Dan Barber’s Blue Hill in New York unites agriculture, education and fine dining in a way that makes you realize how lazily most people use the term “farm to table.” The restaurant uses ingredients like its own unique variety of wheat pulled from a single plot on a single farm or a small, ultra flavorful species of cucumber that Barber worked with seed breeders for years to create just for Blue Hill use. And his Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture outside of New York City just grew by an additional 250 acres after a gift from a member of the Rockefeller Family. Needless to say, it is not an establishment that has issues getting its hands on fresh ingredients.
While most of it ends up on the dinner menu, some of the produce makes an appearance on the small but fascinating cocktail menu pulled directly from the fields. The drinks also show just how much flavor you can get out of a well cared for vegetable or piece of fruit. Case in point: the very green Peas, Shoots and Leaves. It’s made with Yola mezcal—one of Supercall’s favorite new mezcals last year—snap peas, a handful of fresh herbs and egg whites. I never realized just how sweet a pea could be before sipping this cocktail, made without any added sugar from a syrup. Yola is a particularly good choice for the notable but subtle sweetness that comes from the snap peas because it’s low on smoke, which would overwhelm the flavors. The creamy egg white froth on top is the perfect little bit of indulgence to go along with the a drink that could pass for a green juice.
The cocktail menu at Blue Hill changes as often as new crops start sprouting on the farm, so if you’re in New York, get in now and grab some Peas, Shoots and Leaves before the fall harvest arrives.
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