Went with some friends from Wash. Hts. to Bleu Evolution last Monday night. I was pleasantly surprised, especially after having read some of the reviews from this board that were absolutely bursting with vitriol.
No, the food was not "awful" or "yucky;" it was pretty good, actually, and worth the visit if you're sick of upper west side/Morningside Hts. joints and need a change.
Our server was able to answer our questions about wine, and directed us to a lovely Shiraz that complemented our meals nicely. My friend had an eggplant curry that consisted of lightly breaded slices of the vegetable perched above a mound of tasty, earthy barley, all afloat in a subtly nuanced curry sauce. My other friend had a simple but tasty seared tuna salad--tuna was just seared enough, with a nice ribbon of pink still running thru it. I had a terrific "morrocan" fried chicken--two hefty pieces of juicy chicken covered in a spicy batter that reminded me of cinnamon, chiles, turmeric and other good things that generally belong to a Moroccan tagine. It was accompanied by a tasty garlic mash and spicy collard greens. Good food for a snappy, windy night! Our opening app--the orange-chicken spring rolls--came accompanied by a thai-style red chile sauce that sparked things up considerably. We finished off the meal with a terrific coconut creme brulee in which the coconut flavor was decidedly pronounced...it could have been a touch cooler under the brittle sugar shell, 'though.
We had a comfortable, leisurely-paced meal, one we'd gladly come back to replicate over and over. Granted, that may have been because it was a Monday and not a busy weekend night. Still, it seems to me that if you call ahead and make a reservation, you'll be a lot happier than if you hang out in the bar area for twenty minutes waiting for a table.
I wonder if Bleu Evolution has changed chefs since the last time the reviewers from this board visited it, or if they've simply taken into account the complaints people had about the pretension/food. Seems to me that I can think of many places in, say, the Upper West Side that are WAY more pretentious...