Café BlueApril 20, 2012
|12921 Hill Country Blvd.
Bee Cave, TX 78738
You’ve heard the expression when one door closes, another opens. Well that was certainly the case with the recent opening of Café Blue at the Galleria. The proprietors had been looking for a year-round location to supplement their popular but seasonal operation near Volente Beach, and when the perfect space became available after the closing of Wyland’s Ocean Blue, Café Blue had found a year-round home. Not only that, but they also managed to secure the services of Chef Ben Nathan who had opened the Belmont and also helmed Chez Zee. The decor of Café Blue is appropriately aquatic with tastefully appointed dining areas.
On our first night there, the prep cook charged with opening oysters had opened over 300 Blue Points and was running out of steam and oysters: but they were fresh and delicious. And nothing’s changed there. The Clam Chowder done in the classic New England style is a delight. The flavors are authentic, rich and rewarding. And they’re not shy about adding the clams! The Coconut Shrimp is a favorite at the lake location as well. The shrimp are crunchy and very tasty in a classic apricot-jalapeno marmalade. I love this dish. And you must try the Thai Style PEI Mussels that are plump and lovely in a sweet and spicy coconut lime curry broth. Beautiful flavor profile on this dish. And it just looks good as well.
While upscale in its orientation, Café Blue delivers some delectable salads and sandwiches as well. The Cedar Plank Salmon Salad is a delight! Can you handle some uber-fresh salmon crusted in brown sugar and ancho chiles served over mixed greens with a raspberry vinaigrette? I thought so! And how about the Fried Shrimp Cobb Salad? Now this is interesting. Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, bacon, boiled eggs, red onions and avocado with crispy shrimp nestled among them along with a classic Thousand Island dressing. And you have to try Ben’s famous Cubano sandwich. This is slow-roasted pork and grilled ham along with Swiss cheese, chipotle mayo (instead of the traditional mustard) and pickle relish. It’s baked, then grilled, and then…DEVOURED! And let’s not forget another lake classic, the Black and Blue Bacon Cheeseburger. This is one for the ages, and I will never lose my fascination with its comforting flavors!
The entrées at Cafe Blue are one of the reasons I’m delighted I can now have year-round access to this place. The Redfish Louisiane is wonderfully blackened (without being scalded) and smothered in a Cajun shrimp and crawfish brandy cream sauce. Man do I love this dish. The flavors are subtle and so satisfying. The Crab Mac n’ Cheese is another reason Cafe Blue rocks! This combination of al dente penne pasta and lump blue crab in a soothing white wine cream sauce with Parmesan and a touch of spinach and tomato is simply too good to pass up. So please, order it! And don’t forget to try the Seafood Crepes. The herb cream sauce with mushroom and garlic sautéed spinach completes this delicate and inordinately tasty dish. And one last recommendation would be Ben’s Rotisserie Chicken. I first tried this at the Belmont, loved it then, and was delighted to see him import it to Café Blue. The chicken is ridiculously tender in a lemon sage brown butter sauce with nicely whipped mashers.
So if you’re looking for a lovely lunch or dinner at the Galleria, by all means gather a significant other or others and head to Café Blue.