Last night, John and I took ourselves out on the town. We saw a show at the Cherry Lane Theatre and afterward strolled through the West Village to Blue Hill Restaurant. I've wanted to go to Blue Hill for years, but have never managed to actually walk through the door. That part of my life ended yesterday, and Oh! My! am I so, so happy. From the moment we entered the serene restaurant, 30 minutes early for our reservation, until we left almost three hours later, we were treated with gracious warmth. Blue Hill reminded me of what restaurants and hospitality should aspire towards, and caused me to develop some aspirations of my own. There were three items that I can't stop thinking about, and am determined to try and recreate at home.
The first was an arugula salt. Arugula salt! Dehydrated arugula, powdered, and then mixed with salt. Easy if you've got a dehydrator, and as the fates would have it, my friend Christine just got one for her birthday! I think I may start turning everything into salt. Or sugar. How about rhubarb sugar? Or carrot and mustard green salt? The possibilities make me giddy.
The second offering which made me smile and clap my hands was a garden greens gazpacho with a creme fraiche sorbet. I don't know what was in the chilled soup, but I am going to attempt to make it anyway. I think I'll start with parsley, cilantro, and chives. Puree them with some arugula and garlic. Add some water and maybe some dill. And radish greens. Puree a bit more. Taste. Wish me luck.
Finally, I ordered This Morning's Egg with English peas. So deceptively simple, I may never be able to conquer this dish. A poached egg nestled in a pool of green bliss with a smattering of peas and tiny bits of cured pork, this dish feels like home...a home that has turned its back on canned products and packaged meats, and embraced the bounty of the back yard garden. I crave that home, and this egg and pea pairing made me believe that it's possible.