Located on 280 5th Avenue is a place that I would call an “expensive experience”.
Upon arrival, you are greeted by a customer friendly hostess who offers you the option to sit at the dining area, or at the bar. The medium sized dining area posses a low-lit, calming ambiance that would draw anyone searching for a tranquil setting to dine. The dark cherry wood chairs, accompanied with the burgundy lounge couches and wood tables adds to the serenity of the restaurant.
Each dining table is candle-lit, and readily prepared with silverware that sits on triangular shaped cloth, salt and pepper shakers, a carafe filled with ice water, and a loaf of sliced bread served on a wooden platter.
The server greets you with a friendly smile and hands over the restaurant’s menu, where the “expensive” aspect comes into play.
The lowest priced appetizer is the “Buffalo” Cauliflower, priced at $12.50, and the Hummus, priced at $12.75. My table of two ordered Fried Calamari for $16.50, and the Salt and Pepper Shrimp for $19.00. When the appetizers arrived at the table, each dish was decorated nicely on restaurant branded platters. The Calamari was perfectly fried with light salting, and though the Salt and Pepper appetizer only came with four pieces of jumbo shrimp, it was supremely cooked by avoiding a rubbery, overcooked texture and having a balance of salt and pepper seasoning.
Here comes the real “bang for the buck”. For the entrees, the least expensive dish was the Seasonal Vegetable Fried Rice for $21.50, unless you order a burger then you are paying as low as $14.50 for the Black Bean Veggie Burger, $18.50 for the Chicken Deluxe Burger, and $18.50 for a Hamburger Deluxe. My table ordered the Salmon which came with asparagus, crispy potatoes, and a mustard sauce for $31.00, and the Steamed Lobster that comes with corn on the cob and a baked potato for $40.00. Just as the appetizers were nicely decorated, seasoned, and plated, the entrees were as well. The food portions were fair, and the preparation time was short; the food came faster than expected.
My favorite part of this “expensive experience” was the alcohol. No I’m not an alcoholic, but their drink selection will make any virgin drinker a regular customer. Between the seven cocktails served over crushed ice, I did not know which one to order. Eventually I decided on the Gownaus Iced Tea: Dark Rum, Maraschino Liquor, Homemade Grenadine, Cava & Lemon Juice. Each cocktail comes with the option of one serving, three servings, or five servings. I was concerned that the crushed ice would dilute the drink, but the server suggested that I keep the ice because all of the drinks that are served with crushed ice are strong…he was right. The Gownaus Iced Tea was sweet enough where I could not taste the rum, but in less the twenty minutes I felt the effects of the booze. If I had to go back to Blue Ribbon Brasserie, I would definitely return to taste the rest of the cocktails on the menu.
Because I was celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday, the dessert was preordered and on the house. For dessert my table was served Chocolate Bruno (chocolate cake) menu priced at $12.50, two scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream, one scoop of Chocolate, $5.00 per scoop and Mango Sorbet, $3.75 per scoop, with a birthday candle and “Happy Birthday” written in chocolate syrup. The cake was soft in texture and rich in taste. The Mango Sorbet contained a heavy taste of mango, which I was in favor of.
Whether you’re celebrating a special day or just catching up with some friends, Blue Ribbon Brasserie is the place to go. Beyond the prices, Blue Ribbon Brasserie is a restaurant I would return to. The atmosphere is welcoming, the staff is friendly, the food is tasty, and the booze is strong. 4 Stars.