Valentine’s Dinner 2021
Tonight, we fall in love with Blueprint on 3rd all over again.
By Jan Walsh
Kev and I toast Valentine’s 2021 at home before heading off to Blueprint on 3rd for dinner. We arrive to the Pepper Place area restaurant to a valet in waiting. And we are welcomed inside by restaurant supervisor, Brandon Robb, with glasses of sparkling rose.
Seated at a lovely table in back of the main dining room, overlooking the entire restaurant, we enjoy another toast. And we opt for a bottle of this lovely wine, Cava Rose, Isaac Fernandez, “Biutiful” Brut NV. Tonight’s menu is a three course, price fixe, and a sell-out. Chef James Huckaby wows us from the start with an amazing Amuse Bouche of Smoked Salmon with egg salad. There are five options for all courses: starters, entrees, and desserts.
We both select Shrimp and Lobster Bisque for starters. The bisque arrives steaming, crowned with nibbles of shrimp and lobster and scallion crème fraiche. After swirling the cream to encircle the bowl, we get our first tastes of this phenomenal bisque. Among the depth of flavors in this thick, creamy soup, is a synthesis of fresh crustaceans and tomato, with hints of wine. With every bite we swoon over this memorable soup. From the first bite I declare it among the top three lobster bisques I have ever had. Highly recommended!
Kev orders the Beef Tenderloin for his entrée. But I can’t decide between Snapper Cakes and Red Snapper. So, I ask Blueprint’s (co-owner and operator with his wife, Jenny), Dean Robb to surprise me. Kev’s thick cut tenderloin arrives piping hot and generous in portion. This superb steak is buttery and beefy from the grill marks outside to the soft moist, cooked to order inside. It is accompanied by a marvelous mix of mushrooms, wilted cress, and scrumptious smashed potatoes. As I am presented with my entrée, I am delighted to see that Dean chose the Red Snapper for me. Two filets of pristine, succulent fish are enveloped in an extraordinarily unique roast pepper-almond vinaigrette. The vinaigrette adds acidity, crunch, and a tomatoey brightness to the snapper without overpowering it, allowing its mild, sweet, fresh caught freshness to shine through. Accompaniments include vibrant broccolini and comforting roasted potatoes.
For dessert, Kev is torn between Lemon Cheesecake and Blueprint’s famous Gooey Butter Cake, which he loves and usually orders here. After he decides on the cheesecake, I select the Crème Brulee. The cheesecake has a thin graham cracker crust, is perfectly moist, and is drizzled with blueberry ginger glace. My seductive crème brulee boasts a thin layer of brittle, caramelized sugar that easily cracks open to a rich custard inside, making a classic crunchy, creamy contrast. Highly recommended!
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