Sports fans glued to the recent NFL draft have heard the familiar offensive call, “Blue 42….Blue 42, hut, hut, hike!” many times during previous football seasons. Now you know the inspiration behind the name of Oviedo’s newest sports bar and pub. The casual eatery was the former home to the Oviedo Beef’O’ Brady’s and had a loyal patronage, something the owners didn’t lose sight of when switching gears from the Beef’s franchise and striking out on their own.
Chef and operating partner, Chandler Cook, and the Bleu 42 team didn’t want to lose sight of the sports bar roots. They hinted at the good things to come by spelling Bleu 42, like the cheese that appears on the menu here and there. The fun menu offers burgers, sandwiches, salads, wings, entrees and daily specials with a southern pub feel. Chef Chandler’s culinary schooling in South Carolina shines in daily specials, comfort food, seafood and fish that showcase his appreciation for fresh, seasonal ingredients. And, he cures his own bacon in-house.
My table settled in and our friendly server answered a few questions, made several suggestions and then informed us of the fixed price dinner special for Mother’s Day. We ordered beverages and numerous appetizers to get us going while we decided on dinner.
In short order food started to arrive , each person at the table proclaimed the fried green tomatoes completely delicious. The coating was light, but with a nice substance and flavor. They were so tasty, that we would have enjoyed the slices of savory tomato to be cut a tad thicker, but we were very happy with the order. I can bet that the Bleu 42 fried green tomato BLT is a popular sandwich. The Mac N’ Cheese balls were luscious; saucy, creamy and cheesy goodness tucked inside a crispy exterior. The Bleu 42 signature Sriracha dipping sauce was a nice accompaniment. You could share this order…but really, the blend of sharp cheddar, mozzarella and gruyere could sway you to go solo on an order.
The fried calamari appetizer was a good-sized portion of crisply coated, tender and fresh squid. The ribbons were a satisfying option for those of us who aren’t fans of chomping down on the whole baby squids and therefore leave half the calamari portion behind.
The Ahi Tuna appetizer is a substantial portion of nicely seared tuna, drizzled with a house made Wasabi BBQ sauce. The sauce was play on sweet heat, with a slight wasabi kick. This appetizer could easily be a dinner option for someone, especially if sharing another appetizer with the table.
Chef Chandler stopped by our table to say hello and confirmed that it was our first time in. He then took the time to explain some of his thoughts on the menu and his cooking style. Through chatting, we found out that all of the fish is brought in fresh, whole and fileted on site. Everything is made in-house, from the sauces to the soups and desserts. The burgers are made from antibiotic free, grass fed beef and still priced at $8.00 -$12.oo, including a side of hand cut fries. We noted that he took the time to greet all of the diners seated around the restaurant, a welcoming touch.
Our party had arrived at Bleu 42 on Mother’s Day and lucked into a great fixed-price menu, with wine pairings included. So instead of opting for the burgers and entrees we were originally planing, we were swayed to the more decadent daily special. The three courses, with the three paired wines, was just $33 per person.
We started with the She Crab soup, which was filled with sweet blue crab and a hint of sherry. I knew from first spoonful that Chef Chandler had lived near Charleston, South Carolina at some point in his life. This former Marylander appreciated the abundant amount of tender and sweet blue crab meat in this authentic and scratch-made soup. The pairing with the Sauvignon Blanc was very nice, as the bright acidity of the wine cut through the rich creaminess of the bisque-like soup.
I ordered the pan seared scallops, which came four to the order and resting on a generous portion of risotto. The jumbo sea scallops were tender and not over powered by the seasoning in the yellow curry risotto. The cook on the Arborio rice was good, not mushy and still a bit firm. I could have used a dash of salt, but with the addition of the acidity from the lemon burre blanc- the consensus at the table was the dish was just about perfect. Both entree selections were paired with the Leese Fitch Pinot Noir, which offered bright red fruit and didn’t overpower either entree.
Our table also ordered the Cornish Game Hen, which was stuffed with roasted lemon and herbs and came with roasted fingerling potatoes and a spinach & parsnip puree. The succulent bird was tender and juicy, with a subtle flavor imparted from the lemon and herbs. The hen was a very nice size and offered enough for an entree and to share morsels with the table. We all enjoyed the roasted potatoes and the flavor of the spinach & parsnisp puree. The bird and accompaniments was quite nice with the wine pairing.
We ordered both the tiramisu and the the chocolate mascarpone cheesecake. Both were very decadent, but the cheesecake had us each clamoring for the last bite. Chef Chandler makes all of the desserts in-house, himself. He did mention the cheesecake flavors rotate and most always sell out on their busy nights. Word to the wise, ask about dessert when you arrive and reserve your slice before dinner ends.
Looking around the dining room, there is a fresh, red coat of paint, a new backsplash behind the bar area and several ciders and upscale beer taps are now beside the Bud Light and Guinness taps. The HDTV’s have been upgraded and when football season starts up, expect the local Philadelphia Eagles fans to once again descend upon the bar. And this season, Chef Chandler will great them with authentic Philly cheesesteak subs (with choice of provolone OR cheese whiz) and other themed daily specials. With the creative menu and the pocket friendly prices, we’ll be tasting our way through the Bleu 42 menu long before NFL preseason starts.
Check out the Bleu 42 Facebook page for updated specials (Taco Tuesday) with twitter and an email list being added any day. The website lists the full menu and for your use, I’ve included a picture of their new Happy Hour menu which is offered 4pm-6pm and 9pm to close, daily. Bleu 42 offers fountain drinks, unsweeted and sweet tea, beer, cider, wine and a full bar.
Bleu 42 will have a busy calendar of events year round. We received the heads up that soccer fans should enjoy- during the later rounds of World Cup, Bleu 42 will have themed food and drink specials while televising the matches. For those Trivia gurus, Wednesday night trivia will start on May 21st and look for live acoustic music on the weekends starting later this month. Nice to see such enthusiasm and creativity inside and outside of the Bleu 42 menu.
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I enjoy writing about and participating in the food, wine and culinary scene in Central FL in my off hours. I started Orlando Uncorked, a local non profit wine education group, to promote the approachability of wine and donated our event proceeds to local area charities. The popular wine tasting events grew into structured wine classes and finally, food and wine writing for Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine and The Seminole Chronicle. Thanks for stopping by and if you'd like to join in on my fun, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Untappd, Drync & Vivino @WineChix . Cheers!
- Taste Cook Sip | Bleu 42 in Oviedo, local charm with great prices [Review] - […] Eatery opened a few months ago in Oviedo, not far from the intersection of Aloma and Dean Road. My …