Glowbal Group owns one of the largest collections of restaurants in Vancouver, including places like Sanafir and Coast Restaurant. The newest addition to the collection is called Black+Blue and it is a steakhouse located on the increasingly trendy Alberni Street. The Dine Out Vancouver menu consists of three courses for $38.
“Bacon ‘n’ Eggs” thick cut double smoked bacon, fried duck egg, spicy maple syrup, wild arugula
This was one of the two appetizer options. The thick cut bacon had a good amount of fat to it and the scrambled duck egg was silky smooth. I’m not as big a fan of the sweet and savory combination created by the maple syrup, but that’s just a personal preference.
Tuna Carpaccio truffle aioli, pickled beets, grated horseradish, micro bulls blood greens
And here is the second appetizer option. The tuna was pounded flat into a very thin layer. This really wasn’t anything all that special and it was easily forgettable as a dish.
While the wait times at Black+Blue weren’t quite as bad as at Rare or Victory, it did take a lot longer than expected to get anything. After the appetizers arrived, we sat around and twiddled our thumbs for about an hour. Nothing came. Then, we saw the table next to us order some great looking onion rings and we couldn’t resist.
While they don’t have that breadcrumb batter that I prefer, these massive onion rings were crispy and arrived promptly. At $7, they’re not a terribly expensive addition to your dinner either.
Roasted Sablefish roasted squash purée, au poivre sauce, micro salad
Believe it or not, that’s a main dish. One of my dining companions ordered this entree and she was thoroughly disappointed. What little bit of fish that was on the plate was “too fishy” by her description. There was likely more fish in my carpaccio appetizer.
Angus Tenderloin roasted pearl onion, béarnaise sauce, snow crab leg
While I was hoping for more of a “steak” dinner, I understand that the tenderloin comes out in more of a “prime rib” kind of texture and consistency. It was a decent cut, but many of our “medium rare” orders arrived much closer to medium. Since we had waited over an hour and a half for our entrees, we really didn’t want to wait for them to re-fire.
You’ll also notice that the description called for snow crab leg. There were some minuscule amounts of crab mixed into the bernaise sauce, but this was hardly what we expected. Again, this really wasn’t anything special and I could have easily received a much better cut of meat at any number of other steakhouses in Vancouver.
Classic Crème Caramel orange-almond biscotti, orange liqueur
The sole dessert option on the Dine Out menu was this. I would have preferred the torching that would have come with a creme brulee, personally. I also found that the dessert was terribly inconsistent. Some of us at the table had a lot of vanilla bean (the black bits), whereas others had virtually none. Some of us had significantly larger or smaller pieces of biscotti too. Again, this was quite forgettable.
I went in with some high hopes for Black+Blue. Here was a world class steakhouse backed by Glowbal. Walking in, I really enjoyed the ambiance with the wide open center, wraparound “balcony” like seating on the second floor, a prominently displayed meat locker, and music that was playing at only a couple levels below a nightclub. It seemed like a fun, happening spot.
Unfortunately, the food was ultimately disappointing and the wait times were definitely outside the norm. I hope that this was due to be relatively new, coupled with the pressures of Dine Out Vancouver. If Black+Blue can find its stride and improve its quality, it could be a winner. For now, you have many other options for a great meal in Vancouver.