727 Elmwood Ave. | (716) 882-6665
Mon-Thurs 3:30pm -3:30am; Fri-Sun 11:30am – 3:30am
Blue Monk is a gastro pub; a bar with delicious food, pub atmosphere, and a distinct beer aroma. The style is European, inviting and cozy. It’s a nice casual place to eat while still contributing an excellent watering hole to the Elmwood community.
Starters: Sadly, my meal didn’t begin with a starter – but yours should. The menu descriptions were colorful and juicy. Next time I visit Blue Monk I plan on sampling the Blue Balls, German meatballs topped with Moody Blue Cheese and veal demi glacé ($11) and the Charcuterie Plate, a daily selection of meats with house pickles, mustard and whole grain breads. Blue Monk also offers Poutine – duck frites with cheese curds and duck confit gravy if you’re looking to get messy ($11). The starter section of the menu also drew me in by offering several dipping sauces for the Duck Frites including: Honey-Cayenne Aioli, Chipotle Bacon Mayo, Roasted Garlic & Sea Salt, Siracha Mayo, Wasabi Aioli, Thai Curry Ketchup, Sambal Aioli, Smoked Chili Aioli. Can you say YUM? The menu also features a few trendy salads, which we skipped in lieu of the slightly more heart healthy sandwiches calling our names (see below).
Entrées: Picking only a few things off this interesting menu proves to be difficult. The European charm of the descriptions teases your taste buds. Before you know it your mouth is watering for something in each description. In the end, we chose the Duck Confit Reuben, slow cooked duck, red kraut, Gruyère and dijonaisse on grilled marbled rye ($13) – because as our server put it, “You can eat a salad anywhere. Where can you get Duck Confit?” And she was right. The duck was excellent, the rye bread toasted and the gruyére & kraut flavorful and harmonious. My only complaint is that the dijonaisee could be a bit overpowering.
The Lobster Rolls with mango salsa – a special menu item was one we could not pass up. ($16) The two rolls were a good sized helping. Fresh chunks of lobster mixed with sweet pieces of mango were presented in fluffy, top sliced rolls – traditional to the lobster roll dish.
Scene: This is the definition of gastro pub. We’ve been seeing them pop up all over the place lately, and we like it. The European style of the bar, menu & emphasis on drink creates a fun, vintage vibe that you see often overseas.
Service: The service was relaxed, adding to the pub feel of Blue Monk. Sometimes you are looking for someone to help you out on menu choices, and our server did just that. It was excellent.
Beverages: I love the fact that Blue Monk provides a short list of beers to pair with each menu item. Many diners would love to have the ideal beverage/dish pairing but just don’t know where to start. It shows that this establishment aims to tastefully educate guests so that they can get the full experience. The Blue Monk offers around 30 beers on tap and 75 different bottles at prices fit for foreign beers.
Final Thoughts: The food is good, the atmosphere is reminiscent of European adventures & the menu reinforces the culture. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a relaxed experience and quality dishes.
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