We pulled up next to the fabulous Fox at around 7, but the crowds had already formed for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, which made it trickier than normal to get a parking spot. The hostess, upon hearing the name of the reservation, leaned in close and mysteriously said, “Ah, yes, the Babers, I….have a question for you.” I was waiting for a query about this site, or an eGullet post, or perhaps even a question relating to how I managed to stay so lean despite my horrible eating habits. (Foie gras sauteed in Normandy butter? Yes please!) Turns out that she really only wanted to know if it was OK if we sat in the lounge downstairs for dinner, since upstairs was entirely blocked off for a private party. There wasn’t actually an option really, either the high table or the couches. We chose the comfy looking couches.
This decision proved to be a damn good one. We were seated at a coffee table with two armchairs and a couch, located literally an arms length away from the pass. Chef Blais was standing not three feet away from our table all night. My mom thought for most of the time that the Chef was the grumpy lookin guy in glasses in the kitchen, but I knew better. The young, energetic guy who was dressed in waiters clothes was the genius behind all the food.
One thing that Bazzaar allows tables to do that I haven’t really seen anywhere else is to let any number of people at the table order the tasting menu. Now, I’m not sure if they usually do this or not, and I don’t want Chef Blais sending me angry emails, but at least that’s how it was when we went. My dad, Kristen and I all got the tasting menu, and my sister and mother just ordered a la carte. They later admitted that their decision had in fact been a faulty one, but they ended up nibbling on all our dishes anyway. By the end of the meal, we had eaten every since item on the menu at least once, and a few of them twice or three times. (With the exception of the steak for two, which we were informed was just on there for the boring folks.)
The menu is broken up into three parts on a single page. The first four or so are all little tidbits or “micro” plates. These include:
Beau Soleil Oysters
Green Tomato, Speck Ham, Coriander Ice
I thought these were delicious oysters, but the speck ham kind of degraded them in my opinion. I always end up getting a little piece of shell about once every dozen oysters, and it ruins it for me. The ham was fried crispy, and it crunched just like a piece of shell. In two of the oysters I pulled it out thinking that’s what it was. Once I got over that, I enjoyed the combination.
It seems that they have changed the menu since I went, so I wont be able to really give a play by play. Let me name some of the other dishes that were memorable. There was a lobster with blueberries that was amazing.
Whipped Parmesan, Figs, Micro Arugula was the first of the “im-pastas” that we tried. There was no pasta at all; the proscuitto was acting as the ravioli.
The “Scallop Cous-Cous Corn Chowder, Huitalacoche, Dried Hominy, Micro Cilantro” was amazing, and if I remember correctly was another “im-pasta.”
There was no Cous-Cous; the scallop was cut up to imitate it. Brilliant.
The third dish that he did this with was the squid pasta, in which the squid was so perfectly cooked that it really did taste like well made noodles.
Other highlights included Salmon, Bathed in Lime Juice Watermelon, Avocado, Horseradish Foam (I think we got 3 of these.)
Crispy Calamari Exotic Spices, Harissa, Papaya, Spearmint that had an exceptional dipping sauce.
The only dish that I thought was in any way plain was the Chicken Fried Tofu with Inflated Edamame, Sweet & Sour Emulsion. It’s probably because I’m not a tofu fan.
An interesting note is the fact that there was no bread to be found. The “bread” was fried wontons with a spicy chili jelly (that I probably spooned at least a few ounces of into my gaping maw by the end of the night) and an “inflated” soybean mousse type thing that was a good anti-spicy-chili-jelly.
The famous burger with Foie Gras Milkshake was good. The burger was actually good enough that we got two of em.
The cheese course was unbelievably outstanding. Every single cheese had an elaborate accompaniment. Even my dad, a guy who before this year scrunched up his nose at cheese plates ordered and devoured the one here.
The chocolate dessert that came during the tasting menu was good and rich with a delicious shell. The other desserts were phenomenal, but I only got little bites of them, as they were ferociously guarded by my dining companions.
Around the time we were getting dessert, the bar began to fill up with blond models and tanned underwear models, and the bass started booming from the resident DJ’s stand. Even so, the food came out perfectly just as before.
Deconstructed Key Lime Pie was delish.
The last thing that I need to discuss was the waitstaff. The level of service we received was far above what I am used to. The lounge was pretty eclectic, and the waiters were in T-shirts, but were still exceedingly professional. I feel absolutely horrible now, but it’s been too long and I can’t recall my waiters name. However, he was the most informative, most interesting, and most actually caring server I have ever had. We exchanged stories about Italy (we had both just been to Sorrento), ideas about food, quips about other restaurants (“Oh yeah, they do that at Trio.” “You’ve been to Trio? “Nah, just read about it on eGullet.” “Oh, eGullet? Chef Blais reads that all the time.” Et cetera). The single most impressive thing about him, though, was the fact that it was only his third or fourth night there, and he knew every single menu item down cold. I mean, dead cold. I would ask really obscure things like “Oh, what temperature was this cooked at sous-vide?” and he was all over it. Other than Nelly at Uni in Boston, this guy was the best server I have ever had.
The title says it all. If you can, get to Bazzaar as soon as possible. Hop, jump, swim, run, fly, drive, hopscotch, whatever. Go!