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Blue Water Grill, the iconic restaurant in the heart of Union Square, re-opens after a major renovation with new Executive Chef Chris Meenan [formerly of Veritas and most recently Vaucluse] at the helm. The modern and newly designed 225-seat seafood restaurant focuses on sustainability and highlights local purveyors in a light and airy dining room that complements the historic architecture of the space. Additionally, Metropolis oyster room and cocktail bar, a new 85 seat restaurant and cocktail lounge with live music five nights a week, opens. Located on the lower level of Blue Water Grill, the venue features a menu by Chef Adam Raksin, formerly of L2O in Chicago and Per Se, and most recently, opening chef de cuisine of Gunter Seeger, that includes an extensive oyster selection and creative takes on classic dishes.
Blue Water Grill [31 Union Square West on the park, 212.675.9500, www.bluewatergrillnyc.com]:
Blue Water Grill’s menu from Chef Meenan starts with market dishes that highlight produce from the neighboring Union Square Greenmarket, such as Watermelon and Late-Summer Tomatoes with Barrel-Aged Feta and Mint Chimichurri; Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini; and Spaghetti Squash Cacio e Pepe. The raw selection features dishes like Day Boat Scallops with Lardo, Beet and Honey Crisp Apple and Line-Caught Tuna ‘Nicoise’; in addition to various raw bar offerings and towers of seafood. The fish entrees include Alaskan Black Cod with Porcini Crust and Smoked Eggplant and Lobster Milanese (crusted in oyster crackers) with Succotash and Drawn Butter. Other offerings range from pastas like Farfalle with Jumbo Lump Crab and Pappardelle with Lava Lake Farm Lamb Shoulder, Oil-Cured Anchovies and Escarole, to meats like Dry-Aged Prime NY Strip with Watercress and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes, as well as a section of classics from the original Blue Water Grill featuring time-honored favorites like Seafood Cobb Salad with Sumac Buttermilk Dressing. Desserts include a Warm Gala Apple Crisp with Mexican Cinnamon Gelato and Banana Ice Cream Tower with Toasted Marshmallow.
The beverage menu at Blue Water Grill, from Beverage Director Richard Breitkreutz, formerly of Eleven Madison Park and Craft, showcases seasonal cocktails like the Harvest Margarita with tequila, and fresh and pickled vegetables from the Greenmarket. The extensive wine list, previously a winner of Wine Spectator’s 2016 Award of Excellence, is intended to represent the global world of wine and features old-world classics, artisan producers, eclectic finds, sustainable offerings and new world favorites as well as a robust by-the-glass program.
Blue Water Grill’s new design complements the historic architecture of the space and features a light and airy dining room with a balcony and outdoor seating. Guests are greeted by Blue Water Grill’s bar, constructed of white calacatta marble, embossed green leather panels, and custom designed saddle leather and brass bar stools. The dining room features banquettes in rich hues of green that sit under cut crystal and brass chandeliers and there are touches of cerused oak, ribbed glass and brass throughout.
Blue Water Grill is open for lunch from Monday through Saturday from 11:30am – 4pm, and for dinner Sunday and Monday from 5pm – 10pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 5pm – 11:30pm, as well as Sunday brunch from 10:30am – 4pm. For reservations or more information on Blue Water Grill, please visit www.bluewatergrill.com or call 212.675.9500. Follow Blue Water Grill on Instagram: @bluewatergrillnyc.
Metropolis [tucked away inside Blue Water Grill, 212.533.2500, www.metropolisnewyork.com]:
The menu at Metropolis from Chef Raksin features a selection of raw bar specials and modern takes on classic dishes. The menu starts with a selection of daily oysters served in a variety of ways: smoked on the half-shell with Thousand Island mignonette, Rockefeller draped in a thin veil of lardo, escabeche, and topped with margarita granita, among others. The dinner menu leads with bites like Caviar and Bubbles and Surf & Turf Tartar with Croissant Melba. The menu then progresses to dishes like Dover Sole Grenobloise for two and Sullivan Farmhouse Roast Chicken Grand Mère. Desserts such as Valrhona Chocolate Mousse and Bananas Foster Baked Alaska round out the menu.
The beverage menu at Metropolis, created by Breitkreutz, includes cocktails that are divided into Classics, New, Champagne and Large Format. Classics include the Ward 8 with rye, hibiscus and fresh lime, while New focuses on seasonality in cocktails like the Ginger Bourbon Pear with fresh tarragon. Champagne-based cocktails include the Rose of Sharon with gin, honeydew melon, rose water, and Gonet ‘Blanc de Blanc’ and Purple with crème de violette, plum bitters and G.H. Mumm ‘Cordon Rouge.’ An entire section dedicated to Large Format features selections like the Metropolis Martini for two mixed tableside and served with seawater-pickled market vegetables and the Smoked White Negroni for two served in an oversized flask with gin, Suze Liqueur, vermouth, and filled with cherry and applewood smoke.
The venue also features live musical performances five nights a week from talented signers and bands playing a range of musical genres including modern jazz and soul. Located adjacent to the former vault and safety-deposit room of Metropolis bank tucked away inside Blue Water Grill, the intimate space features warm grey paneling, rich ebonized wood flooring, and walls with velvet drapery. There are also hand painted murals by Miami artist Aquarela Sabol adorning the walls and ceiling inspired by champagne, oysters and aquatic life in metallic hues of gold.
Metropolis is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm – 11:30pm. For reservations or more information on Metropolis, please visit www.metropolisnewyork.com or call 212.533.2500. Follow Metropolis on Instagram: @bluewatergrillnyc.
About BR Guest Hospitality
Since opening its first restaurant in 1987, BR Guest Hospitality has redefined the restaurant experience through an emphasis on hospitality and quality. Current BR Guest properties in New York City include Atlantic Grill East Side, Atlantic Grill at Lincoln Center, Bill’s Bar & Burger Meatpacking District, Bill’s Bar & Burger Rockefeller Center, Bill’s Bar & Burger Downtown, Blue Fin, Izi, Dos Caminos Meatpacking District, Dos Caminos Park Avenue, Dos Caminos Soho, Dos Caminos Third Avenue, Dos Caminos Times Square, Isabella’s, Strip House Midtown, Strip House Downtown, Strip House Next Door, Troy Liquor Bar, and the newly renovated Blue Water Grill and opened Metropolis. Other BR Guest locations include Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas; Bill’s Bar & Burger at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh; and Dos Caminos, Bill’s Bar & Burger at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.
BR Guest’s commitment to service and hospitality is also evident through its dedication of time and resources to community-based organizations including City-Meals-On-Wheels, Memorial Sloan Kettering, PENCIL, and The James Beard Foundation. For more information, visit: www.brguesthospitality.com.
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