A little over a month ago Jason Santos opened his new restaurant Blue Inc. in the Financial District and within minutes of checking out the menu online, I was making plans to try it for dinner. Previously the chef at Gargoyles on the Square, I have had some of his dishes before and absolutely loved them. This experience proved to be no different.
All the food was very good; aesthetically pleasing and quite the delight for one’s palate. Some dishes were definitely better than others, and although I will admit I am not totally sold on this place in terms of service (kind of lackluster), furniture (pretty tacky and uncomfortable), location (I mean seriously it’s like putting Barbara Lynch’s Drink smack dab in the middle of Fanieul Hall), and certainly not cocktails (but we’ll get to that later), I will say the food was impressive.
But I guess I’ll start with the drinks.I ordered the Cheffy, clearly an ode to executive Chef Santos and his bright blue hair (as in the name of the restauarant, Blue Inc., duh!) the drink was made with Grand Marnier, with a big blue rock and orange glitter floating inside. Totally cool to look at and very photogenic, but I wasn’t really that into it. Once the ice started to melt and the orange “glitter” sugar mixed in with the Grand Marnier the flavor combination changed and it got a little better but in the end it survived the entire meal without being completely devoured – never a good sign.
Jason’s Squeeze Of Tha Week, a mix of Sauza, Grand Marnier and juicy melons, was the obvious favorite amongst the group. Another one that’s easy on the eyes, it was also delicious. Fresh and fruity; a little on the sweet side but in a really good way.
Then there was the Study Au Broad, that was an interesting one. More of a science project than an actual beverage. It first arrived in three parts, that when mixed together made the drink start to foam before settling back into liquid form. In theory kind of a cool idea, however the consistency of the drink post-chemical reaction was lumpy and unsettling. The flavor of the drink itself was devastatingly bad. Almost undrinkable, after just one or two sips my friend switched to Hendricks and tonic.
But then something amazing happened.
And this showed up at the table. Slow cooked kurobuta pork belly served with lime sugar, blueberry pudding, honeydew melon, and pink pepper. The first dish to hit the table, we were all in awe of the presentation; seriously, look how pretty it is. Sweet, crunchy, fresh, light. Sigh love.
Another great dish, the calamari “spaghetti” served with pastrami bolognese, squid ink puffs, garlic bread puree, and salt cod espuma. Loved the execution and loved the flavors.Next up was the pan seared scallops which came with a crispy farm egg, chorizo and shallot radish salad served over fresh corn. I’m not sure I’d order this one again. It was good, but nothing memorable, and the size of the scallops was a little dissapointing. We like quarters…not dimes.Where the scallops were lacking, the boneless buttermilk fried chicken more than made up for it, served on top of a celery root mousseline with habanero bbq syrup, wilted greens, avocado salad and farmers cheese. I’ll be honest, I have no idea where there is a dollop or guacamole and two tortilla chips on top of this thing, but honestly who cares? It’s guacamole and the chicken was so effing good. Order this!
And then there was, my personal favorite, the honey and hoison glazed duck confit. It came served on a bed of sweet sticky rice, mango, cashews and coconut milk. The presentation was a little messy, but it just tasted so good. Maybe its because I’m head-over-heals in love with mango sticky rice, but the combination of exotic flavors and the tender duck was BOMB. When it came time for dessert, I wasn’t overly excited about the options or the dessert we ultimately ended up ordering – the brown-butter & brandy poached peach clafoutis. It came with a slew of interesting ingredients like yuzu curd, mint gel, and almond crumble brandy but wasn’t really a crowd pleaser and was definitely over shadowed by the other dishes. I did like that summer peach ice cream though, and I’ll admit it, I thought the cheesy lollipop was kinda cute.
131 Broad St.