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Monday, November 24

Restaurant Review - The Blue Sapphire

I had occasion (and the spending money) to visit a recently-opened restaurant in Central Florida, near the Cypress Gardens theme park. Its name is The Blue Sapphire and it bills itself as a sushi bar and lounge.

The decor is slightly modern minimalist, with several fish tanks and plasma screen TVs; the lounge area is composed of low, plush sofas and chairs set with lighted plastic cubes that act as tables. The bar has a waterfall-style sculpture behind it and the backlighting for the bottles changes colors.

There's an actual sushi bar in the back where you can sit and watch while the chefs prepare your nigiri or maki in front of you. And there are cooked entrees and appetizers.

Wanting to get a second opinion, I took my Mom along with me.

As an appetizer, Mom ordered a selection of tempura-fried veggies (mushrooms, onion, green peppers, cucumbers) with a tasty dipping sauce. I ordered nigiri as my appetizer, and selected salmon roe. The roe, small orange balls, were presented in a bowl made of half a lemon with the pulp scooped out and served on a bed of shredded daikon and carrot. The obligatory pickled ginger and wasabi were on the side.

Both: Highly recommended. I'll certainly come back to try more varieties of their nigiri.

The entrees came with a delicious broth, and a garden salad with a ginger dressing. Mom ordered teriyaki style beef and vegetables, while I asked for tempura-fired chicken and shrimp, which came with a soy-based dipping sauce.

Both: Highly recommended.

Dessert was taken home, and consisted of two pieces of tempura cheesecake, drizzled with chocolate and raspberry sauces and a dollop of whipped cream.

Both: Delicious!

Verdict: While not exactly cheap (the tempura chicken and shrimp were $14.95, the priciest thing ordered) the food was exceptional, the service excellent and the setting quite calming.

The Blue Sapphire earns four spoons.

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