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Blue Water, Westfield NJ Review

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Blue Water, Westfield NJ Review

sivyaleah | Dec 18, 2005 10:36 AM

Friday night my husband and I decided to try the recently opened Blue Water in Westfield. It is in the space that Mojave Grill used to occupy.

The restaurant has been refurbished to reflect the new restaurant's heavy on the seafood menu, a type of cuisine sorely lacking in the area considering all the fine dining available. Soft blue coloring on the walls have replaced the southwestern tones and there is now a lovely fishtank in the front vestibule.

We were greeted by one of the owners, who was very pleasant. We asked to be seated by the kitchen, a favorite spot of ours from the old place, because we enjoy watching what is going on.

The menu was varied enough for seafood lovers and meat lovers alike. Plenty of choices, some very interesting. Our waiter came over with a very nice assortment of breads and olive oil for dipping. At first, he seemed confused about the menu however, as it turns out, he wasn't at all, there was just a bit of a language barrier as he had an accent which made it a bit difficult to communicate at first.

For appetizers I ordered the seafood salad, which was scallops, shrimp and calamari. I asked if it were over greens and the waiter said it was. I had my doubts, wasn't sure if he understood me. My husband ordered a Harvest salad, which was organic mixed greens, apples, a goat cheese cake and walnuts.

The seafood salad arrived sans greens. Well, there were about 3 pieces of some kind of lettuce hidden under the shellfish. However, all of it was extremely fresh tasting so much so that I thought the scallops were mozzerella at first, so sweet and soft they were. It was dressed just right - not too much oil and vinegar to take away from the flavor of the seafood and had crushed red pepper in it too, again just enough for a nice bite. My husband's salad was very nice but a bit light on the vinegar, which could have easily been remedied if he'd askef for more.

While eating this, one of the owner's came by to see if we were enjoying our food and I mentioned that the waiter had said the seafood salad was over greens. He said, yes it is, and looked at my plate and was surprised to see how little there were. He asked if I'd like him to replace it, I said yes and he wisked it away and brought me a new one with a decent amount of lettuce this time.

For our main entrees, I ordered the onion-crusted tilapia and my husband had a chicken milanese (he does not eat seafood). My tilapia was wonderful. I was a bit concerned at first, because it was heavily sauced and I thought it would drown out the flavor of the fish an ruin the crust - but lo and behold! The crust stood up remarkably well to the sauce, and the fish was very evident beneath. Also, very fresh tasting and of obvious good quality. Delish mashed potatoes on the side, and a decent amount of nicely presented veggies (carrots, broccoli, zucchini). Portion was very large too - I couldn't finish the plate.

My husband's chicken was served typically milanese, i.e.; with a bed of lettuce/mozzerella on top of the breaded cutlet. Very good quality chicken, it may have been organic, I seem to remember that word being on the menu several times.

We split a creme brulee for desert. It had the perfect crack on top, nice and warm with the creme inside cold as it should be. Vanilla flavor very apparent - really a good brulee and we're very picky about this particular desert.

Service was warm, albeit a bit confused and slow at times as the restaurant has only been open 1 week but we could excuse that for now. The kitchen was calm and trying very hard to get things out as quick as possible, and the chef seemed very in control and aware of what was going on with everyone else in the kitchen. We overheard him admonishing (calmly) to one of the other cooks that dishes with salad on them (like my husband's milanese) should NOT be placed under the lamps, explaining that it will wilt the lettuce. The waitstaff seem enthusiastic to be working there, one of them even stopped over when she saw me eating the tilapia and mentioned how exciting it was for her to come in everyday and to taste what is happening in the kitchen.

When we left, we had a quick chat with the chef and oweners, complimenting them on the meal. The chef (I didn't get his name) apologized for any small confusions explaining the obvious problems with a new restaurant and he hoped we'd be back as things progress. We certainly assured him we would be, as the food was great.

By the way, everyone leaving was complimenting the food - we didn't hear one single complaint, as a matter of fact, we loudly overheard everyone raving about it as they were leaving (our table had to be passed by all the people in the back room).

The only small disappointment was the restaurant had been touted as being a cajun/creole menu prior to opening. Don't know what happened with that - or if it will change at any point, not that this is a problem. There are no specials on the menu yet - probably because they are trying to get all the regular dishes down pat before attempting to jump into anything else.

Dinner for 2 was about $75ish, with tip and tax which was for 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 1 desert. No liquer license, BYOB. Not too bad for incredibly fresh and well prepared seafood.

All in all, a great edition to the local dining scene here.

Laurie

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