A Monday Night Visit to bluezoo with Chef Bobby

This experience took place on Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday, May 5th was a busy day for us… We had three friends leaving Orlando to head back home. We were pretty tired out from all the visiting &c and planned to take it easy and make it an early night. Sometime around 3pm, I got a tweet from Chef Bobby Griffing (Executive Chef for Todd English Worldwide)… He’s coming to town, meet him for dinner at bluezoo? Well, we’re trying to say “yes” to experiences and not cop-out on unique opportunities – so, yes!

We arrived at bluezoo well before Chef Bobby… and started with some beer and oysters… We selected two beers with very different profiles.

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kiuchi, hitachino nest, white ale (japan), ABV 5.5%, IBUs 20

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ballast point, sculpin, ipa (san diego), ABV 7%, IBUs 70

We’ve had the Hitachino Nest before and knew in advance that we’d like it. The Sculpin was new to us: Nick liked it, the hops weren’t floral; I thought it was good but I wasn’t completely sold on it.

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Pemaquid (Maine) larger of tonight’s oysters

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Summerside (Prince Edward Island) smaller than Pemaquid

The Pemaquid were larger with mild flavor but loads of “ocean” and brininess. They reminded us of oysters from the coast of NC (in other words, they remind us of home). We liked these quite a bit. The Summerside were not briny enough for us. The texture was okay, but the flavor was a bit lacking.

Ballast Point

Hitachino Nest

Pemaquid (Maine) We both thought this was a good combination Okay pairing, not as good as some of the other combinations
Summerside (PEI) Nick “IPA + oyster = good”Nora “I like this” Nick “not beachy”Nora “okay”

Nick had a clear preference, the Ballast Point IPA with oysters. I didn’t have a clear preference. We both liked the size and briny flavor of the Maine oysters, especially the amount of liquor (oyster juice) in the large bowl-like shell.

Once again, we prefer oysters from the east coast of the U.S. Maybe the waters off of Prince Edward Island (eastern Canada) are too cold to create the brininess we like so much?

There was a special event going on in the bluezoo lounge (that’s the slightly raised area near the windows next to the bar area… Chef Ryan was out and about, we were able to sample some of the offerings after the event was completed…

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pan seared gnocchi, fava beans, morel mushroom, pecorino cheese, truffle oil

Very good. Nick said that this dish was for him an education on truffle oil (in the past, he’s been kind of “eh” about truffle oil)… he gets it now. I particularly liked the truffle oil with the pecorino cheese. We both preferred this with the Hitachino Nest ale over the Ballast Point.

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whipped coconut milk, scallop serviche, togorashi peanuts, pickled melon

This dish was very tropical or caribbean beach flavored. I liked the combination of coconut and scallop especially.

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pine island shrimp, ravioli, ramp puree, (and something I don’t remember)

This was really shrimpy but good, the small portion was great; I wouldn’t want a full sized dinner portion necessarily. Nick thought it was “so good” and he really liked the ramp sauce.

These three items was like a beach party in our mouths. Very appropriate for bluezoo! These shout “come to the beach!”


We didn’t take photos of everything after Chef Bobby (& date) arrived. We had a really nice time visiting with him and we’re very happy that we said “yes”… It was nice to be able to tell him that Chef  Ryan is doing a great job and to point out some of our favorites on the new menu…

  • The BZ Burger
  • The Pea Ravioli
  • The Heirloom Tomato Salad (well, actually the tart)
  • The Hay Smoked Lamb

Take a look at this beauty…

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tomato jam, ricotta, melon, popcorn ice cream, in a shortbread crust

This is so d*mn*d good. Chef Bobby was particularly impressed with the popcorn ice cream and asked for some of it solo…

And, since we love the lamb dish… We had a sample of it. Again, it was great!

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hay smoked lamb loin, vegetables, lamb belly

So, if you go to bluezoo… Get the heirloom tomato salad and the lamb!!

We were very pleased to have dinner with Chef Bobby… We talked about all kinds of interesting things (which won’t be shared here)… This post is a bit light on details or stories, but we wanted to say how much we enjoyed our impromptu Monday night.

Thank you Chef Ryan (@r_ratino) and Chef Bobby (@BobbyGriffing) and Thank You to all of the great people at bluezoo (@gary_bruckner and @chadlobner)

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