Bleu, Take Two

Dave and I gave my brother Tyler a gift certificate to Bleu for his birthday, and we felt it was only right to be the ones to take him. (Okay, we really just wanted an excuse to go again without feeling guilty about the expense).

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Though last time’s experience was three out of five stars, this one was five out of five. (Though the food was equally amazing both times). The restaurant was full when we arrived at 7:30, but not wall to wall packed like last time. We waited only a few minutes to be seated after the four of us met up. Also, we were seated at a nicer, smaller table facing the kitchen–score!

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Seeing fresh ingredients and spices on the kitchen is a great sign. I started the night off with a dirty Tanqueray martini but requested the special bleu cheese olives.

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It wasn’t dirty enough for me at first, so I had the bartender add a little more juice. It was really cool to see him freshly squeeze the creamy bleu cheese into the olives.

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So good.

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We spent a few minutes drooling over the menu before we ordered. Dave and I ordered three small plates and one medium plate to share, while Ty and Nicole ordered two appetizers and a regular entree each.

004 I like the mix and match of the menu with small, medium, and large plates. Perfect for tasting.

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Nicole just got back from a week-long cruise for a wedding, so we got to hear all her tales about it. Oh, to be near the sea.

For my second drink, I ordered Bleu’s Berry Mojito, which was made with rum, muddled lime and fresh mint, fresh blueberries, and club soda.

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It was very fresh and summery tasting without being too sweet.

Tyler and Nicole’s appetizers came first and they offered us a piece of the delicious Mushroom Flatbread in exchange for a piece of the Margarita Flatbread.

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This flatbread is so amazing. I could eat it for dinner every night for a week and be happy. It’s creamy, salty, and savory with a lovely blast of freshness from the arugula. I can tell the truffle oil they use is high quality.

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Because Dave loves raw oysters, we french kissed the ocean again with these Well Fleet ones.

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I really love the tangy addition of cocktail sauce and lemon juice even if it’s not “purist”–it lends a lovely contrast to the mellowness of the raw oysters.

The shrimp cocktail we ordered wasn’t a cocktail at all–I’m not sure if this is how they usually serve the dish or if they had run out of martini glasses, but it arrived disassembled (though still displayed quite nicely).

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These grilled shrimp were plump…buttery…juicy…amazing. Cocktail schmocktail; I’d take a plate of these shrimp again any day.

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The sliders. Oh, the sliders. These were angus beef with bleu cheese, onion, pecan wood smoked bacon, and homemade ketchup. They were served with a side of fresh chips which we later found out were parsnip, beet, and carrot. I didn’t think I liked beets, but the beet chips were my favorite.

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This was the most perfect burger I have ever eaten. The combination of flavors was spot on, and I think the choice of bleu cheese just sent it over the top. Plus, you can never go wrong with adding bacon.

The only dish I wasn’t over the moon for was the Margarita Flatbread.

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The tomato sauce was very smooth and creamy and reminded me of ravioli sauce. I would have preferred a lot more basil or a small sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top to balance the mildness of the fresh mozzarella. This one had nothing on the Mushroom Flatbread, so I probably wouldn’t order it again.

Ty and Nicole made great choices, too (although if there is a “bad” choice, I haven’t met it yet). Ty ordered the Ultimate Club, which our server informed him was “huge.”

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She was right: they didn’t skimp on anything here. This was the equivalent of three decently sized sandwiches split into four parts, served with the same delicious chips as our sliders. It was made with brioche bread, thick chunks of turkey (more like Thanksgiving turkey than thinly sliced deli turkey), pecan wood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and black pepper mayo.

Nicole ordered the seasonal vegetarian creation, which was a Mushroom and Squash Quinoa with feta and balsamic glaze. It was a great combination of flavors, but it was probably the only meal that I would outright say is overpriced for the size. It’s hard ordering vegetarian in any fancy restaurant and getting your money’s worth, though.

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We all shared tastes at the table and agreed that everything was phenomenal. I wanted to save room for dessert, but it just wasn’t in the cards tonight. Instead, we headed to a bar for a few after-dinner cocktails.

I wanted some place dark but comfortable so my brother suggested Nicky’s Lionhead Tavern. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of my cousin Jake, who’s a chef there, but he had left for the night.

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I started off with a Louie’s Demise, which is brewed in Milwaukee.

030This brew is malty and has a bit of a bite, but it has a nice smooth finish.

Another friend came to join us for a brewski.

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I think it was the discussion of grumpy cat that inspired Adam’s face in this picture. For some reason, we ended up covering all the taboo topics at Nicky’s: religion, sex, and politics. Passion was flying!

I ordered a Blue Moon for my second beer.

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I always order Blue Moon when I don’t know what to order. It never disappoints. Plus, you get a free appetizer–orange slice!

We got home late (again)–this has been quite the weekend already. It was really fun having two “foursome nights” instead of a big party night, though. I really enjoy small groups once in awhile for some good one-on-one conversation.

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I’ll once again recommend Bleu to anyone living or traveling to Green Bay. I think it’s safe to say it’s my favorite restaurant in Green Bay now (though I still have a few to try).

What’s your favorite restaurant? What kind of cuisine do they serve?

 

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