Black and blue for take two~

A sunny day, a break in the clouds; and we took advantage by heading to “The Roof”, the city’s largest rooftop restaurant and lounge, by “Black and Blue”. I have already written about my experience at “Black and Blue”, click link here for that: http://vieamaggi.blogspot.ca/2013/03/steak-and-bj-day.html
But seeing as “The Roof” is a restaurant within a restaurant. I thought it would be useful to write up a separate blog post just for it. 


You take an elevator up and walk out of the darkness into sky light. The corridor leading on to this rooftop restaurant is a narrow passageway, it is guarded by the bust of a giant bronzed bull. Wall seats line the left, they are upholstered with a stripped zebra pattern and is accompanied by matching pillows. A row of glowing blocks plays a dual function as decor pieces and seats. You can switch the colours from orange, blue, yellow, green, etc. Not exactly comfortable but one hell of a spot light. They alos make for great extra seating, helping tables of two become three. There are no reservations made for a seating here, so the investment in a spacious and comfortable waiting room is appreciated. Around the corner is their dining room. A tight space half covered and half opened to the sky. To maximize space, some tables were set in places that made it awkward for the diner sitting and the staff trying to maneuver around them. On one such table we observed a man interrupt his conversation to tuck his elbows in, in order to avoid them getting caught by a server whizzing by. I personally would have waited for another table or just travel back downstairs to be reseated. Here, you pay top dollar for the food, with experience included; and such a table situation would ruin my night. We choose a table by the fire place. The glass and tile fireplaces spanned across both the west and east walls. It intimately lit each table with romantic dancing flames. It also kept half your face and body warm, the other side was left to whatever elements were out doors that day. The rest of the rooftop kept heat with the aid of traditional patio heat lamps. And large retractable umbrellas shielded you from the elements.
Plants in boxes lined the back of booths. They created a division between the seated diners and the causal lounge set up, in the center. This space is perfect for large groups wanting to snack and drink. 
“The Roof” has a completely different vibe from the rest of its levels. A loud casualness compared to the quiet extravagance of the bottom two floors. The music sets the tone with upbeat pop classics and dance tunes with a little bass. It attracts a more vibrant crowd in both speak and dress. More youthful adults assemble to cheers one another with cocktails, and laugh around well grilled food. Though I would add, that on this night a lovely group of seniors were here celebrating with sparkling wine and a cake with candles.
Although this is atop of a building in the middle of downtown Vancouver, don’t expect a view. You are surrounded by tall buildings and can only look up at them. You are here for the fresh air and the novelty of finer dining outdoors. As for the potential bird problem, a plastic owl stood guard. He is one of the ones you can get at any home centre, a more natural and decor friendly way to detour unwanted fowl.
As with everything else the wait staff here is more casual, and I would say funkier. Where as downstairs they wear ties and full length collared shirts, hair in buns, and dress pants. Upstairs the female servers wear a black criss cross halter dress, as their dress code; and use accessories to better express their individuality. Brightly coloured hair, visible tattoos, and limited piercing are ok. Men are in white shirts with rolled up sleeves and slacks. Our server came with sunglasses in case the sun’s glare got in his way. There were lots of staff for optimal service. The levels were distinguished by their wardrobe. The managers wore suits and had earpieces like undercover security guards. The servers were given ability to dress more laid back, one girl wore croc ballet style flats. And the remaining staff front of house were bus boys in all black, they helped to cleared tables and refill glasses. When busier, the kitchen also helped bring food out. Each plate was expected to leave the pass as soon as possible, hot and at its peak of deliciousness.

Here, there is no surprise that the menu is different too. It is being prepared in another kitchen and therefore needs to be adaptive for that. The menu is crafted to feature generous cuts of prime meats, skewered fish, and seafood and poultry cooked over wood coals in their grill.

The only steak option here was the “P.E.I. Blue Ribbon”. My guest got it in a 12 oz, done up medium rare. This steak has superior marbling as a result of longer grass feed times, and natural aging. The “Blue Ribbon” classification means it is the top percentile of Canada’s highest grade. As great as it was, we could not help but compare it to the steak we had previously at “Black+Blue”, downstairs. We had the tenderloin and were able to devour it all without trimming away any fat. Today we felt the quality of this steak was not at a similar caliber. But then again we got a 12oz for the same price as a 8oz downstairs. The meat came with the chosen choice of mashed potatoes and kale. The potatoes were fluffy and buttery, with chives mingled in for colour. And the kale was surprisingly good. I hate leafy greens, but with its crispier texture and unique saucing I was able to eat some and go back for more. I love it when a restaurant can make a vegetable that is good for you taste like it isn’t.

“Seafood Trio”, skewered and cooked in their wood fire grill. Half an Atlantic Lobster tail, 2 jumbo tiger prawns, and a large scallop; Served over a quinoa salad with red peppers, asparagus, pistachios, cherry tomatoes, almonds, chives, and zucchini. This was an amazingly light meal that filled me up. The lobster meat was limited but what I had was sweet and buttery. The scallop was the largest I have ever seen, and would have been considered 2-3 scallops else where. The prawns had that great grill mark on them, and its accompanying flavour by consequence. I did not feel guilty about eating any part of this meal, in fact if felt like this was a healthy choice and yet so ridiculously delicious.




“Pineapple Carpaccio”. Traditional carpaccio is used to described anything that is thinly sliced and raw, usually reserved for meat and seafood. In this case the term applied well to my dessert. Wanting to stay light after my refreshing dinner, I got fruit and sorbet. This dessert was made with rum syrup, mint leaves, puffed sugar, candied ginger (not listed on menu), and coconut sorbet. This assemble of ingredients had such an original taste, nothing I can compare it too, for better clarification. It had so many layers of flavours thanks to all the components, working together harmoniously. This quantity is definitely meant for sharing, unfortunately for me my guest didn’t like it. I enjoyed trying it and am happy for the experience, but it is not something I can imagine getting again. Not a guaranteed everyday win dessert. They also had the classics like creme Burlee and apple pie, if that is more your vibe. 


Through out our meal we never had to chase our server down. In fact managers came to ask how our meal was, and make sure we were enjoying ourselves. Though as soon as we needed the dessert menu we couldn’t get a hold of anyone. We got the attention of our server but he didn’t get to us until a good 7-10 minutes later. I don’t blame him, a busy night like Friday, at a popular restaurant, having to wait on two large groups that have been drinking all night. In fact one such group was especially rowdy and insisted on taking back a shot with one of the ear pieced, suit wearing managers. 


Would I got back? No, I didn’t like all the ruckus and noise. The space was too tight and you didn’t get the setting and service you want at the prices you pay. And like any outdoor patio they have earlier cut off times. It closes at 10pm. If you are planning on a longer night you will need to get up and move the party downstairs, how troublesome hen tipsy.

Would I recommend it? Yes. “The Roof” has a playful vibe, staffed with the right bodies to encourage your good time. I would recommend going for great seasonal cocktail and/or snacks off their bar menu, but save the full portion entrees for the comfort of indoors and downstairs. Plus with their great customer service model I am sure they would prepare you anything off “The Roof” top menu to be enjoyed at “Black+Blue”.
Don’t deny your cravings.

THE ROOF
1032 Alberni St, Vancouver BC
Third floor of Black+Blue
Tel: 604-637-0777
the-roof.ca

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