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Blu


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  • 2 weeks later...

We’ve been back to Blu a few times in the past month and must say that we can’t get enough of this restaurant. Chef Zod has been offering some specials and if skate or venison is on the menu be sure to try both of them! They’re winners. We’ve also been ordering some of our favorites such as the butternut squash soup with crisp duck skin; seafood dumplings in a spicy coconut broth and a light but refreshing arugula, roasted red and yellow beet, and goat cheese salad. The Chatham cod with cauliflower puree is fabulous as is the slow cooked short ribs.

For dessert we always seem to order the coconut tapioca pudding and apple tart but I haven’t met a dessert at Blu that I don’t like yet! Considering that all of the entrees are under $20 this is one of the best bargains around. Phone: 973-509-2202.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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How has your service been? While I think the food is still excellent(and maybe even better since the risotto is almost as good as Giotto's now) I find the service has gotten noticeably worse.

Edited by richl2214 (log)

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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I don't know when you were there but the old manager Jeffrey went back to Oklahoma and a new manager was recently hired. There is also a new part time pastry chef. They were slammed after the Excellent review came out in the NY Times.

Rosie, would you please explain what you mean by, "they were slammed."

We have a res. for March 15th and with all the wonderful revues we are very excited about trying this rest.

Hank

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"Slammed" means that the restaurant was unusually busy and the kitchen was working very hard to get the orders out on time. This often happens after an Excellent review. Every one wants to eat at the restaurant and every seat is filled.

With the new manager and some new staff on board you should have a wonderful experience. Be sure to tell us about your dinner there.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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"Slammed" means that the restaurant was unusually busy and the kitchen was working very hard to get the orders out on time. This often happens after an Excellent review. Every one wants to eat at the restaurant and every seat is filled.

With the new manager and some new staff on board you should have a wonderful experience. Be sure to tell us about your dinner there.

Will gladly do that, Rosie. My friends in the Montclair area are raving about this place.

By the way, we took our 16 year old grandson to Fascino last Saturday and he absolutely loved the place. Since he was 12 we have taken him to every major rest. in NY and are now introducing him to our NJ favorites. He thought that his short ribs over mashed potatoes with red wine and truffle sauce went great with my last bottle of 97 Turley. Yes, I thought of you and asked Anthony if you were there but unfortunately you were not so we had to drink it all ourselves.

Edited by Hank (log)

Hank

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another service issue to note - perhaps in relation to the recent change in personel at Blu... one visit was the gift of my parents, who wanted to purchase a gift certificate for me to enjoy - and wanted to get it at a restaurant that i really enjoyed near where i live (bloomfield).

so anyways, the problems were as follows -- not really problems, but nuisances. my father called once to get the certificate. he was told that they ran out. who runs out of gift certificates? they're basically free money... as i'm sure over 25% go unclaimed. he was told they would have it the next day if he would stop by at a certain time. when he stopped by at the stated time, they were closed, and no one was in sight or at least answering the door. he called afterwards to follow-up, and there was no answering machine or voicemail. although i haven't tried calling them to test this, i did find it odd that any business wouldn't have an answering machine or voicemail service. he finally did get the gift certificate, but it wasn't signed by anyone or really all that official looking.

i've been to blu several times, each time very enjoyable. perhaps these were minor isolated glitches, but still i think worth noting - at least as far as restaurant management is concerned. i am happy to hear that Blu is doing well and wish them much continued success. if nuisances like these are ironed out - i think Blu could be even more successful . . . .

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"Slammed" means that the restaurant was unusually busy and the kitchen was working very hard to get the orders out on time. This often happens after an Excellent review. Every one wants to eat at the restaurant and every seat is filled.

With the new manager and some new staff on board you should have a wonderful experience. Be sure to tell us about your dinner there.

Will gladly do that, Rosie. My friends in the Montclair area are raving about this place.

By the way, we took our 16 year old grandson to Fascino last Saturday and he absolutely loved the place. Since he was 12 we have taken him to every major rest. in NY and are now introducing him to our NJ favorites. He thought that his short ribs over mashed potatoes with red wine and truffle sauce went great with my last bottle of 97 Turley. Yes, I thought of you and asked Anthony if you were there but unfortunately you were not so we had to drink it all ourselves.

