Cheers to 6 tasty years
Phoenix, Arizona (August 22, 2015)
Months before the 20th anniversary of the Bluewater Family of Restaurants in 2016, Bluewater Grill Phoenix celebrates its sixth year in the Camelback Corridor with a new Chef’s Menu, some exterior restaurant upgrades and month-long appreciation specials for the restaurant’s loyal fan base.
When it opened in 2009 on the site of the former Fish Market on East Camelback Road, Bluewater Grill was the first restaurant in Phoenix to offer an expanded menu of hyper-fresh, sustainably harvested seafood and shellfish, some of it even arriving at the restaurant soon after it was caught by the restaurant’s own fishing vessel off the California coast. The restaurant was unique in its ability to offer both simply prepared seafood and shellfish in season with a rotating menu of more sophisticated Chef’s specials designed to show the culinary possibilities of fresh fish.
Passionately committed to seafood sustainability, the restaurant was also one of the first in Arizona (and the country) to publish its own Fish Origins Chart showing the wild or farmed origin of every item on its lunch and dinner menus, which are certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach Seafood for the Future program or the Marine Stewardship Council.
Six busy years later, the restaurant’s fan base has grown along with competition from other seafood restaurants just now recognizing the importance of the Phoenix market.
“While there were some seafood restaurants in town in 2009, no one was doing the sheer variety of fresh-fish options we offered,” explained Jeff Martineau, general manager of Bluewater Grill Phoenix who also spent 10 years with Fish Market Phoenix. “Since we all love the sea and like to fish, we definitely surprised a number of local residents about what was possible with fresh seafood and shellfish – both from a sustainability and culinary standpoint.”
Martineau looks at the new seafood restaurants opening throughout the Valley as a welcomed opportunity to bring even more appreciation for fresh fish to the desert. “However unlikely it might be, Phoenix has grown into a legitimate seafood town – and we’d like to think that we had something to do with this transformation.”
The Boston native and former “Arizona Bass Angler of the Year” hosts two different New England-inspired tastings each year, and has added several authentic Northeast menu items that have taken off with locals. “Thanks to the large number of transplanted New Englanders in Phoenix, our annual July Clambake and ‘Stuff-the-Lobster-and-not-the-Bird’ Maine Lobster tastings do very well,” he said. “But what really surprised us was the local popularity of my mom’s special-recipe lobster roll, the iconic Maine delicacy consisting of a toasted Brioche bun filled with a freshly made salad of lobster meat and finely diced celery with a touch of mayonnaise.”
“Who would have thought that the lobster roll would do the best at the only Bluewater restaurant not located within 60 minutes of the Pacific Ocean,” he added. Thanks to its popularity here, it has been permanently added to the menu at the six other Bluewater restaurants in Southern California (although Bluewater owner Jimmy Ulcickas suggests that the item has been unofficially available in Newport Beach since it opened in 1996).
To mark Bluewater Grill’s six years in the Valley, Phoenix Executive Chef Jamie Gallimore will be launching the most extensive update of his lunch and dinner menus since 2009. While the fish house-inspired classics like Beer Battered Fish & Chips and homemade New England and Manhattan Clam Chowder will remain, Chef Jamie is leveraging his training at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and experience at restaurants throughout Phoenix to create an ongoing menu of original dishes.
“The Chef’s passion for ingredients and preparation allows him to translate the freshest fish of the season into unique and contemporary pairings that target specific taste, texture and temperature attributes,” Martineau added. Gallimore previously cooked at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, the Javelina Springs Restaurant & Bar and Café Allegro at Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum.
Bluewater locals – many of whom gather for seasonal tasting and wine-pairing events on the second Tuesday of every month – can celebrate in other ways. In honor of its official anniversary on Oct. 9, the restaurant will offer a menu of entrée, small-plate and drink specials throughout the month while the Bluewater Oyster and Sushi bars will create their own new menu items and promotions.
An Oct. 7 invite-only party of local VIPs, media, bloggers and concierge, restaurant and travel industry representatives will show-off Chef Jamie’s new creations, the limited-time anniversary menu and several exterior restaurant enhancements. A select number of party invites will be made available to Bluewater Grill Phoenix e-Crew subscribers.
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