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I have been here on several occasions and have already deemed this to be my favourite steakhouses. So when wanting a little meaty decadence, we made this our first go to. Today we were given a seat on the middle floor, and a tour around the restaurant to get there. This we found the perfect spot as we have already dined on their roof and tried things down on the bottom floor. Our table was against the railing and we were given an exciting view of the patrons dining below. Here perched high above we people watched and discussed who was eating what. We were also given a squinted look down at the bar. A green back light island, worked on at all sides by a team of black dressed bartenders. There was need to travel 360 degrees around, as the seats were filled with women sipping and men approaching them to strike up conversation. Down below I could also make out my favourite decor piece: their meat locker. A orange lighted walk-in fridge hung with fresh cuts of meat, while others laid in display, and all were ready for ordering. Quite the sight, I wouldn’t be surprised that if you assembled all that meat there you would get three to four full cows.

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Above them and us was scene decorated with lights. A collection of multi sided orbs, strung together to create a mass of lighting and visual interest. To our other side, all along the narrow walk way there were refrigerators build into the walls. This I thought was a clever way to maximize space and store chilled bottles of wine until needed. A similar design was seen in the walls of rooms on the same floor. There, private rooms for larger parties had glass barriers that created distance and offered a unique way to display all the bottles of wine they must go through.

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The setting was contemporary classic. They offered a way for your to have your steak in a setting worthy of the top dollar price they charge for it. For the every day worker this place is crafted around making you feel like a big shot. Gracious all accommodating staff, cozy deep sunken in seats, and embellishments that give you that rich feeling without coming off as being too ostentatious. And for their daily diner this is that steakhouse that churns out great dinners, consistently night after night, and offers it to you perfectly paired with the best bottles of wine. All in an upbeat setting with pop and dance music familiar to a more mature crowd.

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We started off with a side of “onion rings” as our appetizer. It was served with a spicy mayo. Having had them during our last visit we were disappointed in them today. They were not as expected, being different than before. The batter was lighter, it wasn’t seasoned the same with a lack of herbs breaded in to the actual batter. Too salty over all, yet without adequate spices, they needed a deep in the side dish of mayo. I found the doily used as decoration in the centre of the skillet out of place. A cute accent, but one that did not belong on a hard cast iron vessel. We ate our rings quick knowing they are best hot and crisp out of the deep fryer.

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Before our steaks arrived we were presented with a selection of sauces to accompany them. A traditional house made BBQ sauce. And atomic horse radish with just a touch of pickled spice. And Chimichurri that tasted as tangy and as fresh as it looked. Each condiment was well made, though they were mostly left untouched. Our steaks were so well seasoned that any addition to them would take away from it natural beefy flavours.

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My guest got the “PEI blue ribbon beef tenderloin”. $44 for 10oz. With almost no fat marbled in, this is his favourite cut of beef, the same thing he gets during each visits. He insists that he can taste the quality in a portion that offers hardly any fat. As a small stump on a large plate it didn’t look like much, but once we cut in we noticed that perfectly cooked medium rare beef pink. The beautiful and edible decorations of leaves and carrot slices were a nice elevation on the plate. Though it only ended up as scraps left aside, as to not waste stomach room for the steak below it. The meat is succulent it almost melts in your mouth. The edges were evenly seasoned and they offer the best bites. The only down side is, although you are paying for quality, at its largest portion it still leaves you wanting more.

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Sides come separately with this cut so we ordered their “loaded baked potato”. A common steak side made with bacon, white cheddar, and sour cream. The skin is always my favourite part, as it is baked until a chewy crisp. A texture not for everyone, but one I enjoy hacking through. Once baked until soft, the potato flesh is scooped out, mashed up, and mixed together with other ingredients. It then all gets filled back into the potato skin to be topped with cheese and baked until hot and melty. Having it double baked gives the bacon a chance to caramelize and the cream to cook the potato further. The resulting texture is a whipped potato with a little mash left in for texture. As good as this was, I realize it is hard to mess up the merger of winning ingredients like potatoes, bacon and cheese. With this version, my only complaint is that I missed the dressing of the potato at your table. An added service that you get at other steak houses.

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Wanting more bang for my buck and more meat for my belly, I indulged on the “Prime rib”. Opting for the 16oz at $39, instead of the 10oz for $32. The price was well worth the size and the sides that it came with. Two Yorkshire puddings, a heaping of mashed potatoes, and seasonal vegetables in a red wine jus. I always forget that Yorkshire pudding resembles more bread and buns in look and more cake and sweets in taste. With a custard like taste and an equally soft centre to match, they were great light reprieves in an other wise very heavy dish. The vegetables included a few colours of carrots: orange, yellow, red and purple. Each boiled to a tender snap and seasoned in an earthy sauce. The slab of meat was a lot more fattier and left a lot more rare then I had anticipated. I always ask for medium rare, and despite the stick pricking the top indicating that it was, I felt it bled more like rare. I ended up packing up more than 70% of this plate to go. I didn’t want to be a burden my asking them to cook it a little longer. Plus once off the heat and on to the plate you can never get the steak the same. This later became dinner for two the following night. After I tediously sawed off all the cuts of fat of course. I usually like a little fat in my meat, but this was too much. I bite down into a glob of fat, and the texture my tongue met with was something it had to spit out.

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Had the luck of being able to watch the show at the table in front of ours. They ordered the “Crepes Suzette” and was treated to a table side show to their left. The isle was blocked off by a cart that not only held all the ingredients needed, but offered a heat source to cook the dough on. Luckily the process was fast enough that no one needed to get through as the flames were rising. Quite a visual, certainly worth its steeper $12 price tag for the show and the alcohol used as its accelerant.

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Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
As I have stated in previous posts, I will definitely be back. In terms of the whole package this is currently my favourite steak house. They offer all that I would want, and all that I have grown to expect from a steak house. In a settling befitting of what I had to pay. The service is top notice and the staff know their menu inside and out. I always walk away feeling full and satisfied that got what I paid for. And although the place gets busy, with multiple floors and a legion of staff working, waiting for a table is limited and reservations are always welcome. With this same full roster of bodies walking around you are never left waiting too long for help or have your request for attention met. Someone somewhere can help you or certainly grab your server to. All my requirements of service, food, and setting at a steakhouse are met here. Don’t deny your cravings.

BLACK & BLUE
1032 Alberni Street, Vancouver BC, V6Z 2V6
604-637-0777
glowbalgroup.com/blackblue
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