At least for now, fine dining feels like a thing of the past. With so many of our fellow New Yorkers out of work, it seems hard to imagine when diners will be ready to make reservations at white table-clothed establishments (once it's safe, of course). And despite the fact that several Michelin-starred restaurants have pivoted to take their tasting menus and other high-end offerings to the delivery realm, what cannot be replicated is, of course, the atmosphere and hospitality one usually gets with that high ticket price. Restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns were a destination not just for the food—although the food is paramount—but also for the experience of dining at such a world-renowned spot, where diners were treated to a marathon of exciting courses demonstrating innovative ways to use produce with little to no waste; it was a bucket list item for many, and for others, a benchmark of aspirational living at $278 per person.
Since the current crisis unfolded, the award-winning and groundbreaking Blue Hill at Stone Barns—the Tarrytown, New York, restaurant by Dan Barber—is figuring out how to remain a leader of the farm-to-table movement while best serving its customers during the pandemic. The result is a program called resourcED, which intends to help independent farmers effective by the pandemic while educating the public about the problems in the supply chain.
Affluent New Yorkers have been flocking to pick up some exquisite-looking grocery boxes filled with vegetables, flowers and dairy from the renowned restaurant-farm. Currently, there's a "Garde-Manger Box" at $98 (featuring a rotating selection of vegetable stews and purees, fresh pasta, condiments, crackers, butters and more), a $88 flower box, a miscellaneous vegetable produce option at $78, a $98 dairy selection and even the option to have your own malted chocolate cake with flowers for $60. In addition, you can help support local fishermen and poultry farms with the options to add-on meat or seafood. And for those looking for freshly-milled whole wheat flour, they've got that, too: a 2-pound bag will run you $12. Needless to say, there's wine bottles to be purchased and even a Blue Hill house kombucha. The boxes have been so popular that earlier this month, The New Yorker's restaurant critic Hannah Goldfield even stopped by to critique the offerings.
And for those of us tired of our own home-cooking, you might get a kick out of seeing how others are leveling up their grocery game. New Yorkers privileged enough to have fled the five boroughs for second homes upstate (or simply with access to a car) can pick-up grocery boxes from Stone Barns, just a short jaunt out of the city. But you can also sign up to pick-up the same exquisite grocery boxes at their West Village restaurant outpost—both of which are still a lot more affordable than dining at the restaurants themselves.
People looking to make sure that access to top-tier produce can be made available to New Yorkers of all income levels can make a donation. Pay $150, and you can provide boxes that feed 10 people.
For more farms delivering fresh food to New Yorkers check out our full list.
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