Celebrating the cooking techniques of the Mediterranean at Blu Restaurant
The buzz has been flying fast and furious about Blu Restaurant, Bar & Lounge. And it’s all about the blending of flavors and timeless elegance of the Mediterranean fare with contemporary California chic décor.
To be honest, I’ve made quite a few attempts to get there since they opened, but something always got in the way — specifically, it was the fact that the restaurant was downtown. Why do I want to go downtown after dark?
Well, with the prodding from a number of quarters, I finally relented and descended on the restaurant that I heard had an ambiance to kill for.
Going there I knew I had to have conch cake with roasted red pepper coulis and mango salsa that a friend had told me about. I also went with the seared Atlantic salmon with caramelized fennel green, lentil ragout and spring onion roll with a side of wild mushroom risotto with white truffle oil, shallots, thyme and spring peas.
The conch cake was cooked to a fine crisp on the outside and tender inside. The mango salsa added just the right touch of sweetness. It was conchy too and actually a welcome change from a conch fritter.
My husband went with his usual Caesar salad, which surprised him, as it did not come out as a composed dish, but rather a deconstructed dish of separate pieces that allows the diner to be interactive in putting his salad together. A wedge of grilled romaine heart, the pancetta, focaccia crouton and garlic Parmesan dressing, and a few slivers of anchovies all had their own space, with no intermingling. He settled on the 20 ounce grilled bone-in rib eye, after being told they were out of his first choice, the 12-ounce long bone veal chop.
He was a little disappointed at not having the veal, but the tender rib eye that he ordered medium well did not disappoint. Tender to the fork, it was topped with a lemon oregano butter that offered a tangy surprise addition and came with crispy potatoes and a vegetable skewer. Of course I had to take a bite, and I can vouch for the deliciousness of the salad and that steak, although I prefer my steak served medium.
We both opted out of dessert as nothing really struck our fancy. Not big chocolate lovers, Blu’s menu was chockfull of chocolate inspired desserts from warm chocolate fondant cake with a chocolate chili gelato to tiramisu, a chocolate and amaretto cheesecake with almond brittle and baklava (a crispy phyllo pastry, toasted walnuts, drizzled with honey) which I always find too sweet to have no matter where I go. We opted out.
A cheese selection with mango compote rounded out the dessert menu offerings with a French brie (soft, buttery and mild), Greek Kefalotiri (hard, salty and sharp) and an Italian Dolcelatee (sweet, blue and creamy), but we really weren’t feeling cheeses that evening.
Although it took a while for me to get there, Blu certainly did not disappoint. The menu celebrates the cooking techniques of the Mediterranean resulting in a menu that offers, a fresh updated selection of slow-cooked, flavor drenched Mediterranean classics. The restaurant is also a welcome addition to downtown.