Still one of the most elegant and evocative rooms in town, Bluehour has amped up its service from professional to cordial; no attitude here. But judging by several meals over the past couple of months, the food has lost some of the edge that justified the sky-high prices. Heirloom tomato soup was bland, and a shrimp risotto contained exactly six tiny bites of shrimp; on the other hand, perfectly grilled calamari was the star of an exuberant platter with Israeli couscous and spicy sausage. Then there was the dinner entree of porchetta ($29), an impressively bronzed pinwheel that proved to be almost entirely pork fat, hiding a mere nugget of meat. I asked the waiter if perhaps the fat was meant to be eaten; “It’s normally left behind,” he said. Stick to less creative options, like the horseradish-crusted salmon ($37), grilled chicken ($29), or whatever steak or chop is featured. The real excitement here is on the bar menu, where chef Kenny Giambalvo (now on paternity leave) serves up satisfying dishes like his “Mom’s meatballs” and the pulled-pork mini-pizza. Happy hour’s even better, with bargain-priced drinks and fabulous snacks for a few bucks.
IDEAL MEAL: It’s in the bar: Caesar salad, the great house burger, a side of “Kenny’s fries.”