Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Out of the Ordinary Eating

It's probably due to all the Lucy Knisley I've been reading lately, but I've found myself on a kick for new, interesting food. Tired of my own cooking, which is limited and revolves almost entirely around cheese, I've explored a few new restaurants of late, and I'm going to share my experiences with Bluebird Tavern, the new place that opened up in Tortilla Flat's old space on Riverside Drive.

From what I've heard and read, Bluebird has been getting mixed reviews since it opened, but I'm not one to let others' opinions influence me in matters of eating. I've been to Bluebird Tavern twice now, and have had great experiences both times. Service is prompt and friendly, the food is phenomenal, the beer list includes Allagash White (which is a huge plus right there), and the atmosphere is pleasant and cozy.

I'll say from the start, it's a pricier venue than most. But sometimes you actually do get what you pay for, and I feel like this is one of those cases. All of the meats are house-smoked and cured, or so the waitress informed me, and the Butcher Board is phenomenal. I also enjoy the flatbread, which changes daily (I had the mushroom flatbread - quite wonderful). In fact, the menu is set fresh every day, with a few regular staples and lots of daily specials and choices. Though I'm not a vegetarian, I did notice that there are quite a few vegetarian options. They also get HUGE props from me for being able to make their dishes to order - I have a nasty allergy to tree nuts, and they were happy to make a Butcher Board that was Me-Safe.

This is not your steak-and-potatoes style tavern; the menu is more eclectic and adventurous. The Butcher Board I ordered at my last visit contained liver tureen, orange and fennel sausage, veal tongue, and Whipped Lardo (which sounds like what you'd get if the Pillsbury Doughboy got himself into a domineering relationship, but is actually an incredibly delicious spread.) Not your average fare, and well worth a try.

Though it's certainly possible to have a less-than-satisfactory experience anywhere, my feeling on some of the lukewarm reviews Bluebird has recieved is that they're based on peoples' expectations. Bluebird defies the traditional definition of "tavern", and stretches beyond the burgers and fries fare that we've come to expect of a pub. In my opinion, Bluebird adds a dash of sophisticated eating to Riverside, and it's a welcome addition.

-J

2 Comments:

Blogger aparkerrenga said...

Um... yes, love the blog and who can beat veal tongue? Keep it up! APR

July 28, 2009 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

So I'm sitting in the library "working" and decided to stop being a lousy friend and to read your blog. Which I was enjoying. Until I got to "Whipped Lardo (which sounds like what you'd get if the Pillsbury Doughboy got himself into a domineering relationship)" and now I'm worried I'll giggle too much and get kicked out!

July 31, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

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