new york: blenheim restaurant opening

© blenheim / photography: signe birck

in today's modern urban society the relevance of nature is increasingly acknowledged while at the same time that specific perception provides city dwellers additional options to enhance their lifestyle. it's a total win-win situation, if you ask us, especially when it's applied to gastronomy. morten sohlberg and min ye, are the husband-and-wife restaurateur team behind the recently opened blenheim, a restaurant in the heart of new york's west village which uses ingredients from the duo’s very own farm in the lush catskill mountains up north. blenheim has indeed a farm-to-table concept but takes it just a little further by having crops literally grown to order.

feeling a sense of responsibility regarding sustainable and responsible agriculture, morten and ye split their time between growing calendars and reservation charts to ensure that the projects stay in sync. meanwhile blenheim's culinary operations are headed by executive chef just hilbert. equally involved in the set up of the restaurant, sohlberg and ye enlisted ccs architecture to create an inviting dining space with a friendly and non-pretentious atmosphere. the interior palette blends clean, minimalist lines interrupted by custom pieces created by the owners themselves. for instance, the moss green cement tables bordered with copper, were poured by sohlberg, and then built, puzzle-like, to fit the intimate dining room.

chairs are adorned in bright fabrics, adding a certain umph factor to the decor, mixed and matched with cozy banquettes that look out of floor to ceiling windows. aditionally there's a 10-person private dining room that's fondly nicknamed the tool shed, replete with glass barn doors and playful wall art featuring 18th-century tools. so, what's cooking at blenheim? chef justin hilbert is know to marry simplicity with surprise in his craft, and serves seasonal dishes to which - because of the restaurant's meticulously balanced concept - he has a personal connection. hilbert presents an evolving dinner menu of small and large plates, plus a nightly large-format dining experience for two, such as suckling pig or catch of the day.

as said, there's an adherence to the season’s top of mind, featuring vegetable-centric dishes, including fiddlehead ferns in goats butter with roasted lemon and spring peas in broth flavored with fennel and seaweeds. a large part of the meat served is also sourced from the proprietary farm, served in dishes such as roasted lamb with roasted spinach and mentholated yogurt and beefsteak with asparagus, morels and dill havarti. even the beverages reflect blenheim's quirky approach to dining, and as a result the menu lists both approachable and prized wines, both sourced from producers who focus their energy more in the vineyard than the cellar. cocktail fans can indulge in artisanal creations that utilize farm ingredients to totally match the flavour notes of the delectable dishes. location: 283 west 12th street [west village].

© bleinheim / photography: signe birck