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June 15, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
Blue Smoke in Battery Park is still one of the best restaurants to choose from in the area, but you can be burned on the weekend. They are still undergoing considerable managerial changes, and the new executive chef, Jean-Paul Bourgeois, will not have his new plans in place until October. Meanwhile, Partner Mark Maynard-Parisi, is rarely seen, and Danny Meyer sightings are like spotting Big Foot.
In that vacuum of leadership, a junior cook is trying to get attention and make her mark with outlandishly fatty “specials” that she dreams up and pushes out, without proper vetting. This would normally never be allowed, but no one is watching (The best managers keep quitting).
I reported previously on her use of leftover pork chops to make a fried mess with gravy and French fries on top. She has also been known to serve entire pigs head, disgusting diners within a 50-foot radius of the person eating it.
Today, I fell for it again. I asked if Blue Smoke had a brunch menu, and they gave me this odd looking small menu. I ordered what was described as a grilled cheese with pulled pork. What arrived was yet another “Blue Smoke mess”. It was indeed a grilled cheese, but on top was the pulled pork, and on top of that was a mystery cheese sauce, and capping off the heart-attack-maker was a raw egg. I asked if the rogue cook dreamed it up, and she had.
The good news is that all of this will come to an end in October when Chef Bourgeois converts Blue Smoke into a fine dining restaurant more like the old Houston’s (now called Hillstone). Stay tuned.