Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blend



Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Right off of the corner of Third Street and Laurel Street, there is a new hot spot that serves all kinds of wines, specialty cocktails and some great food to pair with any drink on their menu. The exact location is where The Wine Loft used to be located in downtown Baton Rouge. 

The interior is rustic but yet classy at the same time. It would be a great location to have a conservative night on the town, a business meeting or just a casual date. Highlights of this experience has got to go to the food. The chef, Eric Sibley, creates great innovative food that is not very common for this city.  As a Baton Rouge native, he seemed to be quite familiar to incorporate newer techniques with the old fashioned style that us southerners are so used to. He even graced our table with his appearance when bringing out our food, which was quite nice.

A few days before, I came across a picture of their Crawfish Croquettes that I was craving to try. So, without hesitation, that was what I decided to order. The friends I was with also ordered the Roasted Oysters, Beef Short Rib, and a cheese plate.

When ordering a cheese plate you get to choose from a variety. We opted to go with two cheeses from France. A goats milk triple cream goats milk brie and port salut made from cows milk. The other was from Spain, A sheeps milk Idiazabal D.O.  All were fantastic, and the presentation was great as well. It comes served with crispy flatbread, red bell pepper and strawberry jam, grapes, and roasted cashews. We were completely satisfied with the taste of all the cheeses and you could probably put the red bell pepper and strawberry jam on anything and make it taste great. 

The Beef Short Rib was absolutely delicious. It was set on top of stone ground grits, red wine au jus, wild mushrooms, spring garlic and roasted tomato confit. You could tell that it took quite some time and skill to prepare based on the tenderness of the beef and how nice and smooth the grits were. We were able to pull apart the meat easily with just our forks. Pairing it with the confit will give you a savory memory that you will not forget.

Next was the Roasted Oysters. This isn't the common chargrilled or rockefeller style that we're accustomed to. But, they certainly did not disappoint. It came garnished with creamed spinach, roasted red bell pepper, topped with an herb crust and dried corn. The flavor from the creamed spinach and roasted bell pepper worked really well with the oyster. It wasn't very heavy like some chargrilled or rockefellers might be. It was very light and subtle, but full with flavor.


The Crawfish Croquettes were all that I hoped for. It comes accompanied with New Orleans style chow chow (a type of relish), Tabasco and a chive cream reduction. I first tried the first one by itself. Which ended up being perfectly fine if it came served that way. Nice and airy for a fried food, and who doesn't love the taste for crawfish in Baton Rouge?


The plating for not only this item, but for all of them were great. This one in particular served more of a purpose. The chow chow and the cream reduction were spread around the plate to let you choose how you would like to eat it. The chow chow provided a nice contrast of sweet and spicy and the chive cream reduction provided a mild taste with a silky texture.



Every dish looked beautiful and every plate was completely clean by the time we finished. Our server was also on top of his game and very knowledgeable with the wine selection. You could definitely say that we were all satisfied with our experience.






Blend - 304 Laurel Street STE 1B, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
http://www.blendbr.com/main/


Blend Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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