It’s always a treat to visit Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, whether you’re feasting on innovative creations by Chef Stephen Jones, who pours love into every dish, or sipping on one of the delicious handcrafted cocktails for happy hour. I was invited to try some of the newest offerings on Jones’ current spring/summer menu, made with organic and locally sourced ingredients that perfectly complement each other for a symphony in your mouth.
This meal (thank you to J. Lauren PR for the invitation), my pal Elle and I grabbed a seat outside on the patio, overlooking CityScape in downtown Phoenix.
Not only was the weather perfect, we could hear tunes from neighboring Copper Blues. Like Elle pointed out, the music was great because it provided great background melodies that allowed us to still hear what each other was saying.
Like all my visits at Blue Hound, the service, from the hostess to every single server who visited our table (including the knowledgeable and friendly Justis), was top-notch. Kudos to Blue Hound for properly training their staff in menu proficiency and professionalism.
We started with two delicious drinks – the Singapore Sling ($10) was made with Arizona Distilling Co. gin, Bénédictine, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and Cherry Heering liqueur. Justis told us the drink is modeled after original Tiki drinks, and we both agreed the balance of sweet and sour was great.
I also got the Lost Melody ($10), a frothy concoction with Smirnoff vodka, grapefruit liquer, coconut cream, grapefruit juice, and rose flower water. It tasted like dessert in a drink, which was totally fine with me, and I loved inhaling the coconut scents with every tasty sip.
My pal and I split a ton of plates, perfectly portioned for sharing, during our feast. First up was the Cured Strawberry and Fennel Flatbread ($14), with pickeled fennel (a favorite ingredient of Chef Jones – read my Phoenix People interview with him here), pistachio, wild baby arugula and ricotta cheese. I’ve never had strawberries on a pizza, but let me tell you, the flatbread was delicious and tasted just like what you’d think of when it comes to spring.
We also dug into the Avocado salad ($9), with blood oranges, grapefruit and wild greens. Elle described it perfectly as “chic diet food,’” a light and fresh salad you could feel good eating right before a night out or before getting into a swimsuit, since it was healthy and light. I loved the fruit and avocado combination and gobbled up every bite.
Elle loved the Tater Tots she ordered (a small portion at $7), which had bacon and chive made right in the tots. “These are every college kid’s wet dream,” she said, noting the bacon baked in was a spectacular touch.
We both enjoyed the Corn Bread Panzanella ($9), a bread salad with artichoke, fava beans, baby leeks, and peas mixed with an herb vinaigrette. It was really filing and would be a great appetizer to share.
Surprisingly, maybe our favorite savory dish was the Roasted Cauliflower ($9), really simple but oh-so-good because, like most of Blue Hound’s offerings, it combined sweet, savory and salty to satisfy all your palate’s tastes. It came with pistachios, capers and currants, and Justis said it’s simply cooked by poaching the cruciferous vegetable in milk before charring it a little in a skillet, then adding in the capers, currants and a touch of butter and herbs.
Elle summed up the meal perfectly: “I would never have thought of putting this stuff together, but it’s exactly what I want,” she said.
I was full, but we asked Justis to surprise us with dessert. He brought out the latest dessert menu item, the BHPB&J ($9), a twist on PB&J with whoopie pie, blackberry jelly ice cream, peanut butter mousse (OMG, so good), and fresh berries. The chocolate covering the whooiee pie was so decadent, and I loved all the flavors on the updated classic. “It tastes like the Fourth of July,” Elle added, saying it reminded her of all-American flavors from the summer holiday.
We were stuffed, but then were surprised with dessert number two: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake served skillet-style ($9), wish medjool date ice cream atop salted caramel.
We devoured every bite despite our full bellies, and you can tell by the clean plates below, every serving was a winner for these two ladies.
While most of what we ordered was vegetarian, Blue Hound’s latest menu has some notable seafood items, including Crispy Salt N’ Pepper Shrimp, Grilled Yellowfin Tuna and Red Snapper.
For more information on the restaurant, head here.