Restaurant Review: Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails

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Blue Hound Kitchen nails it on all fronts: Food, Atmosphere and Service.

The food is unique – I’ve never even seen most of these dishes on any other menu – and ranged from good to “Oh My Gawd This Is Amazing!” The bar is stocked with a terrific range of spirits with a particular emphasis on small batch American liquors.

The atmosphere is inviting with lots of comfortable seating and a good size bar to sit or stand around. The restaurant is located in the Palomar Hotel and – in keeping with the general vibe of an upscale/downtown hotel – has high ceilings, lots of wood and glass and a modern-but-not-too-trendy decor. It’s a very nice place for a date or an evening with friends.

The service was terrific. We sat at the bar and our bartender Jesse, who was quite knowledgeable, kept us hydrated without interjecting himself into our evening.

Good People, Good Location

Cheyenne – who is, I believe, the Food & Beverage Manager – dropped by and talked with us, sharing her experience in the food industry in Phoenix. Cheyenne has been at Blue Hound since its opening and has a great sense of downtown Phoenix history of the hotel/restaurant industry. She’s quite an asset to the Blue Hound.

We had the privilege of meeting Executive Chef Stephen Jones who personally delivered some of our menu items. This guy is good. He’s created a menu that’s a combo of southern-home cookin’ “Comfort food with a grown-up flavor palate” and Asian fusion that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the valley. Chef Jones is a kind, generous and wonderful host who is quick with a smile and knows how to entice your adventurous side, delivering on all aspects of a dish. Food should taste as good as it looks and it does so here at Blue Hound. Chef Jones does that and more; he’s got a flair for the unexpected and a terrific flavor sense. Tater tots are not just simply Tater tots. Deviled Eggs are not simply eggs and Cheddar Biscuits are not just biscuits.

Downtown Phoenix needs more places like this to elevate the flavor palate environment in order to become a “go to” destination, Blue Hound is doing it’s part, others need to join.

Juicy Details

The Food

If it seems like we ate a lot, we did. We were treated to the very best Blue Hound has to offer, The food was exceptional.

We tried everything on the “Snacks” menu except the cheese plate and enjoyed it all. There’s something here for every taste.

Shishito Peppers: This is a usually mild but sometimes hot small pepper, that’s blistered and served in miso & sesame seeds and seasoned with sel gris. I abso-freaking-lutely loved these things. The texture and flavor are perfection in an appetizer. The Miso is exceptional and the sel gris (salt) is the finishing balanced touch done right.

Caramel Popcorn: This was actually pretty darned amazing. The menu says “butterscotch with ancho chile” which sounded a little iffy to me, but the execution was flawless. They call this endless which means if you are like me, you could eat about 8 pounds of this stuff. Very good.

Deviled Eggs: This one is surprising. It’s “just” deviled eggs, but its garnished with brioche, smoked ham and dijon. The flavor is subtle and rich, and the eggs are so creamy it’s criminal. This is another dish you could easily eat waaaaaay too much of.

Tater Tots: Chef Stephen nails it on this little dish. The texture of the tots is fabulous, and the upfront initial flavor of potato and chive is oh so nice, lets not forget bacon too. These are tater tots for grown ups. You can use the dipping sauce that is served on the side but theses little babies don’t need anything added. They are dangerous mouth popping snacks.

Potato Fries: French fries are one of those ubiquitous dishes that can be really boring. Not here. These are sliced in wedges, steak fry size, and perfectly fried and seasoned. The outside was crispy and the inside soft and creamy. Seasoned with aromatic rosemary and a very nice parmegiano-reggiano cheese, and served with a not-too-spicy aioli, its just another unique twist on what’s normally an oh-so-common food.

Cheddar Scallion Biscuits: Oh My Gosh. Just try ’em. Trust me.

All we had on the “Farm & Garden” section of the menu was the Roasted Cauliflower, but in typical Chef Jones fashion, he puts a unique twist on it with pistachios, capers and currants. However, everything else on that section of the menu looks absolutely fabulous and we are eager to try it all.

The “Sea & Ocean” section of the menu looks very appetizing. We tried two dishes which pretty much blew our minds: First, the Bay Scallop Ceviche. Chef Jones said “It’s not what you think” and he was 100% correct, it was uh-maz-ing! Second, the Jerk Cured Scottish Salmon: buttery and melt in your mouth. Both were utterly unique and ridiculously flavorful.

There’s more on the menu, but there’s just so much two people can eat in an evening. We cannot wait to get back.

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