By Jessica Colley
Within the boundaries of New York City, you can savor just about any type of dining experience. However, if you’re looking for a table with generous breathing space and the opportunity to go for a stroll in the garden where ingredients for your meal were freshly plucked, it is essential to venture beyond city borders.
As the weather warms up, the appeal of escaping New York City for a culinary getaway rises with the temperature. Here are four options for escapes from Manhattan that will provide fresh air and fresh food too.
1. The Living Room Restaurant at c/o The Maidstone – East Hampton, NY
Walking into the Living Room Restaurant in the Maidstone hotel, it is easy to wonder if the food will be as exciting as the décor. Swedish-inspired design of bold colors and prints extends from the hotel right into the dining room. The décor isn’t the highlight here though – the food exhibits even more creativity and passion.
The farms of Long Island, along with the Living Room’s own garden, play a significant role in the quality of the cuisine. At this farm-to-table restaurant, you are introduced to the Slow Food movement and local farms right on the menu. The result is a restaurant that is worth traveling to the Hamptons for – at any time of year.
2. Blantyre – Relais & Chateaux Country House Hotel – Berkshires, Massachussetts
Step back into the Gilded Ages with a trip to Blantyre in the Berkshires. This mansion is home to a serious kitchen that sources ingredients from local farms and its own garden too. If you like surprises, opt for the surprise menu and let the chef use his best ingredients to craft an unforgettable meal for you. The dining room requires a shirt and tie for men – providing a fun excuse to get dressed up during a weekend getaway.
Interested in learning more about the chef’s recipes? A stay at Blantyre can also include a cooking class. Take home some tips from Chef Christopher Brooks and you can recreate a meal from your country escape once you’re back in the city.
3. Ninety Acres – Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey
New Jersey is called the Garden State for many reasons. A trip to Ninety Acres will show you exactly where the nickname comes from. The motto of this ‘culinary center’ (cooking classes are also available) is: ‘farm-to-table is one thing – Ninety Acres is a table at the farm.’
Set amongst rolling hills on a farm in New Jersey, Ninety Acres shows you where your food comes from. Interested visitors can include a tour of the garden on the day of their meal. The 19-acre vegetable and herb garden provides an incredible range of produce to inspire the chef’s imagination.
4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, New York
Perhaps the most famous of these culinary getaways is located 30 miles north of New York City in Pocantico Hills. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, open since 2004, is a four-season farm that will inspire you to make the trip once a season just to see what the chefs have up their sleeves.
One of the charming aspects of an experience at Blue Hill at Stone Barns is that there are no menus – instead guests are provided a list of ingredients that represent the best options from local fields and markets. These ingredients form the foundation of an unforgettable ‘farmers’ feast’.
At all four of these culinary getaways from New York City – natural surroundings will enhance the fresh flavors on your plate.