Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Earth, hands, mouth

The Marginal Revolution blog recently pointed readers to a story about the most important restaurant in America. Much of the charm of Blue Hill at Stone Barns:
Your expectations are further confounded by the menu. Don't look for conventional groupings of starters, main courses, and dessert. They're nowhere to be found on the Blue Hill at Stone Barns menu. Instead you are confronted by this:
List of ingredients on the menu.

On the left side is just a list of all the ingredients Barber and his cohorts have at their disposal in the kitchen that day. The right side has a list of prices that depend on how many courses you have. Your server will ask you if there are any ingredients you don't want the kitchen to use in your meal, and after that you are in the kitchen's hands. Eating this way adds elements of surprise and a even a little drama to your restaurant experience.
I was instantly envious of New Yorkers who have already gotten to take part, even though my deep southern cooking roots cause me to read the dish descriptions and scratch my head.

Also, I love the quote on the restaurant's website:

Find the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands and the mouth.
~Lanza Del Vasto~

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