The joy of dining in New York’s unique neighborhood and away from the overcrowded touristy districts is indeed a real find. From farm to table and with their utmost passion, the Scandic design influenced Blenheim restaurant is blissfully yours to explore. mylifestylenews writes.
Greenwich Village is one of those special and unique places in Manhattan with its own vibe amidst the brownstones and New York University buildings. Serene leafy tree-lined streets are the order of the day, with unique boutique shopping, jazz clubs, off-Broadway theatres and loads of eating options for a great stroll in this epicenter of the city’s 1960s counterculture movements of Greenwich Village. Every corner is worth a stop to look at the detail around you and maybe experience something you won’t find in the rest of New York City in this friendly neighborhood and so it was we were about to step into the eponymous Blenheim Restaurant tucked away on West 12th Street and just minutes away from the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Blenheim Restaurant looks like many other chic bistros in New York City from the outside, but a little more cozy and rustic with a unique and individual character that goes above and beyond the norm. First of all, it is named after the 150-acre Blenheim Hill Farm in the Catskills, so the restaurant is a true “farm-to-table” proposition, where every ingredient is grown on the farm and cooked to order. Secondly, the restaurant was designed by the proprietors, Morten Sohlberg and Min Ye, who split their time between the restaurant and the farm.
It is what we would call an intimate restaurant, with some alfresco dining with outside pavement sitting which really is nice to have in this neighborhood that is perfect for the early summer climate. Inside, the long white marble top bar blends well with the rustic and tailor made high stools contrasting the modern well stocked bar in soothing lighting as a backdrop. Adding some playful touches are a few wooden ornaments as well as some old style cast iron kitchenware and collectable home décor items on display.
Across the bar is the proper dining area decorated with a line of tables down one side of the room brightened up by the yellow glass lamps and Scandinavian design black cushioned wooden chairs and brass-sided white marble table top together with the well polished and coloured wood panel wall above the long gray headboard. Subtle and thoughtful design elements are seen everywhere in Blenheim with the unmistakable contemporary Scandinavian chic. The window tables at each corner by the entrance are the most sought after tables to get reserved by watching the world go by while dining inside. A private dining room further in with walls lined with essential farm house hardware tools and up-cycled giant tin ceiling hanging lamps are even more roguish, Sohlberg’s intention by bridging the farm house experience to the restaurant surely makes dining more fun here. We love it!
While the farm raises guinea hens, 3 different breeds of heritage pigs, including the rare Mangalitsa breed, as well as Icelandic lamb, they also keep bees, make maple syrup and forage the land and grown their own greens. Sounds impressive and we were eagerly anticipating what was to be delivered to our table, although choosing our dishes was not an easy task with such menu descriptions to make you salivate at the very thought of the provenance of the ingredients. We liked the idea that the new American influenced menu was small yet precise, so we were anticipating that the preparation was more focused than usual without so much mise en place and seasonal farm-to-table ingredients to boot! Also, on reading the menu, there was an honesty about it that made you understand that freshness is the key. Food for thought, Sohlberg had done it in a very sensible and considerate way with great effort.
<Crispy Brussels Sprouts> - Lemon Zest & Chili Flakes
We have never been a favourite of this Brussels sprouts, but this was an epiphany for us and the Brussels sprouts were fried to a light crispiness, almost to a thin slice of chip texture and well seasoned. The touch of lemon zest and chili flakes also elevated the entire dull sprouts taste to a different palate.
<Fried Chicken> - Chili Glaze & Sesame Seeds
Small bites fried chicken becomes everyone's all time favorite with no age limit. It is hard to resist for not ordering it when it is on the menu. In Blenheim, it was glazed with a mild version of chili and topped with sesame seeds to be extra appetizing on the palate. This is a perfect starter to share and best accompanied by Blenheim house crafted beers. Do not hesitate to ask your wait staff for recommendation on beers that suit your preference.
<Sea Scallop> Sweet Stemmed Cauliflower, Smoked Paprika & Hazelnuts
The scallops were lightly seared and not overcooked. Freshness of taste was jumping out at you and the accompanying ingredients really did elevate the flavor.
<Potted Pig> Candied orange, pickled mustard seed & toast
Rich yet not filling or greasy! Extremely tasty with the right amount spread on the artisanal toast and warning alert, you just can’t stop eating it!
<Blenheim Salad> Heirloom Tomato, Radish, Snipped Herbs & Citrus Vinaigrette>
A taste from the farm indeed! This salad is simplicity personified and just the best salad to enjoy. The freshness was self-evident in the presentation and taste. Simplicity at its best!
<Pork Duo> Seared Belly, Braised Fennel, Honey Mustard Jus
This dish immediately caught our eyes when we first looked at the menu. What delicious meat this was. One dish that was to satisfy two demanding palates as each cut had its own character, texture and flavor and the whole dish was to be savoured. Most importantly, the pork belly had the right number of fat and lean layers to add the richness in the mouth. The braised fennel not only made a beautiful garnish but also another surprise add-on to the dish.
<Roasted Chicken Breast> Apricot-sage Sausage, Bloomsdale Spinach, Black Trumpet Jus
Let the taste speak by itself! This dish is simply so tasty, with tender, juicy breast meat and a wonderful combination of the leafy Bloomsdale spinach. The home-made apricot-sage sausage slice added a piquancy to the palate. A great farmhouse combination!
Now we weren’t going to indulge with desserts, but our wonderful waiter overruled our concerns about being full and insisted that we shall at least try one or two desserts to end our food sojourn. The Chocolate Cremeux is dense and soft and with a delight compliment by the pistachio ice cream. Yummy!
<Raspberry Almond Cake>
A solid almond cake glazed with raspberry and served with a scoop frozen fromage blanc. The airy texture of frozen fromage akin to a silky yogurt with its refreshing zest is an alternative to the usual vanilla ice cream served. Creamy but light and best to enjoy with a spoon of full frozen fromage and the raspberry glaze together.
The well crafted menu and dishes presented and served in Blenheim is divine, moriesh and utterly delightful. The service is very personal and friendly and you instantly feel comfortable and relaxed in an unpretentious environment. All in all a memorable dining experience in a charming neighborhood that seemed to rub off within the restaurant as well, as we think it is charming and of a size where conversations can easily be had with your guests and food can be eaten at a leisurely pace. Less is more as they say and for a smallish restaurant, the food and service pack quite a punch in our estimation. A must visit in the village!
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Roast Chicken Breast
283 W 12th, New York
Tel:+1 212 243 7073
Tel:+1 212 243 7073
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.