Win/Fail Fridays: Yay for the Colonnade, Nay for Blue Inc.

By | Chowder |

Welcome to Win/Fail Fridays, where food editor Donna Garlough mouths off about her latest dining-out adventures.

This week’s WIN: Poolside deliciousness at the Colonnade.

Not long ago, I treated myself to an afternoon at pretty much the only place you can eat and drink poolside in the city: the Colonnade Hotel rooftop. (And if you’re in the market for a similar break, know that weekday afternoons are a smart time to go; it’s only $20 after 3 p.m., as opposed to the $40 weekday rate.) Along with a cosmetic makeover of the pool area, it seems they’ve upgraded the eats, too. I thought I was totally over the porky-decadence trend, but I couldn’t resist the siren song of a pork-belly BLT. It’s a totally non-healthy combo of crispy-salty pork belly, ripe tomatoes, toasty sourdough, and a way-too-rich aioli that soaks into the bread. BLT? They should call it an OMG.

This week’s FAIL: Icky cocktails at Blue Inc.

There’s been much to-do about former Gargoyles chef Jason Santos opening a new spot, Blue Inc., on the Greenway this summer. The restaurant’s moniker, which plays off of Santos’s signature blue hair, was procured via a naming contest. And he’s taken the theme to the extreme: The interior is all blue and white, and blue lollipops are delivered to patrons along with the check.

The food and cocktail lists are full of his signature brand of quirkiness, including mini Kobe corndogs and a transparent Manhattan whose cherries are made with liquid nitrogen. Too bad the Blue Inc. Sangria, a white sangria made with aloe vera (!) and served with a pipette of blue liquor (Curacao? Some other food-coloring-rich concoction?) tasted like air freshener, or what we imagine Aqua Net to taste like. And the Strawberry Fields Forever, with basil vodka and muddled strawberries, was disappointingly watery. After those two drinks, I can’t say I’m itching to try the Fat Boyz margarita, made with beef stock and served “on the rox or up in your face!” any time soon.

Stay tuned for next week’s Win/Fail!