Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Elvis Has Entered the Building!

Uncle Dennis rumbled into town in his sleek, black 500 hp Carlsson Mercedes SL55 AMG. He's one of the coolest people I know, and it's not because of the car.

As always, it was really great to see him and I'm glad he is doing well. I would have worn a t-shirt and shorts if it weren't for the list of restaurants I emailed him to select. Poor Uncle Dennis was ch-ch-chilled by the evening air, hovering around the upper 40s/low 50s.

Blue Canyon from the outside is very clean and looks like a little lodge surrounded by small trees and shrubs in a developed area set against a hillside. Adjacent to the restaurant are Damon's, Donatos Pizza, and Hilton Garden Inn.

As we walked toward the restaurant from the parking area, we noticed a carved out area below that was set up for outdoor dining. Unfortunately, it was too cool to have service there. A few degrees warmer, at least for normal folks, it would have been a marvelous place to eat under the sunset and dusk sky, as this area is completely exposed to the elements.

Uncle Dennis had made reservations for window seating. We were seated in the great room at the center of the windowed area.

Despite being right next to a highway, the view from our table has you feeling like you're tucked away in a resort that hasn't been overly developed in concrete and steel. The ceiling was 2 stories high with huge whole lumber beams crossing the length of the restaurant.

The hostess laid the pliable square leather remnant before me as we were seated. I caressed the creases of the front cover and then the soft suede unlined interior. I looked up and saw Bug staring at me and snickering.

Our first course was a tomato basil flatbread (pizza) that we shared. It was a very simple appetizer that was done well and was tasty. This was followed by a Canyon caesar salad that we shared as well. This was brought in a flat rectangular dish with 9 whole leaves of romaine lettuce stacked aesthetically, drizzled with chipotle caesar dressing. The dressing was superb - almost on the verge of Thousand Island dressing. I would go back just to eat the salad. I was greedily trying to grab one of the leaves and dumped almost all the asiago cheese on Bug's cocktail napkin.

Uncle Dennis ordered the Texas Sirloin with parmesan bacon mashed potatoes and asparagus. The steak was delicious - beef is good stuff. It wasn't fluffed by a lot of salt and other rubbish.

Bug had root beer glaze cedar plank Atlantic salmon. We were shocked by how well it worked. It had a sweet root flavor that wasn't sickly, so to speak. It came with asparagus and whipped Yukon potatoes.

My ahi was good, but the warm crab and sliced asparagus spear salad made me giddy. I loved that the salad wasn't spiced up so I could savor the marriage between the crab and the asparagus without any interlopers.

Bug and I shared a key lime cheesecake. The cheesecake arrived as a key lime topped pyramid and cheesecake base on a square plate. Raspberry glaze was drizzled on the plate. It was a shame that I could not fully appreciate it without that lingering thought of being full with each delicious bite. Uncle Dennis had coffee.

I had a great time with my uncle. Conversation was always interesting and not controversial, which it tends not to be. At least not in an argumentative way. We often discuss politics, but not as a form of debate.

Bug isn't easily impressed, especially when it comes to high end restaurants. He was a little annoyed with our server at first, because of some comments he had made but after the server stopped talking, it was better. Bug was impressed enough to eek out a desire to return. That's saying a lot.

- Cassaendra

Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern
8960 Wilcox Drive
Twinsburg, OH 44087

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