a thin layer of custard between the dough and the apples, in short, a real treat! We enjoyed breakfast in the little garden area, each with a large cafe latte!

Blue Hill recently started to sell salty yoghurts with flavors such as tomato, carrot, red beet and buttnernut squash which could have been the best idea since geschnitten Brot, however, I think the tomato yoghurt doesn't really taste tomato enough. I am seriously contemplating about giving it a try myself once back in Berlin, I mean it can't be that difficult to make tomato yoghurt, can it?

Next, we just had to peak inside the adjacent store, a cornucopia full of must-haves and can't-live-withouts (aka Stehrumchens). Beautifully desigend objects everywhere, beautifully arranged and beautifully decorated but also steeply priced! 






Stone Barns Center is a real treat in the sense that it is just genuinely beautiful, or beautifully decorated. I find these places to be exceptionally rare in or around New York, simple places that just make everything right because in most cases, the idyll is destroyed by cafés using only cheap looking plastic cuttlery and plates or other flaws, but Stone Barns really knows how to make you feel happy!

































Even if you peek into the work spaces, such as the barn where they dry herbs and spices you can find small still lives.



And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you walk down to the sheep barn and all of a sudden find yourself talk like a baby when you catch sight of all those cutsie-dootsie little lambs stumble around in their stable! Awwww!




I hope to get the chance to go back to Stone Barns and the Blue Hill café before I head back to Berlin in June because I have yet to try the sandwiches they sell at the café after 11:30 am (not so subtle hint to you, sister)!

 copyright off all photos j.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring has sprung

Just when I thought this winter would never end, spring finally arrived in New York! 
With two very good friends on visit from Berlin, I meandered through the West Village, Chelsea, Williamsburg as well as my neighborhood in what seems like the search of the most beautiful blossoming tree - at least judging by the abundence of blooming-tree-photos I took!