Bleu | The Bramble Inn | Brewster Fish House | Jake Rooney’s | Lookout Tavern | Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. | Sam Diego’s | Season Eatery and Pub | The Starvin’ Marling
On a warm August evening, we made a reservation for dinner at Bleu, believed by many to be the Cape’s best French bistro. We were hoping to sit on the outdoor patio under an awning, tucked away from the Mashpee Commons hustle and bustle. We were given a table perfectly situated to watch the world flow by, just as one does at a sidewalk café in Paris.
Bleu has a decidedly French flair from the cool, elegant interior with sophisticated touches, to the menu, which reflects the owner and executive chef’s culinary savoir-faire. Frederic Feufeu—whose background includes executive chef experiences in France and England as well as at Manhattan’s Rainbow Room, the St. Regis, and 14 Wall Street, and training at France’s prestigious Les Sorbets School—attends to every detail of his award-winning bistro.
Feufeu’s expertise with seafood has earned Bleu rave reviews from diners far and wide. His creative spins on such dishes as Seared Sea Scallops with Maple Grapefruit Glaze ($27) and Potato Crusted Halibut with Miso Hollandaise Sauce ($29) and an array of prime beef and unusual game entrées have brought Bleu awards, including outstanding Zagat reviews, several TripAdvisor recommendations, perennial Cape Cod Life Best Of Readers’ Awards, and Best Of Bistro honors in all of Massachusetts from Boston Magazine.
After settling in with a cool glass of white wine chosen from Bleu’s extensive wine list—which has received numerous Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence—we consulted our helpful waitress about her menu favorites. She recommended we start with The Trio of the Sea appetizer ($25), a spectacular tower of Seared Ahi Tuna, Scallop Ceviche, Salmon Tartar, King Crab Legs, local little necks on the half shell, and Cotuit Oysters.
The plates were a mélange of delightful small bites for two, just the thing to whet your appetite for some of Frederic’s innovative main entrées. As a seafood lover, I couldn’t resist that evening’s special, Striped Bass with White Truffle Glaze, topped with Lobster Crème Fraîche ($29). Served atop a sweetly filling Mushroom Regianno Risotto wrapped in a crispy spring roll, it was a great choice reflecting Frederic’s passion for locally caught Cape Cod fish.
“The choice of seafood here is just superb, especially at this time of year,” says Feufeu from his perch in a white-glove-clean kitchen, which looks out over the blue-toned dining room and cozy lounge areas. “I work very closely with local suppliers. You just can’t get fresh fish like this—even in Manhattan.”
“I love to cook fish,” Feufeu continues. “There are just so many things you can do with a fish entrée—you have a lot of leeway for creativity.” This desire to go beyond the usual Cape fare also shapes unique game and pork dishes, such as my companion’s choice of tender Roasted “Moulard” Duck Breast topped with Herb Goat Cheese ($27) served with Truffle Oil Reggiano Risotto. Feufeu’s deft touch also brightens a popular daily lunch menu and an extensive Sunday Brunch menu.
Despite all the accolades that continue to come his way, Feufeu is not one to rest on his laurels. “We are planning a series of wine dinners for this fall and winter as well as a new Sunday brunch menu that will be offered until next spring,” said Feufeu. “We also hope to enclose our outdoor patio with curtains and provide heaters so our guests can sit outside during the fall.”
As the setting sun glimmered on the French flag at Bleu’s door, we savored our dessert, fresh strawberries appropriately steeped in Champagne ($7). If we closed our eyes for just a minute, we could be at the la Vagenende Brasserie in Paris, where we recently enjoyed one of our favorite meals.
When he is asked how to describe his restaurant, Feufeu doesn’t hesitate. “I would say that we are definitely a fine dining restaurant with true French bistro flair,” says Feufeu. “I want our guests to enjoy delicious food, but I also want them to be relaxed—to enjoy their whole time at Bleu.”
–– Susan Dewey
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