I've got Gift certs. to blow at Blue Ribbon- Suggestions?
I recently received a generous gift certificate to the Blue Ribbon empire. I've never visited any of the outposts and impressions seem to range from delighted to disgusted. I was hoping some more experienced ChowHounders could suggest which outpost is the most reliable, what to look forward to and what to avoid. There's probably enough of a gift here for 2 visits, so feel free to mix and match or suggest more than one location. Is there anything I should absolutely avoid? Anything I should take pains not to miss?
i dont like any blue ribbon restaurant except for the bakery on bedford...which i happen to think is one of my favorite go-to restaurants in the city. its a bit over priced but its always solid and delicious.
i usually get the rillettes to start and the rack of lamb for entree. the sweetbreads entree is a bit much but strangely delicious.
and you cant leave without the chocolate bread pudding...one of the best desserts in the city.
Blue Ribbon Sushi is by far my favorite. If you like sushi, I highly recommend it. The fish is always fresh and although they don't take reservations there is a nice waiting area where you can have some drinks and wait until a table frees up.
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Not offense, but I will recommend against the sushi at Blue Ribbon as I found them to be very average compared to other sushi places in NYC at the same price range. I would much rather spend the money on their brasserie with some hearty food like bone marrows, steak tartare, or other bistro fares. Much better than their sushi offerings IMO.
I prefer Blue Ribbon Bakery:
go early for dinner and get a nice table in the main room
great fried chicken
steaks, lobster and catfish are good
chocolate bruno for dessert
It's also nice for lunch.
The Original (Brasserie) on Sullivan is more crowded but has good fruits de mer, all of the above, as well as paella. It's also open until 4am.
I also like BR Bakery better than any of the others (though I haven't tried the new one in Brooklyn, yet). The sweetbreads and rack of lamb are excellent, to echo sam1's sentiments, and the duck confit is good. I also really like the pickled tongue, though I haven't eaten it around NYC enough to know how BRB's version stacks up to the local competition.
There's nothing you need to actively avoid since everything is at least competent. But I do think they have a tendency to overcook fish, so I generally don't order that at BRB.