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Disappointing night at Blue Room

b
brooklinehound Mar 3, 2013 10:27 AM

Blue Room has been one of our reliable go-to places for years, but our meal there last night left me unenthusiastic about returning. I thought the menu was dull and smaller than it used to be. There were three of us squeezed into a tiny table near the bar. The waiter was new and indifferent. The salad (chicory with speck,, and a smear of blue cheese) was tasty but was served on a large wooden board that a) didn't keep food from falling into my lap and b) barely fit on the table.

I had tagliatelle with duck, brussel sprout leaves, and mushrooms. Exactly what it sounds like. No sauce, no effort to meld the flavors together, sort of like a tossed salad with pasta. The pasta was clumped together. I should have sent it back but didn't.

My husband enjoyed his arctic char and our friend liked her hanger steak, which came with a potato mille-feuille.

Dessert (dark and milk chocolate layer cake) was on the dry side and uninspired, but I've never liked Blue Room's desserts much and usuaully go to Toscanini's afterward if I really want dessert. The coffee was cold (sent that back), cappuccino was bitter.

On the plus side, the cocktail menu was fun and interesting, and the wines by the glass were good.

I'm willing to cut them some slack given that it was a busy Saturday night, but I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience recently. I am especially curious about the menu change. I know they recently opened the Belly Wine Bar and am wondering if we somehow got their menu instead (although they have a separate entrance and that's not where I made the reservation). It just wasn't what I expected.

  1. l
    libertywharf Mar 3, 2013 10:40 AM

    The tiny table would have been a deal breaker for me. Use it as a learning experience and next time these red flags pop up as soon as you're seated, either fix it to your liking or leave.

    1 Reply
    1. re: libertywharf
      b
      brooklinehound Mar 3, 2013 03:23 PM

      You're right.

    2. Bob Dobalina Mar 3, 2013 04:23 PM

      Since their online menu lists the duck pasta as having "bussel" leaves, it seems the care they use is pervasive.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Dobalina
        l
        lossless Mar 3, 2013 04:56 PM

        I do like a bushel of leaves with my pasta. Great portions.

      2. m
        mkfisher Mar 4, 2013 06:19 AM

        You definitely didn't get the Belly menu, that's for sure. They really only have cheese and charcuterie. In terms of the Blue Room, we've never been fans. We live right there, but it's just not in the rotation. At that price point, our dollars are going to West Bridge and Catalyst. Two places we find a lot more enjoyable.

        1. Small Plates Mar 4, 2013 06:43 AM

          Yeah, it's really, really sad. Jorge was a real talent, and unfortunately, Robert Grant does not fill his shoes in any way. I can't speak for Belly (and perhaps this is where he showing off his strengths) but we have been sorely disappointed each time we have been back since Jorge (*and* Reggie) left. We were super regulars - like once a week at least. We have sadly mourned the loss of our former #1 after work dinner spot. So very sad. Where did Jorge go? Does anyone know?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Small Plates
            t
            Taralli Mar 4, 2013 09:41 AM

            And where did Reggie go?

            1. re: Taralli
              Small Plates Mar 4, 2013 10:25 AM

              He retired - finally - after a few years of threatening it. Our loss is retirement's gain. I am happy he has time to enjoy now. He was a great agent of hospitality for many, many years - an extremely nice man. He is missed. He does, however, still host his annual fundraiser brunch for his wife's Lynn Shelter - every year around Christmas.

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