YOUR LAST BOTTLE OF TURLEY! Hmmm. I have about 6 bottles in the basement if you want to be my friend! :raz: Fascino is consistly excellent.

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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"Slammed" means that the restaurant was unusually busy and the kitchen was working very hard to get the orders out on time. This often happens after an Excellent review. Every one wants to eat at the restaurant and every seat is filled.

With the new manager and some new staff on board you should have a wonderful experience. Be sure to tell us about your dinner there.

Will gladly do that, Rosie. My friends in the Montclair area are raving about this place.

By the way, we took our 16 year old grandson to Fascino last Saturday and he absolutely loved the place. Since he was 12 we have taken him to every major rest. in NY and are now introducing him to our NJ favorites. He thought that his short ribs over mashed potatoes with red wine and truffle sauce went great with my last bottle of 97 Turley. Yes, I thought of you and asked Anthony if you were there but unfortunately you were not so we had to drink it all ourselves.

YOUR LAST BOTTLE OF TURLEY! Hmmm. I have about 6 bottles in the basement if you want to be my friend! :raz: Fascino is consistly excellent.

Rosie, for a Turley I would even be your lover. LOL

Hank

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had another wonderful meal at Blu on Friday night and I'm still marveling over the talents of Chef Zod. And although I haven't been on line since then, I sure have been talking about our dinner since then.

Our first amuse was a small crab cake, and although I couldn't eat it, I could smell it, and the 'oohs' and 'aahs' around me told me it was good. The second amuse was a generous piece of monkfish, which sat in the lower corner of the plate, along with a stunning orange-almond sauce that was run diagonally up the middle, and one piece of roasted (or grilled?) asparagus on the opposite corner. Gorgeous presentation, fantastic dish. That sauce made me blissfully happy.

For an app, I went light, with the arugula/roasted mushroom/shaved pecorino salad. I was feeling the warmer weather and this was a nice mix of the earthy mushrooms and the bright vinaigrette was a great 'transitional weather' choice, imo.

Then my entree arrived. Lamb loin over white beans and zucchini. My, my, MY. I think I'm still swooning from it--just as I was when I had the first bite! Cooked perfectly medium-rare, it was delicate, tender and flavorful, and another great "spring is almost here" set of flavors. Just stunning. SIGH...

:wub: to Chef Zod on that one!!

Desserts are just as creative in flavors and presentation as the rest of the menu...I chose the almond basil ricotta cake, which came surrounded by mixed berries and a frenetic drizzle of balsamic all over the plate. Picture a small tower with beautiful light green 'frosting' (the basil ricotta) in between layers of the cake. The ricotta was light and the basil a wonderful addition for this non-sugar freak. And of course, the berries and balsamic were a wonderful pairing with the cake.

We drank numerous bottles of wine (someone help me out with info and pics, please!), and with the exception of the noise level in the room, agreed that it was a wonderful evening. Excellent food, great wine and wonderful company--my favorite combination! :smile:

Dinner, with a generous tip, was $46pp. If you haven't been yet, it's time. Make a reservation.

"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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We sent the pictures to hikeleader so I am awaiting his report. Lowell had an outstanding white bean soup that I am going to order next time we are there. He also had the hanger steak with a rich fig peppercorn sauce. I had the miso salmon app with tapioca and a fabulous tuna for my entree. Desserts were fabulous. Loved the chocolate bread pudding. Additionally all the dishes were artistically presernted. Noise level was high and Chef Zod is working on this problem .

Rosalie Saferstein, aka "Rosie"

TABLE HOPPING WITH ROSIE

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Here are pics:

Puree of White Bean Soup with Shelled Mussells and Paprika Oil

gallery_25949_2651_53259.jpg

Marinated Sashimi Tuna with Avocado, Red Radish, Ginger Dressing

gallery_25949_2651_2583.jpg

Hanger Steak w/ Peppercorn and Golden Raisin Reduction, Celery Root Vegetables, Portobello Mushroom (I ate this..it was soo yummy!)

gallery_25949_2651_8795.jpg

Sake Marinated Salmon with Tapioca, Cucumbers and Wasabi

gallery_25949_2651_102783.jpg

Poached Pear with Yogurt Panna Cotta, Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

gallery_25949_2651_15051.jpg

As Curlz said: The second amuse was a generous piece of monkfish, which sat in the lower corner of the plate, along with a stunning orange-almond sauce that was run diagonally up the middle, and one piece of roasted (or grilled?) asparagus on the opposite corner. Gorgeous presentation, fantastic dish. That sauce made me blissfully happy.

gallery_25949_2651_78714.jpg

Herb roasted lamb sirloin with zucchini, black olives and white beans

gallery_25949_2651_56587.jpg

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee with Fresh Strawberry's

gallery_25949_2651_64036.jpg

Chocolate Bread Pudding w/ Mocha-Hazelnut Parfait

gallery_25949_2651_105187.jpg

Chocolate Truffle Terrine with Banana Ice Cream ( I had this...I'm still thinking about it!

gallery_25949_2651_132640.jpg

Roasted Red Beets with Marinated Goat Cheese and Balsamic Herb Oil

gallery_25949_2651_130105.jpg

Almond-Basil-Riccotta Cake with Fresh Berries and Balsamic Caramel Drizzle

gallery_25949_2651_52469.jpg

Banana Eclair (dessert special Lowell had...perhaps he can tell us more!)

gallery_25949_2651_57358.jpg

The Treana we brought along....quite a nice White that held up to the Peppercorn Hanger Steak nicely

gallery_25949_2651_571.jpg

Edited by Hikeleader (log)
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...the hanger steak with a rich fig peppercorn sauce.

Actually, iirc, it was a raisin peppercorn sauce. And it was WONDERFUL! Major kick from the pepper, but you'd also get the smoothness and some sugar from the raisins in each bite. Another winner!

Edit: Nice crossposting, huh? :laugh:

Edited by Curlz (log)

"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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We hav a res. for Wednesday evening and after looking at these terrific pictures I can hardly wait. Anything that looks that good must be special in taste also. And yes Rosie, I will be happy tp give a report and hope to be able to say that here is another restaurant that will keep me from crossing the Hudson.:raz:

If only we did not have to drive 40/45 minutes to get to some of these wonderful restaurants but I guess that is the price we have to pay for living so close to the GWB. :sad:

Edited by Hank (log)

Hank

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Blu is great. I travel about 25 minutes to get there. I have been there once but will be back soon. The mushroom risotto is excellent. I did not find the sake marinated salmon special. I also did not find the seafood dumplings great. I enjoyed the mahi dish.

I prefer the atmospher here over Fascino. Blu seems more casual.

Service was very good.

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Just got home after a 40 minute drive from Blu and all we talked about was our experience at this restaurant and I am very glad to say it was all in the affermative. The warm welcome, the quiet surroundings, the service and presentation of the marvelous food made for quite a wonderful experience.

I started with the charred octopus salad and my wife had the risotto with msuhrooms and a truffle sauce that was easily as good as we have ever had. Our friend had the seafood dumplings that she loved. My wife then had the cod with a puree of cauliflower and I had the monk fish in a magnificent broth for which I asked for a spoon so that we could slurp up every last drop.. Both fish dishes were perefectly cooked and the flavors are still with us. Our friend ordered the breast of chicken and said it was very juicy, tender and had a very special taste. She always judges a restaurant by the way they prepare chicken breasts because it is so easy for them to come to the table dried out and chewy. Not this one. She was very happy. For dessert my wife had the poached pear while I had the chocolate bread pudding. The pear was most refreshing while the bread pudding, to me, may have been a little over the top. Too sweet for someone who rarely orders dessert. All this with a 1996 Charmes Chambertin by Magnien made for a totally memorable evening of dining. We shall return shortly but first we have to get on the phone and let our family and friends know about Blu.

P.S. Now we must pray to the appropriate gods for someone to open a rest. like this in our hood, but until then I will gladly drive the 40 minutes.

Edited by Hank (log)

Hank

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So happy that you enjoyed Blu and have added another NJ restaurant to your list!

Yes Rosie, my personal list of New Jersey "destination" restaurants has really grown over the past 2 years and my wife and I are very happy for it. We now have quite a few options to go to as compared to only a few years ago when I constantly complained (on this site) about the quality factor in most NJ rest. Unfortunately most of Bergen County is still a waistlandbut who knows. Maybe some day an aspiring young chef will open a rest. in this hood. There is certainly enough money around to support a fine rest.

Hank

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