Dinner at Bluejacket
I’ve been waiting to review this restaurant, hoping that the food served at Bluejacket would start living up to its ambience and beer list.
As a resident of Navy Yard, I eagerly awaited Bluejacket’s arrival, but often found it more of a place to hang out with friends when I felt like being in a fun, albeit, loud environment, or if I wanted to try some IPAs. This was not where I would bring anyone whom I wanted to impress with a delicious meal.
I’ve now frequented Bluejacket 11 times, yes, I counted, and yes, my credit card hates me. In my last three visits everything was improved – from service, to menu/drink knowledge, to the actual dishes themselves. There was nothing I’ve tried recently that didn’t have me saying “wow” — even dishes that I wouldn’t think to try at a brewery.
Hopefully, the Yelp reviews start to reflect that change that at least I have noticed.
I started my meal with the Hand’s Up, a delicious drink made with sauza tequila, hibiscus cordial, grapefruit juice, and lime juice. I really like the drink names here, where there’s everything from the Start Digging, to Grounds for Divorce, to I Got It Online.
Hands Up cocktail
My first snack here is always the Pork Rinds. I’ve written about them before — they literally come to your plate still popping. On my latest visit, one popped so loudly that I jumped back in my chair. Fried to order, the only thing that needs improvement is the seasoning. Sometimes it is on point, and other times I need to flag down the server to get some salt.
Pork Rinds Fried to Order
For my starter I went for the Seared Scallops with spring garlic, israeli couscous, preserved lemon, broken vinaigrette, and toasted pine nuts. The scallops were perfect and the dish actually had more vegetables than I expected. The Braised Pork Cheeks and Beef Heart Tartare also seemed like excellent choices.
My friend ordered the Hot Charcuterie – Bluejacket divides it between hot and cold — which consisted of weijska sausage, seared pastrami tongue, and fried coppa di testa. It was delicious, if not a bit on the small side, until I noticed it was only $13.
As for the entrees, I’m still torn between the Papa Weaver Pork Loin with wheat berries, maitake mushrooms, and sunchoke puree, and the Eighteen Hour Beef Short Rib with balsamic braised cabbage, parmesan spaetzle, and butter braised turnips. The short ribs were tender and fell apart while showcasing a depth of meaty flavor, but there was something off with the spaetzle that I couldn’t place.
So my vote goes to the pork loin. Just one word: tender.
Papa Weaver Pork Loin
If you aren’t already unzipping your pants to breathe, then please let me suggest the Warm Apple Piggy Pie: caramel sauce, Kyle’s smoked bacon, whiskey vanilla ice cream. And, yes, I’m remiss in waiting until the last paragraph to mention Executive Chef Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley.
Warm Apple Piggy Pie
I haven’t described the warehouse-type decor at all. Go see it for yourself.