When I was up in Philadelphia on business a few weeks ago, I always take the time to try to find somewhere I can chill out and enjoy time with friends and great conversation. I’ve learned that with what I do, sometimes just hanging at a club or at someone’s house doesn’t always fit the bill. For me, a club often feels like work and just chillin‘ at someone’s house, while it’s nice, I want to get out and explore the city.
On the last night before I departed my favorite city, I needed to chill out after the hectic event we had just had the day before. So, after discussion with Meowmix, we decided that dinner at this hot spot called Bourbon Blue would be in order for the evening. Not only does it have a rockin’ bar atmosphere but the food was sublime. Manayunk has this vibe – where it’s city but not city – and you just instantly feel at home when you enter. It’s warm, inviting and the people there are genuinely nice.
Let me preface this with I’m always apprehensive when it comes to traveling and restaurants. Yes, I do use “Google” to my advantage and I just wasn’t finding much in the way of reviews of this restaurant albeit some various articles from its opening 5 years ago. Also, Cajun/New Orleans food in Philly? I mean, c’mon – I know Philly is eclectic but NOLA food in PA? As my friend SL would say “What do they know about Cajun Cuisine?” I was a bit wary. Around Florida we have some good Cajun restaurants but I wasn’t sure if the North could actually create that mood.
Let me say for the record: I was wrong.
Bourbon Blue hit it out of the box AND then some. I apologize as I didn’t take any pictures that night but I was so caught up in everything that whipping out my camera just didn’t seem right. Not to mention, the lovely blackberry froze on me again rendering pictures impossible. We were lucky to secure a late reservation on one of their busiest nights as they had a number of graduation parties. While there was a very brief wait to be seated, it was to be expected. We were a few minutes late, and, of course, we were there on the busiest night of the week.
First of all – YOU MUST try the espresso martinis. BB’s fabulous bartender Heather whipped up this libation that had me bugging her for the recipe. Has the Espresso Martini replaced my favorite Cable Car Martini, one might wonder. No, but it’s hit my second favorite cocktail status – knocking out my Egyptian martini that I’ve loved for so many years.
Our server, Mark, paid attention to the most minute detail – and for my friend Meowmix, after a server we had a few days prior, that meant a lot. When he saw her sombrero was running a bit low, he had another quickly whisked over. He knew that a sombrero was Kahlua and milk, NOT tequila. Vegas obviously didn’t get the memo a few years ago.
Now, let’s get onto what y’all want to know about – the food. First of all, the bread is this warm, fresh out of the oven, cornbread served with a Creole Butter that had me again pestering for the recipe (which I learned how to recreate when I returned to Orlando and no I am not sharing – their chef might shoot me!). For appetizers, we decided to start with the Blackened Chicken Quesadillas. Meowmix is notsomuch a fan of spicy food (which I’ve just started to love) and sometimes with a quesadilla it can be hit or miss. This was perfect. Savory yet subtle – the flavors melded perfectly with the cilantro sour cream and fresh salsa. For the entrée, per recommendation of Mark, we elected to try the Parmesan & Cornmeal Encrusted Scallops. They were perfectly seared on a bed of vegetable orzo. To end the meal: What else, another round of cocktails.
I can tell you that when I have to go back to Philly in August, I’m sure that a night out at the Bourbon will be on the agenda. Great food, great atmosphere and great people. When you find something that good, you don’t hesitate to go back.
2 Rector Street
Philadelphia, PA 19127
215-508-3360 / www.bourbonblue.com
Rating: 4.5 Stars…
Rating: 4.5 Stars…
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