BlueCat Latin Inspired Kitchen
1921-29 Fairmount Avenue
“BlueCat” is seemingly a one-worded pet kitty’s name used in its Latin translation. Owners-Chefs Guy Shapiro and Lucille “Luli” Canuso, Esq. have cat-nipped together astonishingly sized portions of Cuban-Chilean-Mexican platters (with flashes of Ukranian and Italian allusions) at prices conducive to be internationally neighborly.
The first thing you see on your left is a mesmerizing mural of the eponymous huge blue feline former alley-dweller, winking south in your direction. Bright gray rectangles provide the flooring, and grayish-tan bricks abound around the open kitchen and throughout the cozy well-windowed appointments. The tables are marbled metal, which resonate more solidly as you place your home-brought wine bottles upon them (moreover, a State Store is a few doors away). The waitpersons are most welcoming, adorned in black T-shirts with a non-feral pawed creature emblazoned at left chest.
Please note that each table has a bottle at its center, filled with oils, pickled vinegar and long soaking red chili peppers. If you are a naturally born heat-eater, squirt the container’s tongue-igniting liquid luxuriously on any and all foods as you see fit for pyre.
Immediately order Cod Fish Tacos ($12) for the table so that you may review the menu in festive pleasure. The Tacos are batter-dipped fillets topped with avocado flesh, pico de gallo relish (jicama, jalapenos, shredded cabbage, chopped red bell peppers, radish slivers and thinnest swaths of sweet onion), and chipotle mayo. They meld upon an undercoating of two soft, round, blue corn tortillas. The sight of it all brightens the surrounding patrons to purr with “ooh’s” and “aah’s” and “ohlaaey’s.” The fish-fritters are scrumptiously crisp. Pico de gallo portions are no less than artistic and perfect on the palette. The blue tortillas are toasted and comforting. Your tongue is hit as if it were a piñata, with freshness and finesse
Other starting favorites are Papas Rellenas ($7), mushed potato croquettes, pillows of spuds filled to bursting with braised chicken and peas; or Empanadas ($8), flakey compartments in which have been folded spinach, mushrooms and oaxaca cheese. Vegan soups are also affluently rich. A bowl of Sopa de Calabaza ($7) pummels fresh pumpkin and heated pepitas into a golden purée that your soupspoon will treat with the seedy privacy and the privilege it deserves. Sharing is impossible.
A quartet of pastry Whist Pies (M.P.) are off the menu (and must be ordered in advance). Each mirrors the image of a laughable belly-button “innie” whose center is sizzling with a tiny hidden pork ball. Biting into the surprise is scintillating and redolent of garlic.
Meat entrées are humbling in tumbling height and girth. Carne Asada ($22) is a marinated and grilled flank steak, sliced into a mound of morsels, hovering over plantain-potato mash and salsa verde, topped to mid-ceiling with frizzled onion circles and strips. This is a prisoner’s “last request” repast, in which he or she acknowledges guilt with chagrin, and is simultaneously chastened for whatever crimes committed to sustain the ultimate penalty.
Now use the flask at the center of the table to pour atop the beef with abandon. Fried asparagus spears crisscross your pearly white, palatial plate, adorned at its rim with a sharp, serrated, steel steak knife. The flank is flagrantly fragrant in Latin spices and seems tickled by the knife’s touch. Somehow you grope to combine the ingredients onto one piercing fork, and open lips wide to envelope the molten menagerie. The onions squibble and squirm in the heated exchange. The salsa, plantain and medium rare flesh ramble between jaws to be gnashed, until a smirking, childlike swallow makes you groan as if you were not so grown up.
I will not mention the Oxtail Stew ($18) except to say that, as presented, the “Ox” and “Tail” are humungous enough to be at least two words. This slaughtered beast is slowly simmered with root vegetables immersed in red wine and a thick veal stock. It emerges from its bacchanal bath as huge bones of clinging, softened, superbly fat-marbled, grainy chunks of tenderness. Overwhelmed, you want to exclaim out loud the 1950’s Latin compliment, “Luli, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!”
Grilled or pan-seared whole fish may be ordered specially. Mango, quinoa, smoked tomato mole, salad greens, squash, eggplant or rice and beans are amply partnered or “trois’ed” to complement the seasoned sea dweller.
You shall be awash in Latin phrases.
EXEMPLI GRATIA, ARROZ CON POLLO Y CHORIZO
|Copyright 2012 Richard Max Bockol, Esq.||Back|