There has been a surreal aspect to dining anywhere outside the confines of your own kitchen for many months now, and with limited indoor seating opening again around the city, things are about to get stranger still. If you’re feeling intrepid, however, and if you have access to some cash (or, even better, a rich, vaccinated friend with an automobile), there’s an alternative to huddling in sidewalk yurts or venturing into a cramped big-city dining room for that first taste in months of properly charred steak. You can drive out to Dan Barber’s latest culinary venture at the Stone Barns complex in Westchester, take a double-masked, socially distant seat in the corner of the vaulted dining room, and experience what that increasingly fraught term fine dining might look like not just as this plague year grinds endlessly on but out into the uncertain and, yes, possibly surreal post-pandemic future.
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