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Not Your Ordinary Blue

Nestled within the maze of One Kendall Square you’ll find the Blue Room, a rustic and warm place to dine-literally and figuratively! Our table was behind the open view of the kitchen and the heat from the stove seemed to engulf us throughout dinner. But let’s not allow that to taint what delicious food those chefs whipped up while working under those hot flames.

We deliberated a little while over what to order from the creatively described salads and appetizers-everything looked so good. But at last we settled on the Mashed Potato Cakes with Salt Cod and Garlic served with Black-Olive Caper Sauce and the Seared Fennel-Crusted Tuna Sashimi with Chili Oil, Soy, and Wasabi. Without a question, the Tuna was far better. It was seared to perfection and the fennel crust was a nice accent. The Potato Cakes were a bit bland as the Cod didn’t add much pizzazz and there wasn’t nearly enough garlic. However, the four of us ate them up, but only after the tuna was gone.
While waiting for our entr‚es, we couldn’t help but devour the soft bread that was brought to the table. Add a little butter and it just melted away in your mouth. Could we have some more please? Hmm, maybe not as I see our entr‚es are on their way out.

Christina and I ordered the Roast Chicken with Rosemary Capers and Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jo Ann got the Grilled #1 Tuna with Giant Beans, Cavolo Nero, Garlic and Olive Oil, and Sophie ordered the Skillet-Roasted Skate with Baby Artichokes, Meyer Lemon, and Belgian Endive. Everything smelled delicious, and since we’re all such great friends, we enjoyed having tastes of each other’s meals. And, quite honestly, I can’t even begin to guess which was best-they were all fabulous.

From the moment the Roast Chicken dishes were set down on the table, both Christina and I could smell the sweet aroma rising from our plates. It was almost as if the rosemary had brown sugar mixed in with it. The chicken was moist and flavorsome. Jo Ann’s tuna was grilled to perfection. The most exciting things on her plate though were the giant beans. In all my life, I’ve never seen a bigger bean-these tasty bites had to be two by one inches big-which is huge for a bean. Needless to say, we all got a kick out of them! Sophie’s skate was delicious and just flaked off the bone. The baby artichokes were a great complement.

Even though we were all a bit full from dinner, we couldn’t pass on dessert. While the Blood Orange Sorbet with Candied Kumquats and Tuile Cookies and the Vanilla Bean CrŠme Br–l‚e with Pistachio Biscotti looked yummy, we went with the Warm Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Cream and the Grilled Banana with Vanilla Ice Cream and Rum-Caramel Sauce instead.

I thought the chocolate cake tasted great but lacked originality. There was nothing to set it apart from others I’ve tried. Not so for the Grilled Banana though-what a treat. The banana was sliced lengthwise, grilled, and served to us while still in its skin. Rum-Caramel sauce was drizzled over it and was simply mouthwatering. We also had fun eating the banana out of the skin.

We all had an enjoyable evening together celebrating Christina’s birthday. The Blue Room has a nice atmosphere with its brick walls, black and white photographs, subdued lighting, and steel tables. The service, while good, is a bit Bostonian. But never mind that, the restaurant is wonderful overall. A little suggestion though-if you have the option, make sure to ask for a table away from the kitchen so you don’t roast yourself away while enjoying a most delicious meal.

March 26, 2001
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