With the changing season comes a change in menus across valley restaurants. And Executive Chef Sean Currid of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails has revamped his menu for the winter season. Located inside the Hotel Palomar in downtown Phoenix, Blue Hound is known for their modern dishes and stiff cocktails with a Southern twist. Of course, menu staples such as the Boudin Balls, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn Grit Fries, and Deviled Eggs remain. However, Chef Currid is excited to introduce familiar winter vegetables and flavors in new ways. The winter menu includes several new small plates and entrees. And with the talents of new lead mixologist Jesse Price from San Francisco invigorating the beverage program, Blue Hound is offering a complete dining experience sure to keep you cozy through the next few months.
For The Table
The holiday season seems to bring an atmosphere of sharing. So why not start the meal that way? Although I wouldn’t blame you if you decide to enjoy these plates all to yourself.
Albacore Tuna ($18): The root vegetable cake is made of shredded parsnip and sweet potato, then fried to a crisp. Next, charred citrus, pickled mustard seed, and a spicy aji Amarillo sauce lines the plate. The charred citrus is the star here by enhancing the freshness of the seared albacore tuna.
Brussel Sprout Waldorf ($13): It doesn’t get much more classic than a Waldorf salad! But this version is updated with Brussel sprouts, frisée, and arugula. Green apples, pickled grapes, and candied walnuts give this salad a crunch and the dressing is a light housemade yogurt vinaigrette.
Roasted Beets ($14): This is a beet dish for perhaps the beet-phobic. The typical earthiness of the beets are masked by a basil-forward garden vinaigrette. Each bite is complemented with whipped boursin cheese, slices of clementine oranges, fresh fennel and pickled shallots.
Clams ($16): As one of chef’s new favorites, he is using ginger beer instead of a traditional white wine and butter broth. This brings in a whole unexpected flavor program along with the garlic and shallots. And you can sop up the broth with local Noble Bread.
If you thought the menu could not get any better after sampling those starters, you thought wrong. The Southern go-to shrimp & grits and pork shank are still available on the menu and just as delicious as ever. On the other hand, Chef Currid’s new entrées are a welcome update.
Handmade Pasta ($20): Linguine pasta is made fresh in the kitchen. Then, pumpkin seed pesto, marsala wine, butternut squash, oyster mushrooms, and sage are combined to make a hearty, yet light, dish. Finished with parmesan, this entrée will keep you cozy this winter.
Blackened Salmon ($28): I was thoroughly impressed by chef’s ability to preserve the salmon’s delicate medium rare interior while the peppery blackened crust maintained its crispiness. Served with a celery root puree, roasted rapini, and sweet Cipollini onions and butternut squash. Cooked to perfection!
22oz Bone-In Ribeye ($70): Yes, you read that correctly—22 ounces! Chef Currid says this contends as one of the biggest and best steaks in Downtown Phoenix. Whether to share or not, it’s a conversation piece. And if you somehow have room, the steak comes with rapini, sunchokes, and mushrooms on the side.
Drinks & Dessert
At least for me, no meal is complete without cocktails and a sweet finish. And as I mentioned above, lead mixologist Jesse Price has done a fantastic job creating cocktails to complement the winter menu. Therefore, he makes it easy to pair any of the craft concoctions to your dishes.
St. George Cider ($12): It actually tastes like mulled cider, thanks in part to the cinnamon brandy that is made in house and the cinnamon clove tincture. But don’t be fooled—there is a nice pour of St. George vodka in there too.
English Mule ($12): Refreshing as any mule cocktail but this one is more aromatic. Bombay Sapphire gin, elderflower liqueur, thyme syrup provide an herbal aroma that is balanced with cucumber and mint.
Lost Boy Scout ($14): Moving to the darker end of the spirits spectrum, this High West Double Rye cocktail could very well be considered dessert too. As you sip on this drink, bring the roasted marshmallows to your nose simultaneously to enhance the flavors of the crème de cacao, chocolate bitters, and walnut bitters that are swirled in. I think you will be able to appreciate the dimensions the roasted marshmallows bring out.
The O.G. Lawless ($13): Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon is mixed with “truck stop” bitters, wormwood liqueur, and the notorious ingredient—tobacco smoke. A crowd-pleaser for all senses, this bourbon drink has been on the Blue Hound menu since day one. So, it is not new to the winter menu but it deserves year-round recognition.
Apple Pie: There really is nothing like warm apple pie, especially ones made from scratch. This one is dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with salted caramel ice cream.
The new winter menu is available now at Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails. And the timing is perfect as the ice skating rink below on Central Avenue is currently being set up for the holidays. In addition, the restaurant is also hosting a Maker’s Mark Whisky Dinner on Wednesday, December 14th at 6:30PM. This dinner includes a 3-course meal with whisky pairings for $55 per person. Seating is limited to 30 guests and they are currently accepting reservations.
To make a reservation for the whisky dinner, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, please visit their website: http://www.bluehoundkitchen.com