Black and Blue

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.

Scott.

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Dinner at Coast / O Lounge

After attending the grand opening for Glowbal Group‘s Black and Blue my dad and I were still hungry so we headed 2 doors down to Coast for some dinner. The food at Black and Blue was great but it wasn’t meant to be dinner, it was a party. Coast is also a Glowbal Group restaurant featuring a menu that’s mainly seafood. The restaurant was packed so we ended up at O Lounge, which is attached to Coast and offers the full menu.

We started with Lobster Claw Tempura that had spicy mayo and a green papaya salad with a soy-ginger vinaigrette. The green papaya salad was nice and the lobster wasn’t over cooked and was tasty with the spicy mayo but on their own they were quite bland. The claw meat was whole and looked great but this dish backs up my long term opinion that lobster is only as good as the condiment it is served with. Next we had the Buttermilk Battered Calamari with smoked garlic aioli (aka mayo). This dish was great, it was cooked perfectly, not rubbery and the rich buttermilk batter had some heat to it, really good.

For my main I had the Sablefish which came with some yummy polenta and steamed seasonal veggies. The fish was delicious, cooked very well and had that awesome buttery texture that Sablefish is known for. I love that the menu tells you where each fish is caught and by what vessel or person. My Sablefish was caught by the Miss Venus captained by Jay Gold. As a side I ordered the famous Glowbal Group Brussel Sprouts found at many of their restaurants. My dad isn’t a fan of Brussel Sprouts but one taste of these crispy parmesan and garlic balls of goodness and he was sold. There was a small incident involving the incredibly small table, my large plate containing my main course and some over exuberant utensil action that resulted in my entire entree ending up on the floor, but our servers were awesome and quickly had a fresh plate infront of me and the mess cleaned up!

Two Glowbal Group restaurants in one night? Life is tough…

Scott.

Black and Blue Grand Opening Bash!

The Glowbal Group is Vancouver restaurant royalty and they’ve added another jewel to their crown with the addition of their 7th restaurant, Black and Blue, an ultra chic take on the classic steakhouse. Beef aged in a room with a wall made of Himalayan salt, a room with tobacco lined walls that smells incredible, large rooms for private functions and an impressive central bar are definite highlights of the posh design.

The quality of beef in the salt walled aging room is a carnivores dream, aged 28 days before it arrives and then dry aged and on display for all to see. The top of the line wagyu beef is the star of the show, the cattle is fed potatoes for a month to add flavor to the meat and it is very effective, creating a richness unmatched by other top grade beef. The event was fantastic and packed with the who’s who of Vancouver’s food scene. I can’t wait to return and sample the menu on a regular night!

Huge thank you to Emad Yakoub and Shannon Bosa Yakoub for inviting me to be a part of their opening, it was a great night. I’m also thankful I was able to share the evening with my father Dwayne. He’s been in the food business for years and I think he really enjoyed himself.

Check out the pictures!

Scott.