What a find. Although I had the pleasure to dine at Dan Barber's Blue Hill over 5 months ago, and neglected to make notes (pre blogging days!), I have to mention it briefly.
This subterranean treasure, in the heart of Greenwich Village, positions itself as a neighbourhood restaurant, but its claim of affordability must be taken with a pinch of salt: we spent over $90 each (with wine), and the surrounding tables were filled with folk who'd come to celebrate and savour, not just pop in on their way home.
Sourcing produce from the fields and pastures of Dan's biodynamic farm upstate, the ever-changing menu reflects the best the season has to offer. This photograph might give you some idea how the humble vegetable was elevated to new heights. These morsels of lettuce heart, radish, and baby carrot were spectacular. The natural sweetness that fades as soon as veg are plucked from the earth was still present, and they packed a punch - I have never before, or since, had a taste sensation like it.
They clearly love their water bath. Practically all our main dishes, particularly the meat, were prepared sous vide, vacuum-packed to seal in the juices and poached slowly, resulting in meltingly tender meat and a clear, intensified flavour.
Blue Hill won't remain understated for long - Obama recently took the lovely Michelle there for 'Date Night' - so get in there soon, while you can.