blue bistro, orlando
Blue is closed, no surprise. The food was great but the management was terrible. Another example that's almost always true-the chef should stay in the kitchen and let a business person run the business. Lets hope that Jepahnie Foster's next adventure doesn't include anything more than cooking. If she asks you to invest in her next restaurant run away as fast as you can.
Sad about Blue Bistro, I really enjoyed their cuisine. I'm also confirming that Jefanie Foster is no longer affiliated with Midnight Blue.
Jefanie Foster was a partner when Midnight Blue first opened, but the other partner in Midnight Blue (Vanda) took over complete operations and the menu expanded from mainly Tapas to also include a variety of entrees.
Happen to Brunch at Midnight Blue today. Just wonderful, I'm a repeat Bruncher it's nice that they offer complimentary valet since parking is at a premium in Thornton Park. I had the Crabcake Benedict, which is the best in town. Flavorful but not heavy hollandaise and a substantial crabcake. Our table of 4 was split evenly between the Crabcake Benedict and the Frittata. Our table also ordered the potato pancakes, Coffee, Mimosas and a Bloody Mary. Everything was great, service was good and all were happy. (For those Decaf drinkers, the coffee is really robust and flavorful, just about even with Season's 52 Decaf, which is the best Decaf I've had outside of a coffee shop) Even with the breezy, cooler weather it was nice on the large open dining area since the wind was blocked.
Just got the word today that Midnight Blue's hours are expanding to serve lunches Tuesday-Friday starting this week. They will also be hosting a V'day dinner with couples pricing and plan to focus on hosting more special events in 2008.
Never been. Heard the food is good, atmosphere not so nice. The owner is opening a second place in a cursed location in Thornton Park.
If I were down that way at that price range, I'd go instead to Kres or drive a little north to Luma. Or even better drive one block to ViMi district and have a wonderful informal meal for 2 for $20 at Lac Viet or Little Saigon or Pho 88.
. . . or Viet Garden.
Actually, I do recommend Blue Bistro with a couple of caveats.
Absolutely, positively make a reservation. They are, well, abrupt is a nice way of saying rude, once they are booked. If you call, the phone message says "we aren't taking reservations, we're full tonight, and we are now hanging up." And they do.
If you walk into the restaurant, even empty, they won't seat a walkup if all the tables are booked. If you have a reservation, you are fine.
Second, the food is wonderful. The kitchen is slow and the servers can range from surly to spacy to excellent,
It's very intimate space and, generally, large parties don't do well. Two and four tops, no problem.
So it's quirky. I ate there two weeks ago with a party of six that became a party of nine, and both they and we coped. Afterward, despite service grumbles, everyone agreed it was worth it.
Here are a couple of other similar, less pricey options.
In College Park, there's Taste (small plates) and K (probably same price range). Also, Babbo is an option if you like Neopolitan food.
Downtown there's a decent Italian place called Bravissimo in Colonialtown, Napasorn for Thai and assorted Asian cuisine.
In Winter Park, Winnie's for Chinese and Cafe du France and 310 Park Avenue South (American).
There also an Italian place called Limoncello that is loved by many, but not by me. However it gets rave reviews -- so perhaps my two bad service experiences were a fluke.
A quirk, if you will, which for some odd reason I tolerate at Blue Bistro and not at Limoncello.
A little more iffy is East of Paris -- go for a drink and look at the prix fix menu and decide.
Blue Bistro is opening a second location, larger, dumbed down menu, lower prices, in Thornton Park next month (or two). It is cursed, as Bill says, but despite some really weird space, perhaps Jefanie Foster can make it work. We'll see.