Blue Water Grill

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Another restaurant off my checklist! I've only got 2 left, and I have a feeling I'm not going to make it to either one. But we'll see.

The latest visit was to Blue Water Grill, for brunch. Blue Water Grill is only about a block away from Mesa Grill, the last restaurant I checked off my list, and along Union Square Park. It specializes in seafood and the like.

I made reservations for Sunday brunch, which comes with a complimentary drink (it purports to offer you an alcoholic beverage and coffee or tea, but we were only offered coffee or tea ... I wonder if we had to ask for the cocktail) with your brunch entree. Anyway, we were running very late for our reservation, so I gave the restaurant a ring on our way there and they were able to push us back half an hour.

Once we arrived at the restaurant, there was no wait and we were shown to our seats towards the back of the restaurant, by the raw bar. Right off the bat, I loved the ambience of the restaurant. Unlike The Stanton Social, the place was fresh and bright, flooded with plenty of natural light. Its interiors have a sort of mixed theme -- it's one part New England schooner with its white wood-paneled walls, one part luxe Manhattan penthouse with its studded gray leather back chairs, and another part Europeanish with its warm asymmetrical wall sconces and lighting fixtures.

Our server approached us a few minutes after we were seated and asked us for our water and drink preferences with a friendly smile. I knew and had known exactly what I was going to order before the moment I decided I was going to eat at the Blue Water Grill ... the Lobster and Shrimp Benedict ($18). My father ordered, to my surprise, the Seafood Cobb salad ($22).

While we waited, a basket of pumpkin raisin bread and caraway raisin bread was set down at our table, with a little pot of strawberry butter. I would have liked some plain bread to test out the strawberry butter, but the caraway raisin bread was surprisingly delicious. It was just the right amount of sweet and spicy (and soft), though I don't think I could've eaten too much of it.

Our entrees were brought out very quickly. Immediately, I split my dish with my father. Hollandaise sauce buried the poached eggs, which rested atop shrimp and lobster meat laid on top of avocado and toasted English muffins. Homefries came on the side. The dish wasn't overly rich or overwhelming, though I did find it to be a touch salty and the English muffin a bit burnt. The shrimp were noticeably overcooked, but the lobster meat, coupled with the buttery hollandaise, was good. The real winner of this entire dish was the creamy, perfectly ripe avocado.

My father's Seafood Cobb salad was less of a hit. I was shocked, when it arrived at the table, that it cost even as much as my Lobster and Shrimp Benedict -- nevermind more! It looked like your basic Cobb salad with 3 jumbo shrimp and a portion of crab meat. The shrimp did not taste good -- it was chewy, a little rubbery and positively overcooked. It had been slathered with some sort of lemony herby marinade which I found to be too sour, and I think it also served as the dressing for the salad. Again, the avocado was superb and the roasted peppers were good. I would advise against ordering this dish.

Overall, the restaurant was fair-to-good. I wouldn't order either dish again, but I wouldn't be opposed to visiting again. The service was fantastic -- friendly without being overbearing. We visited the toilets downstairs before we left and found that the jazz brunch was located on the lower level. It seemed like a classy affair with good music, if you're into that sort of thing.

Blue Water Grill
31 Union Square West (at 16th Street)

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