Offering an innovative wine list, outstanding service and a warm and inviting atmosphere
So, usually Eddie is the one who comes up with clever titles for his reviews, but I just couldn’t get this tongue twister out of my head for Blue Talon…
Fancy, yet family friendly French food.
Say that 10 times fast!
Honestly, my first choice when going out to eat is not French food. I think it’s because I get a little scared of food terms that I don’t use every day, like paté, escargot and foie gras. But because the Blue Talon has such a great reputation, I knew this would be a good review.
I always thought of the Blue Talon as being a fancy place to go and never put it in the “family friendly” category in my mind, but that’s a image that co-owner Adam Steely would like to change. He said the restaurant welcomes families and never wants to be too stuffy that families won’t feel comfortable there. Because of this, they offer options for kids during lunch and dinner. At lunch kids can get half portion, half price meals and at dinner time they can order off a special kids menu. So even though this is still an upscale dining experience, don’t fret about bringing the kids.
Our meal started off with their Country Style Paté. It came with with whole grain mustard, horseradish & mustard cured fruits. I actually enjoyed this, despite my fear of paté. I really liked the combination of the paté with the different sauces. It was the best mustard cured fruits I’ve ever tasted. Oh wait, that’s the only mustard cured fruits I’ve ever tasted. Still, they were good The Warm Goat Cheese was next on the agenda. It reminded me of white pizza or a slice of garlic bread, except a lot better. Our waiter recommended their Cheese Plate, which included croutons, different cheeses, candied walnuts (my favorite part of the plate) and other accompaniments. The “croutons” were not like any other croutons I had eaten before. They were actually thin slices of crispy bread. I’m used to those pre-packaged little square things, so this was a treat. Before the meal even started I suspected my favorite dish was going to be the Chicken & Mushroom Crêpes. I used to tell people that my favorite food was mushrooms, so I was glad our waiter suggested this. Sure enough, it was my favorite. You’ll hear more about it in just a moment if you are just patient through these last few lines. The last savory dish we tasted was their Soup and Grilled Cheese. I think this is up there for one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I have eaten in my lifetime. We rounded out the meal with a few desserts, including a giant cookie that was super soft and tasty and their Chocolate Mousse. The last time I ate dessert at the Blue Talon the Chocolate Mousse was bottomless, which meant our waiter kept scooping more into the bowl whenever we were running low. The fact that you can have as much mousse as you want was inconceivable to me. Eddie and I already planned to go back next time just for a dessert feast. Yum!
My Favorite Thing: Chicken & Mushroom Crêpes – “Baked crêpes filled with creamed chicken, mushrooms & Herbs de Provence, topped with Parmesan cheese & served with field green salad”. I was so glad Eddie let me have the leftovers on this one. Yum! I loved the crumb topping and the creaminess inside the crêpes.
What I would like to try next time: Fried Salmon Cake Sandwich – “Spicy cake served on a toasted bun with shredded lettuce slaw & french fries”. I’m always a sucker for trying crab cake sandwiches, so I’m very interested in tasting this different rendition using salmon.
I Love This Job
I mean, come on. I get to partake of a zillion different dishes from some of the best restaurants in Williamsburg. Now, I know Williamsburg might not be as well known for its eateries as say New York or Paris, but quite frankly, Williamsburg has some culinary punch of it’s own. Williamsburg stands strong with it’s unique historical identity as well as being one of the most desired weekend getaways for some of the most important and well-known cities in the world (i.e. Washington D.C. and New York City). This, alongside with it’s desirable lifestyle, provides fertile ground for some outstanding chefs to grow their culinary roots.
Enter Blue Talon Bistro. A fun, yet comfortably upscale restaurant in the heart of Merchant’s Square serving some of the most bodacious food in the area. The decor is classic and fun with lots of blues and artistic displays of roosters everywhere. Trust me, it works. The classic architecture reminds me of restaurants in Paris. It accompanies the cuisine perfectly. The Executive Chef and Owner, David Everett calls it “Serious Comfort Food”. And he knows what he’s talking about. His resumé is as impressive as it gets, working in various high profile restaurants and featured in almost every food publication you can think of. I’m intimidated just reading his bio.
