To help keep me warm on our walk through the park, we stopped at the newest Jacques Torres (http://www.jacquestorres.com/default.aspx) location and I picked up one of my new favorite winter treats: a wicked hot chocolate. It's their version made with some allspice, cinnamon, sweet ancho chili peppers and smoked ground chipotle chili pepper. The extra spice makes you stay extra warm.
After working up an appetite, we set out on a mission to find dinner. I had been craving oysters, but we didn't want a place that only served seafood so that Joe would have some options as well. Our hunt led us to Blue Smoke (http://www.bluesmoke.com/) a bbq restaurant with a jazz club in the basement.
Even with the amazing day we had already had, going to Blue Smoke was one of the best decisions we made. As soon as we walked in the smell of barbecue made us fall in love. And then we ate. We started off with cocktails: Joe had an Old Fashioned and I had a Hayride: a mixture of pear, cider, and something else. I don't remember everything it had in it but I do remember that it was delicious and tasted just like fall should.
While working on the cocktails we nibbled on 1/2 dozen oysters, BBQ chips and a blue cheese and bacon dip. Then for our main course Joe had the KC Ribs with a side of corn on the cob and I had Seared Sea Scallops with Blue Corn Grits and Herb Apple salad. The ribs, though not quite as good as some real Kansas City BBQ, were great. The KC barbecue sauce had some great flavors, but the ribs were a little too dry without the addition of extra sauce that was on the table. The scallops were tender and sweet with a slightly spicy tinge. And I was a huge fan of the Blue Corn Grits.
I really had no room for dessert but could not pass up the Ice Cream float made with cream soda, chocolate sauce, and Jack Daniels. Even though it was really too chilly to be eating ice cream, I think the Jack Daniels made up for that.
Our server wasn't spectacular, but the rest of the staff was really friendly and helpful and we had a good time anyway. We had a great meal and I'm really looking forward to heading back to the jazz bar downstairs, Jazz Standard, where we can get the same good food and some good music to go along with it!