Restaurant Review: Blue 5 in Roanoke

December 2, 2011
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I had dinner at Blue 5 in Roanoke this past week.  The restaurant has been around for at least a couple of years…which is about how long I’ve wanted to try it!  It’s known about town not just for great upscale/new southern food, but for outstanding local entertainment.

I always like to try several dishes when I go to a new place, and my dining companion was up for it.  We started off with fried green tomatoes with a shrimp rémoulade sauce.  The tomatoes were ok…they were cut too thin, so the tomato itself got lost in the beer batter style crust.  The batter itself was tasty, and the rémoulade sauce was perfect!

Next course was Caesar salad.  The salad itself came to the table rather dry-I honestly couldn’t tell if it had been dressed at all.  We asked for an extra side of dressing, and after that found the salad to be quite tasty, particularly the buttery sour dough croutons.

They don’t serve your typical roll…instead they serve heavenly little corn muffins.  Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside, not too sweet, brushed with butter and just a hint of garlic.  DELICIOUS!

For entrees, my companion had the sweet & spicy salmon.  It reminded me a lot of a dish I used to do during my country club days in Charlotte.  The glaze was a nice combination of sweet & spicy, though I feel it would have been a bit better with a little more vinegar kick-sort of like an NC bbq sauce.  The fish was obviously fresh and cooked to perfection.  I personally would have paired it with cheese grits, but it came with mashed potatoes & asparagus, which were very tasty as well.  As a side note, I did find it disappointing that a restaurant of their style & reputation would be serving asparagus in November.  I guess the local & seasonal movement has not hit everywhere…yet.

I had a Cajun jambalaya pasta.  The andouille was delicious, as was the shrimp, chicken & very spicy sauce.  The pasta was properly cooked, and the dish overall was excellent.

The piece de resistance however, was dessert.  Both my companion & I are crème brûlée connoisseurs, so our expectations are high whenever we order it.  Blue 5’s coconut crème brûlée did not disappoint.  It was perfectly cooked, still a little soft & creamy, not too eggy (which I hate). The best part for me was the crunchy bits of coconut on top.  I’m not sure how they did it-it didn’t seem to be toasted, but it was deliciously crunchy, pairing beautifully with the perfect layer of crunchy sugar brûlée.

The entertainment was great too-a couple guys playing some bluesy tunes while we enjoyed our meal.  Overall, I give Blue 5 two thumbs up & a strong recommendation!

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