Blenheim restaurant is the latest, and most refined, in a string of restaurants created by Norwegian graphic-designer-turned-restaurateur Morten Sohlberg and his wife Min Ye. Sourcing most of his ingredients from the owner’s farm in the Catskills, Chef Ryan Tate brings his imaginative interpretation of modern American cuisine and a flair for the unexpected to the table.
Enjoying an enviable corner plot in the affluent, if somewhat residential, West Village the dining room has a delicately casual expression of subdued colors and hardwood floors. All the while, evoking the rustic charms of a well cared for farmhouse, through a cleverly curated selection of tools and paraphernalia collected at the farm and displayed throughout the restaurant. It’s a stunning space indeed.
The homegrown ingredients take center stage in colorful and vibrant presentations. Yet, flavors are not as timid and pure as one might expect from such an approach. Chef Tate seems to favor a more powerful palate and is often daring his combinations. Although predominantly modern American, some dishes have a subtle nods to neo-Nordic cuisine with extensive use of foraged herbs and flowers. The sugar-poached tomato offering a beautiful blend of acid and sweetness is quite the revelation. Other highlights include tender roasted beets with fennel and blackcurrant, as well as mouthwatering Guinea fowl from the farm with wild rice and truffles.
Beyond the stunning room and the visually appealing presentations, the food is still a touch varied as result of Chef Tate’s brave compositions. Ultimately, Blenheim offers a well-manicured and tasty casual dining experience, in a room far more beautiful than you might find in similar restaurants further south on Manhattan. Yet, it’s devoid of the suffocating stuffiness I might encounter near Central Park. As such, it is perhaps a great reflection of its location. She is a well-put-together creative young lady of the West Village.