As impressed as I am with the chef, and as beautiful as the architecture is, I’m really excited to move on to the food. It’s just that awesome. So lets go. And please forgive me, we’ll be here for awhile…
We began by asking the waiter for recommendations. As he continued listing his favorite dishes, I started to realize that he was listing almost every dish on the menu. After looking at the descriptions, I can see why. They ALL sounded REALLY good. So we went through the painstakingly, tongue-torturing process of narrowing down the dishes to only those for the review. After a good five minutes of bitter tears for tastings lost, I jumped back in the saddle and prepared myself for an exquisite eating adventure. Right off the bat, came a doozy… The Country Style Paté – “Rustic house-made paté of savory pork and fresh herbs with toasted bread“. To call it just “toasted bread” is criminal. It deserves a fancy pants, french-inspired name with some sort of symbol on top of a vowel or something. I loved that stuff. Accompanying it was the paté. If you’re a little bit weary of the word “paté”, don’t be. It’s basically meat mixed with seasonings and grounded into a meat spread. And the one at Blue Talon’s is delicious. They serve it with three different sauces – Horseradish, Grain Mustard and an Italian Mustard Cured Fruits. My favorite was the cured fruits. It went great with the paté. Then came the Warm Goat Cheese – “Chèvre warmed on French bread with sliced beets, candied walnuts, Manakintowne field greens and herb honey“. Once again, a home run. I loved everything on this dish! The mixture of the salty cheese on a slightly spicy bread mixed with the sweetness of the sauce and walnuts along with the beets and fresh salad made this dish outstanding. The Cheese Plate – “Three cheeses with cider reduction, red grapes, walnuts, Granny Smith apples & croutons” came next. We were given three cheeses of which my favorite was called a Bauernkäse (Italian Cow Cheese). Oh how I love good cheese. A tip from the waiter was to dip an apple slice into the sweet apple reduction sauce and place it on top of the crouton with a piece of cheese. Worked perfectly. Following this came the Grilled Asparagus Salad – “A selection of vinaigrette dressed field greens with lightly grilled pencil asparagus, a toasted Brie crouton, smoked bacon lardons and a soft placed egg“. Wow, that was a lot. But it tasted really good. The bright yellow yolk oozing from the perfectly poached egg onto the crusty bread with cooked brie sitting atop of asparagus and fresh greens yield a fantastic contrast of bitter and salty flavors. Next on the list was the Hudson Valley Wings – “Crispy spiced NY duck wings with celery sticks, carrots and blue cheese dressing“. I’ve never had a duck wing like this before, but these were good. They put a ton of sauce on the wings leaving you licking your fingers for quite some time. Which is a good thing. Then came their Chicken & Mushroom Crêpes – “Baked crêpes filled with creamed chicken, mushrooms & Herbs de Provence, topped with Parmesan cheese & served with field green salad“. I feel like this dish personifies what “Serious Comfort Food” is. It’s comforting, but quite elegant in it’s flavor. Extremely creamy and tasty with that delicious sauce. I just can’t believe how many amazing dishes this place has. Our seventh and final entrée was the Soup & Grilled Cheese – “Black bean & chorizo soup with a grilled Spanish style, white cheese sandwich“. The bold flavor of the soup paired perfectly with the salty and crunchy grilled cheese sandwich. This is one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches I have ever had, seriously. About ready to pop, we “wisely” chose to cram a few desserts down our throats. The cries from our taste buds silenced the cries from our painfully expanded stomachs. We first had their huge and chunky “Hooty Creek Cookie” with pistachios, white chocolate and cranberries. Then we sampled their Warm Bread Pudding with raisins, strawberries and a delicious warm sweet sauce. And we ended it all with their famous chocolate mousse which was very chocolaty. We rolled out of the Blue Talon Bistro extremely satisfied and honored to be allowed to review such a fantastic restaurant. Now, one of my favorites in Williamsburg.
My Favorite Thing: Country Style Paté. I really could have picked any of these masterpieces, but this one is the one I enjoyed the most.
What I would like to try next time: Brandade – “Classic Provençal dish of salt cod, whipped potatoes, cream and, in our case, white truffle oil – served with crispy croutons for dipping“. Sounds intriguing.