After 15 years of running Blue Ginger in Wellesley, celebrity chef Ming Tsai now has a restaurant in Boston proper: Blue Dragon, which opened today. In addition to serving as chef-owner at Blue Ginger, Tsai is the host of the PBS show Simply Ming and has competed on The Next Iron Chef, among other television appearances. Given Tsai's notoriety in the Boston area and beyond, plus the several accolades racked up by Blue Ginger over the years, Blue Dragon is bound to attract a lot of attention. It's also one of the flagships of a new breed of restaurant opening in Fort Point. These venues appear to function as a more casual, food-focused counterpoint to the many big, loud, showy places blowing up the nearby Seaport District. Here's ten things to know about Blue Dragon, which is now open.
1. Once upon a time, this was the A Street Deli.
2. There are 80 seats.
3. Reservations are only accepted for parties of 10 or more.
4. The bar program includes beer, wine, sake and cocktails. "Cocktails" includes a Scorpion Bowl-esque Dragon Bowl.
5. Blue Dragon is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30AM to 1:00AM with the kitchen closing at midnight. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.
6. Former Blue Ginger chef de cuisine Tom Woods serves as executive chef.
7. There are six types of banh mi available to-go (and five for dining in). They are: roasted chicken with lemongrass aioli and house pâté ($8); roast pork and mortadella with spicy aioli and House pâté ($8); stir-fry vegetables with caramelized onion aioli and mushroom pâté ($8); shaved roast beef with horseradish cream ($10); teriyaki salmon with toasted sesame aioli ($10); black pepper shrimp and jicama salad ($12).
8. Small plates dominate the "tapas-style menu."
9. According to Tsai, this is what an Asian gastropub looks like.
10. The French fry recipe was influenced by none other than Guy Fieri.
And here's the lunch, dinner and cocktail menus: