We sit down at a semi-circular booth at Huntington’s Black & Blue Seafood Chophouse, across the room from the glowing fish tank and beneath a lighting fixture that holds 14 candles, and our waiter offers to take us through the menu.
The delightfully fast-talking Tim promises that the menu tour will be fun. It is.
Just over two months since its grand-reopening, following a break for repairs after a May 17 fire, Black & Blue is back with new carpets, new booths, new wood blinds, a new bar floor and bar chairs and a new kitchen.
The menu has not changed, save for the regularly-revolving weekly specials.
“Our base is meat and fish, but we have pasta dishes, we can do vegetarian dishes, we do a lot of gluten-free stuff,” said owner Lou Aloe.
If a diner wants something that is not on the menu but is within the restaurant’s capabilities, Aloe said, the chef will make it. But the menu selection is large and appealing to even the pickiest of eaters.
The Crispy Thai Style Calamari ($11), dressed in sweet red chile sauce, sesame seeds, scallions, cilantro and peanuts, is enough to – momentarily, at least – make the hesitant squid eater an enthusiastic one. Offsetting the unhealthful nature of the fried calamari last week was the summery Watermelon Salad – one of the week’s specials, which combined greens with watermelon, feta, diced onion and a vinaigrette dressing.
Meanwhile, the Butternut Squash Ravioli ($21), served in Gorgonzola cream sauce and sprinkled with dried cranberries, is a reminder that the fall season is quickly approaching.
Among the menu’s regular “Sea” options is Lobster Crusted Atlantic Salmon ($26). The delicate piece of salmon is topped with a salty, crunchy crust, creating a dish that is texturally diverse. The fish arrives atop crushed fingerling potatoes and sautéed baby spinach, in a pool of truffle butter sauce.
The Pan Roasted 10 oz. Filet Mignon ($36) shares a plate with whipped potatoes and tempura asparagus, in a shallow sea of Bordeaux Sauce.
Though known for its seafood and steaks, the restaurant’s dessert menu is particularly strong.
There is an item on the dessert menu labeled “Party In A Glass” ($14). If the menu listing were completely accurate, it would read, “gelato, marshmallows, berries and cookies, buried in whipped cream, served in a fishbowl and likely to induce wistful regret.”
Clearly not for the weak of stomach, the dessert is meant to be shared, Tim says. The mixture is what one might imagine a child would dream up but never have the courage to create in the presence of adults.
Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry gelato form the base of the dessert, but are shrouded in caramel, chocolate and toffee sauces, banana bread, mini marshmallows, berries and Oreos – a monstrous concoction that is then topped with enough whipped cream and sprinkles to hide the fact that there is anything but whipped cream within the glass boundaries.
Banana Caramel Cheesecake ($8), while comparatively understated, is amazing in the truest sense of the word. The cheesecake is wrapped in a sort of crust and topped with caramel drizzle. The concept it represents is simple, as are the flavors it presents, but the combination is a sort of magical that even the Party In A Glass cannot bring. The appeal of this dessert is in its simplicity.
The restaurant’s tables are wooden, of a mahogany color, and without table cloths. Aloe, who said that he is at the restaurant every day, did not want table cloths.
“I feel that tablecloths are a little bit stuffier,” he said. “I’m there every day. It’s my home, and I want people to feel welcome into my home.”
The “upscale restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere,” as he described it, is just as welcoming an environment as he wants it to be.
Black & Blue Seafood Chophouse
65 Wall Street, Huntington