Howard: On a recent Saturday Donny and I took the train up to Tarrytown, and then took a cab to Stone Barns. The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is, of course, the home of the fancy restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns. What you may not know, though, is that there’s also an informal Cafe on site as well. Sure, you’re not going to get a multi-course extravaganza, but it’s a good way to get a quick showcase of the way Stone Barns incorporates their crop into their food.
Before eating, however, we grabbed a visitor’s map and took ourselves on a tour of the grounds. The farm was smaller than I expected, though we did get to see some livestock as well as some of the vegetables. I was a little over-excited to see artichokes (much to Donny’s annoyance), and what I’m pretty sure were cardoons.
We were also there on Saturday, the day of the Stone Barns farmer’s market. This was also smaller than I expected. There was one table set up with vegetables, and another with meats. I was interested to see pearl onions, and baby zucchini with the blossoms still attached.
We stopped for a lunch break (and to get out of the oppressive heat) at the Stone Barns Cafe. They have some cold salads and some sandwiches, along with some pastries. I selected a large slice of frittata, made with potatoes and broccoli, and a small selection of salads (priced by the pound). The frittata was amazingly rich and creamy all the way through, quite a feat considering how thick the slice was. The salads were also great: couscous with squash and goat cheese, and a mix of beans and cucumbers and tomatoes in a simple vinegar dressing. All of it was delicious, and refreshing on such a warm day.
Donny: Why is Howard so excited about artichokes?! It was definitely a hot day but a wonderful day as we finally made our way to Stone Barns. It was nice that we were able to just explore around the place by ourselves.
Around lunch time we made a stop at the Blue Hill Cafe. It’s a tiny shop where you can buy fruits and pastries and jam and popcorn and coffee. On the counter there were these open faced sandwiches made with focaccia, I think it was focaccia. All of the different sandwiches looked so pretty with their colors. I got the sandwich that was topped with house made bologna and diced pickled vegetables. This was so good. The bread was good the bologna was good but what made it GOOD were the diced pickled vegetables. A little tangy, really freshened up the sandwich.
While eating our lunch, Dan Barber showed up with his wife, he’s married right? and his dog to the cafe. Dan Barber likes his iced coffee black.