Black & Blue

Black & Blue

Across from the Courthouse in Downtown Easton sits a magical spot called Black and Blue. Co-owners Kelly-Jo Ditze (formerly of Which Brew fame) and Larry Porter (Porters’ Pub) have created an atmosphere at Black and Blue that is both creative and off-beat yet inviting in a crazy, whimsical sorta way.

We arrived early on a Saturday and took a table in the dining room that was dimly lit and decorated with funky lamps and posters, dark curtains, twinkly lights, candles, skulls, bats and any other paraphernalia reminiscent of the Addams Family – and, lucky for us, great music with no TVs to be found.

Brigade service is the style here. That night Mel, Anjelica, Devon and Amanda were working the room together – waiting tables, making their own drinks and food running. Everyone was dressed somewhat “goth” and were delightfully pleasant conversationalists. It is very easy to quickly get into the mood of Black and Blue.

There are 12 rotating taps at the bar featuring Belgian and craft brews to go along with their signature “spirits” including “Black Magic” and not-often seen Absinthe.

Tom enjoyed a Belgian Stout and I a “frightfully” delicious Cosmo while we checked out the menu and chatted with Larry Porter about the various things going on in downtown Easton. Porter is president of the Easton Business Association, one of the many different hats this very interesting man wears. Partner Kelly-Jo also stopped by our table to chat in between visiting patrons and making everyone feel at home. Black and Blue runs like a finely-tuned machine but is as comfortable as sitting in your living room.

We started with their House Specialty Nachos. This grand serving of Nachos was amazing – a layered creation of chips, meaty house chili, guacamole, red and green bell peppers, and tomatoes fresh from the garden all smothered in cheese with fresh jalapenos on the side. Whoa! This pile of goodness was layered so you just didn’t get a chip with a bit of cheese but the whole shebang in every bite. We loved them and they truly were a treat. We will definitely go back for nachos and beer again very soon. We forced ourselves to stop because we wanted to taste other things.

I ordered the special crab cakes which were very fresh and loaded with lump crabmeat, with no fillers, and served with a refreshing pineapple citrus salsa. There were two and I took one home with me because they were very rich. Tom ordered the paella that was chock-a-block with mussels, clams, shrimp and chorizo all served with a saffron rice, tomatoes, peppers and onions.

We enjoyed both dishes and highly recommend them if you are in the mood for an entree when you visit. We did share the “Pommes Frights” – Belgian-style hand cut fries served with Blithering Idiot Barleywine sauce, they are a must when you are at Black and Blue. We saw many customers enjoying them with one of their “Sandwitches.” This list includes a Black & Blue Burger – 1/2 pound ground beast, blue cheese, applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, lettuce and tomato on brioche; Fungus – Grilled Portabella with homemade pesto, salsa and feta; and Chiappinelli Roast Beast – herbed tenderloin and melted Brie with lettuce, salsa, Chipotle mayo on a ciabatta.

Chef Arvid Danielson attended Northampton Community College’s culinary program and started with Kelly-Jo at Which Brew. He is helped in the kitchen by Jake, their talented sous chef who has been at Black and Blue for three years. Together, they have created an eclectic menu of delicious food. Black & Blue’s “Bite Me’s” menu is perfect for sharing and lists Steamed Clams, PEI Mussels, Blackened Tuna Bites and “Bat Wings” served with their specialty sauces.

Combine any of these with a pizza or salad and you’ve got a meal. There are full entrees available along with interesting specials every night guaranteed to satisfy anybody’s appetite.

When speaking with Larry Porter, he stressed that Black and Blue is all about their customers and that is why it is such a special place. They take the time to get to know their patrons which is obvious from the way everyone interacts with one another. They are like family there and I liked the warm coziness of our unique surroundings. It was devilishly fun.

There are 12 seats at the bar with surrounding hightops and a couple of dining rooms that will seat about a total of 40 people but this is a small place. They do not take reservations except for parties of eight and up that can be accommodated in a private dining area. It is casual with an great mix of people, both young and old.

Black and Blue is a neighborhood place that is definitely different. If you are looking for something unique the next time you are in Easton, definitely stop in and enjoy a brew, a “Sandwitch” and “Frights”, chat with the wonderful servers and have yourself a devlishly good time! Oh, and if you visit on a Thursday, it is BYOV… bring your favorite vinyl and the DJ will pop in on the turntable for you.

Black and Blue is located at 683 Walnut Street in Easton. There is street parking along Walnut and Seventh and plenty of parking up near the courthouse. Hours are 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 4 p.m. to Midnight Thursday to Saturday.

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