Monday, February 21, 2011

Bluegrass Client Dinner

During my important work meeting a few weeks ago our second event was held at Bluegrass, a new restaurant in Federal Hill. It was just given two stars by Tom Sietsema in the Washington Post this past week. Read the review here. Tom Sietsema is a pretty tough critic. I have to disagree with him on the bacon jam. I still stand by the fact that it is unique and very tasty. Some of our guests were put off by the name, "bacon jam". Don't you love when your bacon hits the maple syrup on your breakfast plate? Bacon jam has that perfect blend of of salt and sweet. Spread it on crunchy bread and you are set for a great pre-dinner nibble. No need for rehab as Tom suggests.

I arrived early to set up the place cards and Patrick and Jorbie gave me a great tour of the kitchen. 

Chef Ray was prepping the tomato bisque soup. I dig his burlap chef's coat.

We started off downstairs with a charcuterie board that featured home made crackers, Eastern Shore cheeses, picked okra, freshly pickled pickles, pimento cheese and an assortment of cured meats.  

Chef Morrow gave the guests a wonderful tour of the platter.

Everyone moved upstairs to dinner and Jorbie and I had a good chat about the accoustics. It is quite loud with thirty guests upstairs. They are working on the best solution to this. Our guests were howling with laughter and all had such a good time it could have just been us. We had a four course meal with choices. I tried to get photos of all the dishes but missed many. This was the creole tomato bisque and crawfish with house made andouille sausage.

 Mizuna green salad.

I had the Frisse with 90 minute egg. It was a perfectly runny egg that had been cooked in it's shell in a water bath at 125 degrees for 90 minutes. There were bits of bacon, house made croutons and sherry vinaigrette. I can't seem to find the printed menu so my discription may be a little off but the salad was fantastic.

The corn bread was delicious. I love the presentation and sweet cream butter that they brought with it. I had a birds eye view of the room from the bar and they brought me my very own corn bread. I was stuffed from the okra however and could barely make a dent.

The beef carpaccio looked amazing but I reserved my beef choice for my entree.

The lobster ravioli was freshly made by one of the chef's that day. It was so light and the puree of fennel was such a nice touch. The description was Lobster Ravioli, fennel puree, sauce Americaine, pernod emulsion. I couldn't taste the anise but think it was the part that had the foam. That's so Top Chef, don't you think?

I ordered the ribeye with white carrots, creamed spinach and raspberry sauce. It was such a great combination of flavors and the creamed spinach was my absolute favorite. 

Dessert arrived with a choice of banana cream pie or rich chocolate cake on the same plate. I would have lost my job had banana cream pie not been on our menu. Seriously, this was the star of the meal. I brought it home to share with my Charlie. It evoked memories of Hawaii for me once again and brought me virtually to Ted's Bakery on the North Shore of Oahu.

A large slice of apple pie arrived afterwards with a candle for my birthday. The whole room sang for me and I caught the last little bit on video to capture the moment. It was very, very sweet. Charlie also got apple pie as a treat.

Thanks once again Patrick and Jorbie for the wonderful, fun event. I haven't seen our clients have that much fun in a long, long time. You know you are having fun when your board members not only sing the Star Spangled Banner to honor our great city but also harmonize Happy Birthday. I look forward to bringing Eric in to dine so he can have more banana cream pie.


Ella said...

All your delicious posts lately have really changed my prejudices about US food even if I do understand that some of the dishes are not what you eat at home every day.

Nelle Somerville said...

I'm extremely fortunate to get to visit so many incredible restaurants Ella. We have some very progressive farm to table establishments in Baltimore that we can be very proud of who honor the whole animal and buy locally grown items. Have you visited the states and had a bad experience? Can I assume you mean our addiction to fast food?

Ella said...

I haven't been to the US and your assuming is quite right because the fast food is something that we have imported from the US, like mc donald.

I'm also impressed of the charcuterie and cheeses as it feels both French and Danish. But I guess that a country with so many people that derived from many cultures got influences from all over the world.