Most Fridays we end up eating out and last Friday was no exception – especially since I was leaving for the weekend. We usually do a good job of splitting the decision making when it comes to picking a restaurant, except this time. Jamie said I could pick so I chose Michaelangelo’s. He vetoed it (he had a stressful week and didn’t feel like driving to Little Italy, understandable). Then I suggested Indian (I should know better; this only gets his vote twice a year) – again, he shook his head. So I conceded and asked what he was in the mood for. This is how we ended up at Blue Canyon. But since he had such a lousy week, I didn’t mind giving in – there’s always next week.
We ended up sitting at the chef’s table, which to me is always the best spot in any restaurant. The only drawback to sitting there were the giant bar stool-type chairs with very deep seats. I felt like Lily Tomlin sitting in that oversized rocking chair on the Electric Company. Blue Canyon must like oversized things because the new wine glasses were also rather large – and heavy. My bicep got a work out every time I took a sip of my cabernet. I much prefer the stemless wine glasses they used to offer.
For our meal, we opted to share two appetizers and an entrée. We ordered the beet carpaccio with shaved fennel and arugula with a boursin cheese dressing, polenta-crusted calamari with a sweet Thai sauce and the braised short rib entrée with caramelized parsnips and pomme frites.
The beets were simply outstanding. While Jamie thought they were better than Lolita’s version, I quickly disagreed – those are the best beets in town with the ricotta and honey, yum. However, this version was definitely up there and my favorite dish of the evening.
The calamari was a big disappointment to both of us. I’m actually not a calamari fan and only order it because it happens to be a favorite of my husbands. In theory, the sauce sounded great but did not meet expectations. It lacked flavor altogether and the calamari itself was tough and dry. We only had a couple bites and left the rest.
The short ribs weren’t bad but I’ve definitely had better. While they were super tender, the sauce, which was a combination of the marrow from the veal bone which breaks down to make it thick (almost gravy-esque), red wine and stock, was a bit too rich and salty for my taste. Moreover, the pomme frites were also a bit disappointing. They didn’t offer much flavor or really have anything special or distinctive to offer. The parsnip puree, however, was a huge surprise and extremely enjoyable – and I’m not even a parsnip fan.
For dessert, we had Blue Canyon’s version of a HoHo. I didn’t care for this at all. It was dry and not nearly as good as the Hostess HoHos my mom would pack in my lunch. Nevertheless, Jamie absolutely loved it and ate every bite. In fact, with the exception of the calamari, he loved everything. So we agreed to disagree on the overall meal. But the important thing is that I was on a date with my husband, and that beats out blah calamari anytime.