Blueprint’s Trinity

Steaming plates, chilly wine, and happy people are Blueprint on 3rd’s recipe for success.

By Jan Walsh

Tonight, we dine at one of our favorites, Blueprint on 3rd for our last restaurant meal of Winter 2022. We are greeted and enjoy catching up with both Dean and Brandon Robb.

We toast the end of winter with a bottle that tastes like spring: Cava Rosé, Isaac Fernandez “Biutiful” Brut NV. The bottle arrives chilled to perfection. Thus, its delicate effervescence enthusiastically forms a mousse atop. Sparkling wine needs to be served at appropriate temps (45-50 degrees) for it to sparkle—as this cava does. Crisp, lively notes of strawberry and raspberry reminds us spring is almost here. But many restaurants do not get these wines cold enough. And no “quick freeze” is going to chill down the thick sparkling wine bottles while you wait.

To start and for nibbling throughout dinner, cornbread here is always a must. And in addition to the Cornbread Muffin Basket, we are intrigued by the Fried Grouper Potato Croquettes. Hot food arrives steaming at Blueprint. Matters not if a table for two, such as us, or the table next to us of 10, all are steamy hot. Our hot, golden cornbread and its accompanying hot honey butter meld together quickly. No need to wait on hot bread to melt cold butter here. And each comforting, crumbly bite takes me back to my grandmother’s kitchen. Six steamy croquettes, the size and shape of hushpuppies, arrive smothered in Siracha she-crab soup and garnished with micro arugula. They are golden crisp on the outside, soft and plump on the inside. The thick, creamy soup adds moisture and a hint of heat that livens up the dish. We are also treated, by the house, to Grilled Jumbo Asparagus with farm egg salad, fried prosciutto ham, grilled radicchio. This dish has it all. The tender, crisp asparagus and creamy egg salad push spring. Its radicchio adds a moisture and a mellowed bitterness to the dish. And highlighting it all is a fabulous fried prosciutto—fine and crisp in texture and sweet and salty in flavor. No wonder executive chef, James Huckaby was recently made a partner in the restaurant!

For entrees Kev orders the Beef Stroganoff, and I opt for the Rainbow Trout. The stroganoff is winter’s last stand on a plate. This earthy, beefy dish is rounded out by mushrooms, asparagus, orecchiette pasta, and porcini cream. The tender filet melts in the mouth. Savory mushrooms add earthiness, asparagus brings color and grassy notes, and bits of onion whispers their subtle sweetness in this lovely interfusion. And al dente orecchiette completes this sensational stroganoff. My trout is served butterflied—like an open book. And one taste tells the truth of its freshness. This fabulous, flavorful fish is mild, flaky, and soft with nutty flavors. Its array of roasted vegetables bursts with early spring flavors. And the warm bacon-mustard vinaigrette layers on meatiness and tanginess. Both entrees are highly recommended and found on the new “early spring menu” that rolled out as this review is being published.

For dessert, Apple and Pecan Crisp à La Mode ends the evening on a sweet note. Tender bites of baked apples shine amid the crisp, brining winter’s last bite of cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats. As the ice cream melts into and throughout this hot cold, creamy, crunchy sensation, we see winter melting away.

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