I finally got the chance to visit the Glowbal Collection’s flagship, Black and Blue, after having attended the grand opening a few months ago. The Room is just as impressive as I remember with the crazy chandelier, the huge bar and the salt walled aging room. The Maitre d’ seemed confused as to why I was carrying 6 packs of beer into this fine establishment but that’s a story for another day. I was greeted by a smiling Josh Wolfe, Assistant Corporate Chef for the Glowbal Collection, and he took me to a seat right near the kitchen. This table, in most peoples eyes, is an undesirable place to sit but to me it’s the best seat in any restaurant. You get to watch the kitchen ebb and flow, watch the expediter work the pass making sure orders go out together, you get to watch the chef and the cooks working as a team, in a well run kitchen it’s like a well choreographed dance. Josh was working the pass and he tells me they were trying a new system with the way the bills are printed and by all accounts it was a success.
I started with Prime Rib stuffed Yorkies with horse radish cream. They were delicious and very similar to the ones that were served at Black and Blue’s grand opening party only they were larger. The beef was tender, the Yorkshire puddings were light and airy and the horse radish cream was not overpowering, just the right amount of horse radish. The second starter I had was an Albacore Carpaccio with beets and Serrano chilies. What an amazing combo, the freshness of the albacore, the earthiness of the beets and the heat of the chilies made for a wonderful mouth full. I could have eaten 4 more of these without skipping a beat.
Just so you know, I didn’t actually order any of this food. Similar to my last visit to Glowbal Grill in Yaletown where Josh was working, he just started bringing me food. Not a bad setup at all. For my main course I had a 16oz P.E.I. Blue Ribbon bone in Ribeye aged 40 days and cooked medium rare. It came with some house made onion rings, a deep fried mac and cheese stick arranged quite provocatively, creamed corn and Lyonnaise Potatoes with caramelized onion. The flavour of the steak was like no steak I’ve ever had, the aging process adds so much character the the meat. Josh was saying something to me about doing a 60 day dry age on some beef he has, I’m going to need to try that. The onion rings were good, nothing out of this world, the mac and cheese stick was different but really good. Somehow the pasta survived the deep frying process and was still moist. The potatoes and the corn were very good as well.
For dessert Josh brought me a “Black and Blue” Butter Cake. It tasted like sweet butter in dough form, which as you can imagine is pretty damned good. It also had Creme chantilly and caramel sauce. After dinner I waited around and enjoyed a few beverages while Josh and Chef de Cuisine Jason Labahn finished up their service and then we got to sit and have a few cold ones and talk about some great things they have planned for the summer. We also talked about the rooftop patio they’re opening up when the weather gets nicer, it sounds like it’s going to be the place to be seen this summer.
Another fantastic meal under the watchful eye of Josh Wolfe this time prepared by the very talented, and super nice, Jason Labahn who happens to share my love of super hoppy IPA’s.