Pocantico Hills, USA
What makes it special: Approximately 30 miles north of Manhattan, chef Dan Barber’s ambitious farmstead restaurant Blue Hill at Stone Barns, set within an enchanting barn on an 80-acre estate shared with non-profit educational space Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, builds a beautiful 30-course tasting menu centred on produce that is often pulled from the earth mere hours before hitting a plate. Barber is committed to deriving the greatest flavour potential from every animal and botanical on the land and devoted to producing food with a low environmental impact.
On the menu: Barber consistently seeks out eco-friendly and low-waste practices to enhance his menus. For example, he cooks vegetables in the heat created by vegetative compost. His latest version of a cacio e pepe style dish uses Tetra squash stems (sourced from Row 7, see below) to create the ‘penne pasta’ element.
Redesigning food: For years Barber has worked with seed breeders at the genetic level to develop more nutritious fruit and vegetables with deeper flavour. In 2018, he and several long-time seed breeder associates launched Row 7, an operation that sells seeds for plants like Badger Flame Beets and Habanada Peppers designed to taste better, yield more, and resist disease.
Going casual: For those looking to sample Barber’s cuisine without signing up for a four-hour tasting menu, Stone Barns also houses a more casual café open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Here, diners can find seasonal pastries and more substantial options like roasted chicken.
Award winner: In 2018, Dan Barber was voted by his peers of The World's 50 Best Restaurants list as the winner of the Chefs' Choice Award, sponsored by Estrella Damm.
NB: Barber announced in August 2020 that when the restaurant will reopen in 2021, it will transition to a chef-in-residence format with a new chef taking over each season.