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Blu


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We were there for a pre-opening dinner. Food was innovative and refreshingly different. The menu will change often so what we had may not be on the menu when you go there.

Started with marinated tuna with avocado, red radish, ginger and soy; and squid salad, jicama, pineapple and peanut crusted peanut with a red chili-lime vinaigrette. Entrees were cod with cauliflower puree and cured black olive-almond gremolata and seared duck breast with caramelized turnip, apple puree, and balsamic fig frappe. Everything was outstanding. I am thrilled that Chef Zod has opened in Montclair as I have always loved his creative cuisine. We had a mascarpone crepe with red and yellow raspberries for dessert which is off the menu now. Lowell said the coffee was very good.

More info will be on Table Hopping With Rosie 10/5. Do try this restaurant. It’s casual and prices are very reasonable with entrees under $19. For reservations call 973-509-2202; BYO. Will be going back in a few weeks and can’t wait.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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peanut crusted peanut with a red chili-lime vinaigrette.

Peanut crusted peanuts? :biggrin:

Edited because I just saw that you mentioned it is BYOB...

Edited by adegiulio (log)

"It's better to burn out than to fade away"-Neil Young

"I think I hear a dingo eating your baby"-Bart Simpson

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Sounds good...where is this place?

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Wait, is this the same Blu that was the restaurant that Andy Kapoor, the owner of the Ill-fated Dhaaba and Dragonel was originally supposed to open in the Dhaaba space that is now Tandoori Chef in Hackensack?

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Wait, is this the same Blu that was the restaurant that Andy Kapoor, the owner of the Ill-fated Dhaaba and Dragonel was originally supposed to open in the Dhaaba space that is now Tandoori Chef in Hackensack?

NO

Chef Zod was at Ten Square in Morristown many years ago.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Chef Zod was at Ten Square in Morristown many years ago.

I have eaten his food 3-4 times in NY, and it was outstanding as well.

Never had his food in NJ

I tried to go there on Sat. without a reservation the place was packed

so I could not get in. Yes I know what your saying Sat no reservation

how could you, but I thought since the place is new I'll try.

Going there Thursday, the menu looks great.

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We returned to Blu, tonight and had a most memorable dinner. Put this restaurant on your “must try” list as Chef Zod is sending out fabulous food from the kitchen and the prices are extremely low.

We started off with ethereal seafood dumplings in a spicy coconut broth ($7) and roasted pumpkin with orange zest, almonds, pumpkin oil and pumpkin soup ($5). The soup was served in a coffee cup placed on a rectangular plate with a rectangular slice of pumpkin. Not only was this delicious but it was visually appealing. The sauce for the dumplings had the essence of coconut without being overbearing. I would have also loved this dish as an entrée.

Entrees were the moistest piece of salmon I have ever had ($15). It was slow cooked and served with sweet Jersey corn, snow peas, and red pepper sauce. Lowell had rich slow cooked beef short ribs with Yukon gold potato puree and roasted Portobello ($17). Delicious.

Dessert was a chilled lemongrass soup with fresh berries, basil, mango and avocado ($5). The lemongrass soup was gelled and served in a soup bowl with the other ingredients layered on top. Lowell ordered decaf coffee ($2) and it was served in a French press. Love this place.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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  • 3 weeks later...

Last week I finally ate at Blu. One word to describe it would be amazing.

The prices are way below average, Once everyone knows about this

place its going to be impossible to get in .

Appetizers

Salmon tartare with smoked ice cream and cucumbers

The ice cream was puree white, no liquid smoke here and totally awesome

not sure how he does that. The salmon creamy and meltingly in your mouth

Risotto with mushrooms and truffle oil

Very flavorful, the rice was tender, al dente and very creamy. The waiter

said no cream is used in the preparation

Octopus with orange, apple and olive

Octopus very tender, served slightly warm

Mains

Cod with cauliflower puree, black olives and almonds

This is one of the best cods I have ever had anywhere including

(jean-georges, daniel, bouley, le bernardin etc.), this dish is a must if you like cod

I hope they never take it out of the menu and at $17 its a steal

Mahi Mahi perfectly cooked and a great ginger sauce,

Lamb, beautifully presented , very juice with crispy polenta and shitake

mushrooms,

desserts

Lemongrass soup with fruit

Chocolate mousse with olive candy and something else

Hazelnut cream brulee

the food is presented beautifully, the room is cool and modern

the service is attentive and professional . Dinner for three

including tax and tip $108

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  • 2 weeks later...

