Meal of the Month: The Blue Door After Dark

What happens when you take a wildly successful bakery and cafe, known for dishing out some of the most creative gourmet breakfasts around, and introduce dinner service? That’s exactly what owner Michael Bruno of The Blue Door set to find out.

What happens when you take a wildly successful bakery and cafe, known for dishing out some of the most creative gourmet breakfasts around, and introduce dinner service? That’s exactly what owner Michael Bruno of The Blue Door set to find out. Clearly a man of insatiable culinary curiosity, he’s taken every success that’s been packing his small dining room at 1970 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls and intensified it, with the help of chef Torsten Schultz, to create a new venture: dinner.

We simply can’t decide what our favorite aspect of The Blue Door is. There’s the commitment to organic and locally sourced produce and grass-fed, hormone-free meats. If Northeast Ohio can’t provide it, the finest ingredients are flown in directly from the source (think salmon FedExed from Alaska). There’s the refusal to serve anything with corn syrup or hydrogenated oils—which is easy since all cooking is from scratch. Then, there’s the imaginative menu that completely transforms itself week after week (and this goes for breakfast and lunch too, led by chef Jimmy and the team). Or, it’s the combination of these things, all presented in a down-to-earth setting where you’ll want to spend your mornings (and now evenings) in food-induced bliss.

Generally speaking, the vibe at The Blue Door is a little European and totally unpretentious— white marble-top tables sit close together, and a bakery case displays the day’s bread, croissants and pastries. In the evening, the space is “dressed up” with white tablecloths, fresh cut flowers and polished cutlery—with some classical music playing overhead.

The entire experience, from the minute you walk through the blue door until you leave, full and happy, is a well-choreographed performance of culinary genius. The dinner menu is intentionally designed to allow four courses to blend harmoniously. You can opt for the four-course chef’s tasting menu, or, you can just dabble in any of courses you wish.

COURSE ONE
Course #1Peach brandy-marinated cantaloupe, drycured speck (a smoked ham) from Northern Italy, lemon basil pesto and candied ginger. VERDICT: This gorgeous rendition of the classic prosciutto and melon takes on a new life with the addition of pesto and zesty lemon and ginger flavors. Just the right number of cantaloupe bites pair blissfully with the salty meat, leaving you swirling your fork around the plate in joyous delight.

 

COURSE TWO
Course #2Peekeytoe crab (flown in from Maine), avocado mousse, fresh corn salsa, lemon ice and cilantro, nestled around a pastry wheel. VERDICT: Living up to the promise of “the sweetest and most beautiful crab you’ll ever have,” this gravity-defying presentation epitomizes freshness and creativity.

 

 

COURSE THREE
Roam_blue_scallopNEWPan-seared Alaskan Weathervane scallops, in a ragout of carrots, shallots, tomatoes in a veal reduction, baked mini carrots, lemon confit, cilantro and bacon vinaigrette. VERDICT: This carrot risotto-like concoction is like nothing you’ve ever tasted—totally scrumptious, and makes a worthy complement to these sweet, browned Alaskan scallops.

 

 

COURSE FOUR
Roam_blue_menuGluten-free baked peach streusel, raspberry sauce, peach foam and peach compote. VERDICT: Don’t let the fancy description complicate matters—this is just the best peach cobbler ever made.

 

 

 

Again, the menu changes weekly, so if you want to know what the staff at The Blue Door has up their sleeves, join the 6,000 Facebook fans who have tuned in to read Bruno’s legendarily lengthy menu descriptions … if they don’t make your mouth water, nothing will.

The Blue Door Cafe & Bakery on Urbanspoon