Blenheim, West Village
After a long wait, the newest farm-to-table restaurant in the West Village has opened. Blenheim, which opened officially on the 19th of May, is the latest by former Smorgas Chef proprietors Morten Sohlberg and Min Ye.
The menu prides itself on fresh, seasonal and local fare however unlike other farm-to-table establishments, who source their fresh fare primarily from local farmers' markets, Blenheim truly embraces the locavore movement by sourcing the majority of its produce from its 150 acre farm in the Catskills.
Everything here, from the fresh churned local butter, to the sustainably raised meat, comes directly from the farm, allowing the diner to experience the true freshness of the food.
Justin Gilbert, formerly of Gwynett Street, leads the helm as executive chef, and has designed a spring menu that features some of the most popular, and obscure, finds on the farm. Fiddlehead ferns are cooked in a fresh goat's butter and roasted lemon, which brings a delightful depth and creaminess to a sometimes tart and astringent green.
Spring vegetables - think ramps, green peas and asparagus - are cooked in a green garlic sauce and topped with breadcrumbs and served on a large, warmed white plate, in a portion large enough to be an entree.
Artichokes and crab imperial is a delicate mix of flavours, combining the fresh, saltiness of the crab with the depth and heaviness of the eggy imperial sauce.
Perhaps the highlight however is the trout, served with its roe, creamy buttermilk and bourage. This may be as close to that "just-caught" flavour as you can get. Served simply with its accompaniments, the trout is clean and fresh, with the flesh literally melting in the mouth.
For a new restaurant, there were surprisingly few mistakes made. The service was attentive, with wait staff jovial and friendly, despite being a little unsure of some details pertaining to the menu. The one downer was being charged $8.00 for the "filtered water", which we assumed was the free-of-charge variety (it turns out this isn't the case). The staff graciously removed this from our bill though, which quickly redeemed the small blip on an otherwise perfect radar.
For a true farm-to-table experience, Blenheim was a delight. Open weeknights for dinner and soon to be weekends for lunch.
Best for: Dinner
Must try: Trout serveed with its roe, buttermilk and bourage; spring vegetables in a green garlic sauce
283 West 12th Street (at West 4th), New York, NY 10014
(212) 243 7074