7 Must-Try Dishes at Blush Ice Bar
By Darlene Horn
Chef Barron riffs on traditional Japanese chicken karaage but uses local octopus instead ($11). The cephalopod is braised for a few hours before it’s coated in bread crumbs and deep-fried. The shareable starter is served with traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce and spicy aïoli.
Sandwiches make up a small segment of the menu, but for one with an Asian bent, try the smoked duck leg bao ($13). The kitchen stuffs shredded duck confit inside steamed buns with house-pickled onions and garlic sauce. A dollop of guacamole inside adds an interesting creamy component.
Blush Ice Bar inherited several slushie machines from the building’s former tenant, and the bartenders make use of them in their cocktails, including several signature drinks. Go crazy and opt for the build-your-own Blushie ($9.25) by picking your own spirit with flavored vodkas or rums, and pair it with your choice of lemon-lime, cranberry or pineapple ice and one fruit purée.
Since day one, Barron’s take on foie gras ($23) has been the most sought-after dish in the restaurant. Using the broth from the leftover smoked duck leg bao, he pairs it with seared Hudson Valley foie gras, the star ingredient. It doesn’t end there. A poached egg adds creaminess to the already rich broth and the fried chicken skin garnish lends texture.
Previous menu incarnations have listed rice as a side, but with scallop fried rice ($16), Barron has upgraded the dish to entree status. The clean flavors use jasmine rice and tender Nantucket Bay scallops. It works as a main but also goes great as an accompaniment to any of the larger meat-centric entrees. A spicier version to try is bacon-kimchi fried rice ($16).
Raw seafood makes a big play on the menu. From oysters on the half shell and yellowfin tuna poke to an impressive seafood tower, there are lots of choices. Start with the hamachi spoons ($10) and work your way up. The freshness of the fish pairs well the avocado-jalapeño ponzu.
The icy, sweet cocktails can act as dessert on their own, but don’t pass up the green tea Twinkie ($9). Barron fills matcha-flavored sponge cake with vanilla cream. Raspberry fruit leather and chopped litchis are a stunning contrast against the green pastry and add a refreshing, fruity component.