Since moving to San Francisco, I've managed to preserve much of my daily routine. In New York, my routine included swinging by the Union Square Greenmarket (open Mon., Wed., Fri., Sat.). Now in San Francisco, I frequent the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (open Tues., Thurs., Sat., Sun.). Saturday is the big day for both markets. On Saturday mornings, folks who consider themselves serious foodies show up bright and early to get the best picks and avoid the rest of us. I built the sandwich above with ingredients from one of my Ferry Plaza Farmers Market visits: fresh arugula, heirloom tomato, Japanese cucumber, cilantro chutney, hummus, swiss cheese, on a hunk of sweet baguette. Yum!
On preparing corn for freezing: "In his pursuit of freshness, he had my mother prepare the boiling water, then he cut and shucked the corn in the garden, and ran into the house with it. It is the only time in my life I ever saw my father run. It's a memory I cherish."
The restaurant, which opened in Westchester County three months ago, is attempting something special — something more than its fairly thorough adherence to the ethic that a restaurant's food should, as much as possible, be seasonal, local and the result of sustainable agriculture. Blue Hill not only gets many of its vegetables and some of its meat from the surrounding land, which was part of the Rockefellers' Pocantico Hills estate. It also gets to exert control over how those vegetables are grown and how the meat is fed.
This reality, which goes beyond mere novelty, is one compelling reason for people near and far to pay attention to the restaurant, an offshoot of Blue Hill in Greenwich Village, where Mr. Barber also supervises the kitchen. But there is another, better reason: most of the food here is terrific, and some of it is flat-out wonderful. The premium that the restaurant places on immediacy has a culinary purpose, a hedonistic payoff.
On a recent visit, tomatoes were just coming into season. Mr. Barber and Michael Anthony, the chef who works by his side, had used them for a rough purée that, Mr. Barber explained later by telephone, was hung in cheesecloth, with a container beneath to catch the drip. This nearly clear liquid — the distilled essence of the fruit, closer in spirit to a potion than a juice — came to the table in tall glasses, as an amuse-bouche. If early summer could be said to have a taste, this was it.
RECOMMENDED DISHES Salad of 11 mixed greens and herbs with egg; green gazpacho; pea cannelloni with crab meat; white king salmon; wild striped bass; duck; roasted pig; chocolate bread pudding with caramel sauce.