I was tickled pink, one lucky duck to have descended on Vancouver in the end of October to encounter blue skies and sunshine morning until night. British Columbia’s little city on the Pacific is notoriously damp and dreary, especially in the Fall and Winter. My sister and I spent our first day running around town and while strolling along Kitsilano Beach with our pants rolled up to our knees we couldn’t help but laugh at our luck. Just as the sun was readying for a set we skipped past the cities harbour where floatplanes zoomed over the Rockies, memories of the winter Olympics stood tall via dormant torch and a lego killer whale pranced along the seawall as if to offer a quick wink before splashing itself into the distance.
A short stroll up from the crash of salt and briny waves we found ourselves standing outside of Black and Blue Steakhouse. Inspired by the classic steakhouses of Chicago, B+B has reimagined the concept for a new generation. Guests are greeted by a spacious double decker dining room built around a central bar and custom-built meat locker which pays homage to some of the finest in-house aged steaks being grilled in the city.
Our first stop was a quick elevator ride up to The Roof at Black + Blue which immediately reminded me of Toronto’s favourite boutique rooftop bar at The Drake Hotel. It was here that my sister and I met with our two dates that evening, Morgan and Laura from Immedia PR. The four of us had a chance to mix and mingle on The Roof as ice cubes in our cocktails clamoured and clinked. I opted to sip from Pink Lips featuring stoli raspberry, soho lychee, raspberry puree and orange while the ladies conquered the Black + Blue Martini and Citrus Mule.
Once refreshed we marched into the main dining room and found ourselves a plush booth overlooking Alberini Street. Black + Blue is one of the rare restaurants alive today that still showcases the pomp and panache of table side service. We launched into our meal as two handsome servers arrived table side: one tossing a caesar salad in a large wooden bowl while the other entertained as flames forced a sizzle of pan fried jumbo tiger prawns.
The real show stopper here was of course the Surf and Turf Platter which featured PEI blue ribbon tenderloin and ribeye, australian and japanese wagyu new york striploins and an atlantic lobster tail duo stuffed with dungeness crab. Wee dishes filled with clarified butter, bbq sauce and chimichurri encouraged guests to slather, dip and dredge. Our meat was accompanied of course by a choir of serious side dishes. Favourites included a loaded baked potato, mac and cheese sticks, creamed corn and brussels sprouts with lemon, capers and parmesan.
The grand finale featured final table side theatrics as our host whipped up a hot skillet of Crepes Suzette. Our sweet trio was complete with a subtle Butter Cake and epic 20 Layer Chocolate Espresso Cake offering a perfect brandied cherry on top of a frothing mound of cream.
stoli raspberry, soho lychee, raspberry puree, orange juice
Black + Blue Martini
absolut elyx, blackberry liqueur, muddled blackberries and blueberries, fresh lime
bacardi white, limoncello, peach puree, fresh lime, ginger ale
Burrowing Owl 2011 Pinot Gris
La Frenz 2010 Montage
B + B Blue Cheese Bread
chive oil, roquefort butter
Table Side Tossed Caesar Salad
Jumbo Sauteed Tiger Prawns
Surf and Turf Platter
pei blue ribbon tenderloin + ribeye, australian and japanese wagyu new york striploins, atlantic lobster tail stuffed with dungeness crab, house made bbq, chimichurri
Loaded Baked Potato
bacon, white cheddar, sour cream
Mac and Cheese Sticks
truffled cheese sauce
lemon, capers, parmesan
Black + Blue Butter Cake
creme chantilly, caramel sauce
20 Layer Chocolate Espresso Cake
whipping cream, brandied cherries
served table side with cointreau, whipped cream