This July 4th I went to The Blue Water Grill. I had never been to this restaurant before; for me, it has always been characterized it by its bold red awnings that line 16th street and Union Square West. Although it is surrounded by a multitude of restaurants like Republic, Heartland Brewery and even Toasties, it has a slightly different appeal because it’s main attraction is of course, the seafood and raw bar. The atmosphere is also more upscale with its white tablecloths and well dressed patrons who seem to be tourists, looking for a quiet break from the New York masses, as opposed to Union Square locals. The outdoor seating at Blue Water Grill is probably its greatest asset. Sitting outside will land you in prime “people watching” position, but far enough away that you avoid the loud chatter of the busy farmer’s market.
The restaurant has a special brunch menu which offers breakfast and lunch specials from 10:30 am to 4 pm on Sundays. We made the window and were impressed to see all that they had to offer. We were also handed the regular menu. The regular menu has a myriad of selections from Lobster bisque to a Caesar salad and then a wide range of sushi and sashimi. The specialty rolls seem to be up to par with other upscale Japanese restaurants, as they offer the freshest of sea life from soft shell crab to ahi tuna.
We started with the Big Eye Tuna Nachos ($9). These are a must have. Served in a long rectangular plate are 6 delicate tortilla chips topped with Ahi tuna, avocado, and pickled jalapenos, and finally drizzled with a creamy and spicy aioli. For those of you who know me, you will be surprised that I ate this. Normally I shy away from very creamy dishes, especially those that are generously topped with aioli and avocados. But I gave these a shot just because of how beautifully they were presented and how amazing they smelled. The aroma tingled my nose from the spicy aioli and the ahi tuna smelled like BACON! Yum. No complaints there. The whole little concoction is to be devoured in one sinful bite. The crunch from the tortilla balances with the soft avocado and tender fish. The whole thing is just delicious. Order it, please.
From the brunch menu, Danny ordered the smoked salmon eggs benedict ($16.50). I didn’t try these because as you may have guessed, I’m not a huge fan of hollandaise sauce. I did, however, try the hashed browns and they were delightfully spicy with sweet, caramelized onions. Such a perfect combination! The poached eggs for the benedict were served on top of a buttermilk biscuit and smoked salmon and smothered in that creamy, artery clogging sauce. The dish must’ve been pretty rich because even Danny, whose appetite is like that of a garbage disposal, couldn’t even finish. From his culinary perspective, he said it was good but that I wouldn’t like it. Take what you will from that!
Now on to what I ordered. I got a soft and fluffy omelet stuffed with spinach, tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese. This is called the organic omelet ($16.50). It was sided with a generous heap of greens with a light lemony vinaigrette. Mixing the omelet and the salad was actually just delightful and didn’t leave me feeling too full, like I usually feel after a big brunch on a holiday. While some omelets are served with too much butter or oil, this one was perfect. There was no grease, just juicy tomatoes and spinach. The light sprinkling of sharp cheddar worked perfectly with the sweet veggies inside. It was mouth watering and I wouldn’t hesitate to eat this again and again.
So there you have it- a great rating for this restaurant. The service was also really spot on. Our server was very friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and never hesitated to give free drink refills, which one can never complain about. The pricing is, of course, a little more expensive than your typical brunch diner but it is definitely worth it, especially if you’re looking for something special. So if you’re on a culinary hunt for a great meal while sitting outside and enjoying the glorious summer weather, then Blue Water Grill should certainly be your next stop. Enjoy!