We returned to Blu. If you haven’t been here yet you are depriving yourself of an outstanding dinner at exceptionally low prices. Our dinner was extraordinary. And my mom who weighs in under 100 pounds and never finishes what is on her plate left every dish sparkling clean.

We started with a plate of roasted pumpkin with orange zest, almonds, and pumpkin oil and a cup of pumpkin soup; fabulous calamari salad with cucumbers, avocado, crushed peanuts and a lip smacking spicy lime vinaigrette; and tender charred octopus with orange, green apple, and black olives. My mom who turns her nose up at squid and octopus gave it a try and declared that they were delicious. Lowell and I inhaled the appetizers.

If you like duck breast certainly try Chef Zod’s version that is served with caramelized turnip, Brussels sprouts and an apple-red wine puree. We asked if cauliflower puree could be substituted for the Brussel sprouts and the kitchen was more than happy to change the side. A special of perfectly cooked seared tuna was Lowell’s entrée and I had scrumptious sesame crusted Mahi with scallions, Napa cabbage and a spicy ginger sauce.

We were stuffed—actually I was so full I unbuttoned my pants. But the desserts sounded so enticing that we ordered a few. Do not miss the coconut tapioca pudding with mango and papaya or the chocolate mousse cake with cherry sorbet and black olive candy. Ditto for the caramelized apple tart with the creamiest vanilla bean ice cream I have had in a long time.

Coffee is French press—the best way to serve it in my opinion. Do try this restaurant and I would suggest that if possible go here on a weekday when the restaurant is not packed.

For reservations call 973-509-2202; BYO.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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A friend and I went to Blu last night. The space is lovely, decorated in a minimalist design. Dinner was a delight. We started with the Calamari and Octopus apps. The calamari was perfect, the octopus was a little over cooked and not as tasty as the calamari. We then had the Salmon and Tuna. Both were excellent, esp. the Tuna with perfectly delicious mushrooms and wasabi sauce. We had dessert, the choc. mouse and the tapioka .....the choc. mouse was great, the tapioka was just okay. The french press coffee...excellent. Overall a really nice dining experience. The bill was under 80$ before tip. I will definately return.

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Zod is a sensational and creative, serious chef. One of the best you'll encounter. Period! You will eat as well with him as you will at Per Se or Jean George.

The restaurant is brand new and not broken in yet but at these prices you should run. Weekdays are still very quiet and the best time to go.

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Blu is very good. We went last Friday. I had the cod entree. I often hesitate to order cod beause it can be dry and tasteless due to its low fat content. However, at Blu it was ethereal. I can only compare it to a cooked black cod that I once ate at Nobu .

My wife had a fettucine with bolognese sauce. Unfortunately, it had a heavy rosemary component which she hates. I guess they could have described it on the menu. She just ate a small part of it. She could have sent it back or they could have taken it off the bill, but neither side took aggressive action to correct the situation. It happens, no hard feelings.

We liked the tapioca dessert. It had mango and guava--tropical and refreshing.

This place has great food at low prices. The portions are a bit small, but I actually appreciate that.

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We were back at Blu last night. What a treat. Started with a smoked trout, apple and roasted beet salad with fresh horseradish –yogurt dressing; calamari salad, cucumbers, avocado and crushed peanuts with a spicy lime vinaigrette; crisp sweetbreads with caramelized endive, crushed hazelnuts, and an apricot-mustard sauce which were worth the cholesterol I try so hard to keep low; and a special of salmon with avocado.

Lowell’s monkfish with fennel and cannellini beans in a basil-chive broth was outstanding. We were dining with Larry Lazar, a retired restaurant reviewer, who declared that not only was the seared duck breast with caramelized turnip, and Brussels sprouts in an apple-red wine puree the best he has ever had but that Chef/Owner Arifai was an incredibly talented and gifted chef. And yes, he said I could quote him and he tasted everything that was brought to the table!

Other entrees were slow cooked Niman Ranch beef short ribs with potato puree and roasted portobello. These ribs were so rich that I couldn’t finish them and let Lowell do the honors. I usually don’t order chicken in a restaurant because I make it so much at home but would not hesitate to order the crisp chicken breast with baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms with a chili-peanut sauce, as the chicken was so juicy and tasty. It was a great dish.

Desserts put a smile on everyone’s faces. We had a warm chocolate cake with cherry sorbet; pumpkin panna cotta with chestnuts and caramel popcorn; tapioca with diced fruit; and apple Tatin. The menu changes frequently and the most expensive entrée is $18. You can also create your own dinner by ordering 2-3 appetizers and a few desserts.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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