Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Blue Ribbon, Sullivan Street, with Photos


markk
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm wondering if anybody who has been to Blue Ribbon on Sullivan St. would be kind enough to share their experiences and recommendations?

Thanks.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The food is good but not particularly ambitious (which is fine with me). The menu is a hodge podge of items. It's perennially crowded and the wait can be long. Good place to grab a late night snack. Seating is cramped. Dark interior. Can be a little loud. Great bread, very nice bone marrow dish, good raw bar (small but fresh selection), tasty and indulgent desserts.

"I'll put anything in my mouth twice." -- Ulterior Epicure
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm wondering if anybody who has been to Blue Ribbon on Sullivan St. would be kind enough to share their experiences and recommendations?

Thanks.

My girlfriend and I went there back in June. Like Kathryn, I thought it was rather cramped and loud. The wait wasn't too bad, but we decided to stand outside to avoid the crowd at the bar. The service was great, but I wasn't a big fan of the food. I had the sweetbreads. I can't remember what it was served with, but it wasn't cooked traditionally (floured and pan fried). Neither I nor my girlfriend ate much of our food. After a few hours we ended up running to Gray's Papya for a quick snack. Now, in my opinioin, Blue Ribbon Sushi in SoHo is where it's at! :raz:

Edited by nchang (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to disagree with some of the comments here: Blue Ribbon is one of our favorite food destinations in Manhattan. (The sushi places are pretty unexceptional, imho.) The bone marrow & oxtail marmalade appetizer is better than "very nice" -- it's arguably the best appetizer in the city. The foie terrine and fried oysters are also outstanding. They also do a pretty darn good matzoh ball soup.

For mains they do an excellent rack of lamb, and the fried chicken is by a pretty wide margin the best fried chicken we've had in Manhattan.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've usually had quite good food at the original Blue Ribbon, and at the other Blue Ribbon establishments, but I think at this point it has been bypassed by many other restaurants. To me the significance of Blue Ribbon is that it was a very early foray into what we can now see as the new paradigm for restaurants. It was perhaps the first restaurant I can recall where the cuisine was totally untethered from the other trappings of the restaurant. Eric and Bruce Bromberg are both Cordon Bleu graduates (as in, Cordon Bleu in France), and Bruce even trained at Pierre Gagnaire. The restaurant opened in 1992. I probably ate there for the first time in around 1994. I remember at the time having the same conversation with friends, cooks, servers -- a lot of people who ate there felt that Blue Ribbon did what it did at the highest level, that it was essentially a top-tier kitchen in terms of talent but was putting out deceptively haute-rustic food in a zero-ambiance setting. A decade and a half later, Momofuku became the banner restaurant of a generation by operating along similar lines.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kathryn's views on Blue Ribbon overlap precisely with mine. I have been there so many late nights over the years, hoping to finally get what is so great about it and how they can charge what they do...and have found that the bread, oysters and marrow are very good, the desserts indulgent, and the rest of the food menu so hit or miss and over-priced as to not be worth a venture.

I'm sure I'll still find myself there again in the near future, but its more of an incidental, never a destination.

Drink maker, heart taker!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And so we decided to try a post-theater dinner at Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street in SOHO - not exactly in the Theater District, but at that hour, maybe 8 or 9 minutes away by car (10 at the very most, and I don't think it took that long). We'd tried to go here in the past but were put off by the long waits. Tonight at 11pm there was no wait and we were seated immediately.

The service simply could not have been nicer, friendlier, or more helpful!

We began with a generous slice of Foie Gras Terrine for each of us, and I could tell from its appearance and texture that it was going to be a treat, and we (who eat a lot of foie gras) pronounced it "France quality!". Not only was the terrine superb, but I really appreciated that it wasn't served so cold that it was firm - rather, it was the consistency that butter gets to at room temperature, and it was outstanding:

gallery_11181_6292_27926.jpg

To follow we had ordered the "Beef Marrow and Oxtail Marmalade", and the host re-appeared to tell us that actually they had sold out of it, and that he was genuinely sorry. I asked if under the circumstances they would prepare an appetizer portion of the "Sweebreads with Arugula, Wild Mushrooms, and Carrot" and he said that they would be delighted to. What arrived was a very generous portion of a truly delicious dish!:

gallery_11181_6292_144631.jpg

I followed that with a most delicious "Pigeon with Toasted Barley, Sweet Potato, and Apple":

gallery_11181_6292_130772.jpg

And my partner opted for the "Skate with Potatoes, Bacon, and Shrimp" that proved to be as skilfully prepared, and as sumptuous as everything else:

gallery_11181_6292_85437.jpg

It was a wildly successful meal, and exactly what we had been searching for. I would have loved to top it off with a dessert, but everything seemed to have either Strawberries or Chocolate (two things I am allergic to and try to avoid), and though it was a disappointment not to find some type of apple tart, we still walked away thinking that it was a sumptuous and extremely satisfying meal that reminded us of dining in France.

We may be old-paradigm people in a new-paradigm world, but for one evening we found exactly the meal we've been searching for.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...