"Not quite ripe" is the way we jointly summed it up.
Needless to say, the Blue Lemon folks were not happy that I was not happy. But we talked, I was told several things were changing at the restaurant, and I was encouraged to try it again.
And I just did, last week, with a happy ending.
Blue Lemon is the downtown branch of a Highland original-an early denizen of City Creek. One day, the chic, contemporary express-style cafe should be packed for breakfast, lunch and dinner with Utahns and visitors shopping and enjoying our fab new future city.
Right now, pedestrian traffic is light, and when we ate there on a weekend evening, only a few tables were taken-I imagine lunch is busier.
But when the crowds do come, Blue Lemon is now ready.
Not only was the food good, stylishly presented and reasonably priced, the service was friendly and over-the-top thoughtful. Example: When we ordered a sandwich to take to a friend along with our dinner, our server offered to put the takeout order in to the kitchen when we were close to finishing our meal, so the panini would be fresh when we delivered it.
The service is partially self-you place your order and the food is brought to your table- and the menu is simple.
Fettucine alfredo with chicken (above) had a light but satisfyingly creamy coating on the nicely cooked pasta, delivering the mouthfeel of comfort food without the heft. My chicken breast with artichoke hearts, tomatoes and fresh spinach on mashed potatoes was a fresh, generous plateful, and again, tasted more luxurious than it felt. (That's a good thing.)
And the corn-tortilla soup was terrific-clear, strong, broth with fresh vegetables, tortilla strips and a hint of afterburn.
Blue Lemon prides itself on this light touch, the healthiness of its offerings in terms of calories and fat.
But a meal here doesn't make you feel like you've eaten "lite." It just makes you feel like you've eaten smart.