I definitely have my favorite Durham restaurants and, like many people, I tend to stick to what I like. I know I'll have a good meal if I go to Watt's or Revolution or Nana's. But sometimes it's nice to try something different and, if I'm lucky, it might even turn into another favorite. I'm not sure yet if Blu Seafood will become a new favorite, but it was definitely a great new experience and I certainly won't mind going back a couple of times to determine it's status on my list of Durham favs. With a daily selection of oysters, a variety of crab dishes and other delectables from the sea, Blu offers more options of seafood dishes than any other local restaurant. But those who don't like seafood, don't despair, Blu also offers an entire menu section dedicated to dishes that are "not fish." But Gavin, my steak-loving fiance, ordered a fish dish and was blown away by how good it was. I think he even compared it to a filet mignon! As someone who generally orders seafood, I was thrilled with the wide variety of options. I'm definitely looking forward to going back and trying some new dishes, although the tuna tartare was so good I might have to order it again. Overall we were both incredibly impressed and very glad we decided to try something new.
Since they pride themselves on their fresh oysters, we started with a dozen of them raw. Unfortunately we ate every last one before I even thought to take a picture but I can assure you they were fresh, meaty and absolutely delicious. Definitely a great way to start the meal. I opted for two starters as my main course as there were too many that looked good to just have one. I chose the mushroom carpaccio for one: thinly sliced, marinated mushrooms flavored with thyme and topped with baby greens, goat cheese, pecans and balsamic dressing. A delicious combination of light ingredients with the deep flavors of earthy mushrooms, creamy goat cheese and concentrated balsamic vinegar.For my second appetizer, I went with the tuna tartare, which just thinking about makes my mouth water. Tender, fresh yellowfin tuna piled high with thin slices of creamy avocado and a pile of perfectly seasoned seaweed salad. With just a small amount of miso, soy glaze around the edge, these contrasting flavors and textures created a perfect harmony of the elusive fifth taste known as umami, which in English translates to pure yumminess. Well, not really, but that's exactly what this tuna tartare achieved.
Gavin went with one of the specials of the night, which came highly recommended by our waiter. A North Carolina striped bass topped with a crab butter sauce over mashed potatoes and zucchini, achieved such high praise as to be described as the filet mignon of fish. The rich buttery crab sauce brought the dish from a simple grilled fish to an elegant plate of complex flavors. I'm not sure it will change his love for a good steak, but Gavin was certainly pleased with his choice of fish at Blu Seafood. All in all this was a great new experience for both of us.