Damon Baehrel

A modest house in a forest near Albany is a very unlikely location for the world’s best restaurant. If Cirque de Soleil served dinner, this would be it. Damon Baehrel forages every ingredient from his on-property forest. In addition to the mushrooms and vegetables you might expect, he also makes unusual oils, butters and flour from clover, beech nuts, pine tree bark, acorns, sycamore sap, violet stems and pine needles. Some of his “ingredients” ferment or develop over months and even years. Everything is then cooked over wood and hot stones from his property. He calls it Native Harvest, but I call it insanely creative. Our dinner lasted seven hours and he cooked, served and cleared everything without assistance. A restaurant like Noma might have 20 people doing the same thing that Damon does by himself. Every single dish was, at a minimum, great, and often magnificent. It is hard to imagine a dining experience better than this. But, I said that about El Bulli 10 years ago.

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776 Co Hwy 45, Earlton, NY 12058, United States
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