In early December, the Upper East Side welcomed a new, modern steakhouse and seafood restaurant from owners Emir Muhic and Gigi Dzidzovic, an elegant addition to the already refined neighborhood.
Blu on Park occupies three floors of a renovated 1920s-era brownstone and brings a contemporary sense of style and a creative menu brought to us by Executive Chef Russell Rosenberg, formerly of The Boathouse, and Co-Chef Shawn Lucic, from Kovac in Belgrade.
The restaurants seats 130 people and boasts a sophisticated aesthetic with custom-built gray-stained wood panels, marbled counters, brass hardware, and gold-tinted exposed brick. The entrance of the restaurant starts with an elegant seating room by the bar where guests wait for their tables, and leads up to the main dining room area.
The first floor alone seems enough room for a small, intimate restaurant. Escorted to our table, we were led up one, then two flights of stairs to be seated on the third level. We passed the private dining room and were seated by the large window facing the street where we could look outside while taking in the art hung on the brick-exposed walls.
We browsed the drink menu, which – like any respectable steakhouse – contained an extensive wine list by the bottle with over 100 selections from around the world, or try from their 20 different selections by the glass. I started with a glass of the sauvignon blanc, which our waiter exclaimed it is one of his favorites.
Their contemporary cocktails include the “Straight Down Broadway” with Cointreau, sweet Vermouth, bourbon, cigar bitters and Brut Champagne, and the “Fresh in January” with gin, St Germaine, lime juice, grapefruit bitters and a draft IPA float, alongside classics like the old fashioned and gin gimlet which with my dinner accomplice’s choice for the night.
For appetizers, highlights include an array of delicious seafood items, including jumbo shrimp cocktail, Maine lobster, stone crab claws, an extensive raw bar with seasonal oysters, and even a caviar sampler. Based on recommendations from our server, we tried the yellowfin tuna tartare with shishito pepper tempura, uni, and black garlic, packed with flavor.
On the lighter side, there salads included salt-roasted beets with pecan pesto, lolla rosso, grapes and beet chips, or a fall salad with roasted cauliflower, squash, ricotta salata, topped with a dijon vinaigrette. Next time we will try the burrata and the jumbo crab salad with grapefruit and marcona almonds topped with tobiko-citrus caviar.
For the main dishes, it’s a tough call between their premium meats and the seafood specialties, so you better dine with someone who enjoys sharing. Options include New York sirloin, a bone-in tomahawk ribeye, a rib veal chop, or dry-aged Porterhouse steak that you can select the portions between two and four people. Though we opted for the petite filet mignon, it was anything but small. Thick and juicy, it was still more than enough along with everything else we shared.
What is a steakhouse without the appropriate sides? We went with the staple hand-cut french fries to get our potato fix, but when we heard that their carrot mousse was their specialty, we had to give it a try our of curiosity. It was smooth and creamy, which is expected of a mousse but unexpected for a carrot, and a bit sweet that it could be mistaken for a sweet potato mash. Definitely a great compliment to go with any of the heavy meat options.
The seafood mains include grilled salmon, a whole branzino with roasted herbs, and grilled yellowfish tuna. We opted for the highly recommended sauteed black sea bass, incredibly tender with celeriac, lobster, wild mushrooms and pinot noir jus.
Despite being incredibly stuffed, we were tempted by the dessert menu, from the Grand Marnier souffle to the sour cream cheesecake and Madagascar vanilla and cinnamon crème brûlée. We opted for the key lime cake, but it was the side of coconut sorbet that really stole the show.
Blu on Park is a good option if you want to impress a date, but is also great for accommodating larger groups. The servers are more than knowledgeable about all of their dishes, and service and recommendations are personalized according to your tastes.
Make a reservation here for your next fine dining experience, or even if you are in the neighborhood after a shopping excursion at Bloomingdale’s and Barneys, stop by their bar for some small plates from their bar menu.