Yes, it’s a post about bluezoo again! Can you tell that we really, really like bluezoo?
We went over last Friday evening to have a couple of appetizers and a cocktail, plus we really wanted to talk to Chad about this year’s Food & Wine Classic (see our reviews of Chad’s Sake Class in 2010 and 2011).
We were seated in the lounge area and Danielle came over and explained how the bar menu worked. We asked for some time to make up our minds. No sooner had she walked away, Chad came out and sat down with us. We talked about this and that, including the speciality cocktails and the bar snacks. We liked the looks of three bar snacks (hot dog, fried bologna sandwich, and a flatbread – more to come on these), and asked Chad to pick two for us. Cocktails? Well, nora decided on the Japanese Cocktail and nick decided on the Gin-tle Breeze – both were yum!
Japanese Cocktail, described as “circa: 1860, new york … a classic from “the professor”, jerry thomas. it is a lively blend of hennessey vs cognac, angostura bitters, and orgeat almond syrup. to quote the minneapolis tribune in 1885, ‘the japanese cocktail is a liquid attack of spinal meningitis. it is loaded with knock-kneed mental ceramics, and is apt to make a man throw stones at his grandfather.'”
We thought this was very smooth and very enjoyable; nora is likely to order it again in the future.
Gin-tle Breeze is described as “a perfect pairing for a hot florida night with pineapple tarragon syrup, hendricks gin, pineapple juice, and topped with moscato.” Chad explained to us that the ‘pineapple tarragon syrup’ is actually a shrub syrup that he makes at bluezoo – basically, a shrub is fruit, sugar, and vinegar. This syrup is then used to flavor a cocktail. The flavor was nice, the gin flavor wasn’t as dominant as nick would have liked; there are more cocktails on the bluezoo menu to try!
Our bar snacks soon arrived at our table… the togarashi hot dog and the tomato eggplant flatbread!
Togarashi Dog – this is a hot dog amplified to a 10! This beef and pork sausage is made and smoked in-house. The roll it sits on is freshly baked at bluezoo. The “slaw” is a collard green kimcheee. The “mustard” is pickled mustard seeds. And the “ketchup” is a spicy korean tomato sauce. Yummy in our tummies. This was very, very good. The accompanying potato chips were also very good; they were made in-house, very thinly sliced (you could see through them), with a slight vinegar taste, and just the right amount of salt.
We’ve had the olives flatbread at bluezoo before, and frankly, it was probably the only thing that didn’t blow our socks off. However, we’re big fans of eggplant and tomatoes, so we put this on our “3 to try” list. Wow! It was also very good. A nice balance of crispy flatbread, very smooth and flavorful eggplant caponata (mimicking tomato sauce on a pizza), roasted eggplant, slices of tomato, and a generous dusting of cheese (but not too much). Again, marvelous execution from the bluezoo kitchen.
At this point, we were stuffed. Nick even left his last piece of flatbread on the plate and nora decided to NOT eat all of the lovely potato chips. Whew! Time to relax and have a beer (nick) and another cocktail (nora), and tell Chad good-bye. Sigh…
Chad came out soon after. We told him how much we enjoy the food at bluezoo. Usually, we’re put-off by frou-frou sounding food (maybe we’re just timid about things hiding in our food, maybe it’s because we like simple food), however… the food at bluezoo is really great. That wasn’t the end of our eating that night…
Next, we were served the fried bologna sandwich AND a treat of the chef’s pasta.
Wonderful! Again, house-made bologna, bread, and condiments – served like a double decker club sandwich. The bologna was thickly sliced and nicely grilled. The bread was perfect buttered grilled rounds. There were pickled haricot verts (green beans) and a mustard sauce. Yum yum yum… sigh, getting very full at this point.
The Chef’s Pasta changes daily, we’ve never been disappointed in it and neither have any of our friends we’ve taken to bluezoo. There is usually a scrumptious medley of things that come with the pasta, and they’re usually so numerous that nora can’t write it all down… This was a pasta stuffed with lamb and potato (very smooth and silky), there were two sauces underneath (one green and one black – how’s that for a description?), candied carrots, roasted cauliflower, roasted Romanesco broccoli (that’s the light green vegetable), roasted shitake mushrooms, freeze dried baby beet slices, and rock shrimp cooked just past rare. Oh my goodness! This was heavenly. Even though we were so full we thought our stomachs were out of space, this was all eaten… not exactly gobbled up… it was savored. We’re amazed that Chef Danny can take such a variety of ingredients and create a dish where each item stands alone as delicious and they work together to make wonderful. Thank you for the pasta Chef Danny!
Lastly, we want to thank Chad, Danielle, Danny, and Christian for the lovely food and cocktails and for sharing their passion with all of us lucky bluezoo guests.
Almost forgot… There is a trio of sisters who sing at bluezoo on Friday nights beginning at 7:00 p.m. Good voices, nice music, nice volume… Another reason to visit bluezoo for a nice adult experience…