Monday, February 14, 2011

A Blue Canyon Birthday

Two quick notes:
1. Don't forget about the 4th Annual Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week happening February 21st - February 27th! I already have plans to dine out on Monday. Where will you be headed? This is a great deal, don't miss it!

2. I am seriously kicking my 2011 "To Dine" list's buh-thooey. I have completed 4 out of 10 already! In case you missed it, I selected Lolita as my final #10 restaurant. Then I will have completed my tour of Symon's restaurants. And my grandma generously (and thoughtfully, since she lives in NY) sent me a gift certificate to Dante for my birthday. So that will be another one knocked off the list soon!

So, on to the post...

It was my birthday on Saturday. The big 2-8, and "R" and I decided to celebrate by heading to Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern in Twinsburg for a late dinner. Opentable provided us with a 9:00 reservation, but we decided to head over early and grab a drink at the bar while we waiting. But, no wait necessary! When we arrived at 8:40PM, the hostess informed us that they were ready and led us to an amazing table by their floor-to-ceiling windows in the Great Room. Snow covered bushes and evergreens decorated in twinkling blue lights was our view to the right, and our view to the left was Blue Canyon's open kitchen and the giant stone fireplace and chimney smack in the center of the room. On this chilly winter night, I was loving the view and "lodge" atmosphere. The added throw pillow found on my chair was a bonus! Very comfortable seating and a cozy glow to the rustic room.
We started with the Cast Iron Cheese Bake ($9) with fontina, asiago and goat cheeses served with crunchy bread. We also added the Alaskan king crab for an additional $4. We had been torn between this dish and the duck flatbread, and our server had suggested this starter with no hesitation. I mean, come on, it is a crock full of steaming, gooey, delicious cheese. And delicious it was. A little greasy, but overall tasty and we loved the crusty, browned cheese around the edges. It was a little too large of a portion for just two diners, so I had to stop myself after a while or I never would have been able to enjoy the rest of the meal.

Our server then brought over a bread basket, which we were going to refuse until she told us that the spread served with it was a white bean, cream cheese, and pesto blend. We had to try it! This is one spread that I know we will be attempting to recreate at home. It was silky smooth with just a hint of pesto flavor. It also helped that the bread had just come out of the oven.

I had checked out their menu online earlier in the day, and had zeroed in on one entree- the Braised Beef Short Ribs and Sweet Potato Gnocchi ($21) served with brussel sprout leaves and caramelized onions. I have been on such a short rib kick lately. I blame Adam Bostwick from Melange for the amazing short rib dish that he served at the December Dinner in the Dark! I've been hooked ever since. Several since have lived up to my expectations, but unfortunately tonight's dish did not. The meat was cooked well, but the sauce was terribly bland and took away from the great piece of meat. Also, the gnocchi were mealy and gummy...not at all an enjoyable texture. I left most of them on the plate.

"R" was in the mood for a steak, and ordered the 16 oz. Bone-in Rib Chop ($29) with whipped potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a smoked blue cheese and maple butter. To be honest, I think he just wanted the butter! The steak was okay and certainly cooked to order, but in my opinion- it was nothing special.

I needed my birthday dinner to end on a high note, and the entrees were certainly not offering that, so we decided to share a dessert. On special that evening, it was a double fudge cheesecake with bourbon whip cream. Thankfully, it did the trick and wiped away the memory of our entrees (at least temporarily).

So overall there were some highlights (atmosphere, open kitchen, bread/spread, dessert, service, and wine), but the lingering feeling towards Blue Canyon is one of disappointment. The entrees are supposed to be the star of the meal, yet they really let us down. When we have so many fantastic options closer to home in Cleveland, I doubt that we will make the drive back to Twinsburg for another attempt at this restaurant.

Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern
8960 Wilcox Drive
Twinsburg, OH 44087

Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern on Urbanspoon


Green Dog Wine said...

Awww - well that's too bad it wasn't AMAZING - but at least it was a fun new experience! :)

CLEgal @ Why CLE? said...

If you ever feel like making the drive again, wait until the summer and check out their patio menu. It's much more appetizer/small plate focused and is very good. The patio has a really nice atmosphere too. It's worth a try...

Sounds like you still had a nice bday dinner and you've made awesome progress on your restaurant list!

Brad of Cleveland Food and Brews said...

Sorry to hear it wasn't a knock out b-day dinner! I went there once about 2 years ago and had a pretty good meal from what I remember. I might still consider going back soon, but like you said we have SO many great places to eat now that I don't know if BC is on my short list.

Unknown said...

I have only been to BLue Canyon once for a wedding reception. To me, it seemed like a place you go just for the atmosphere. Like the food was good, but not overwhelming. At least there were high points to your b-day dinner :)

Alana said...

Bummer for a bday meal!!!! Happy belated :)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I had the exact same experience...nice atmosphere but disappointing meal.