Blue Island Oyster Bar opened in Cherry Creek just over a year ago, bringing East Coast-style seafood and raw-bar delights to the corner of East Second Avenue and Columbine Street. Concept Restaurants veteran chef DJ Nagle (creator of the signature bacon burger at Humboldt) has been at the helm for the past year, but he's moving on to oversee another one of the company's projects, the trio of Spruce, the Corner Bar and License No. 1 inside the Hotel Boulderado. So last week, Joe Troupe signed on as the new executive chef, which means he gets to oversee more than a month of oyster events coming to Blue Island.
Troupe's first Colorado exec position was at Lucky Pie (both the Louisville original and the newer downtown Denver pizzeria), and he was also chef/owner at Amass, which closed in August after a two-year run at a tough Jefferson Park address. The new Blue Island gig marks a return to Cherry Creek for Troupe, who also worked across the street at North Italia prior to going to Lucky Pie and Amass.
The chef and his team are offering several specials this fall to take advantage of the height of oyster season. Now through October 10, oysters Rockefeller are available as a threesome for $9 or a set of five for $15. Then from October 11 through October 20, $12 will land you a bowl of Joe’s Oyster Stew, named for the chef and also available in a small serving for $7. And from October 21 through October 30, the oyster bar will offer a Big Five tasting plate at market price, presenting one each of five edible species of oyster that the restaurant says can only be showcased at this time of year, when all five species are at their peak.
For the next two months, a $2 oyster of the day will also be shucked, and for $30 guests can get a dozen bivalves matched with a bottle of Evolution sparkling wine. And on November 3, Troupe will host his first chef dinner — The Chef, the Shucker, the Farmer & the Brewer — which will bring in land, sea and suds specialists along with beers from Boulder Beer Company. Check the Blue Island website for details and reservations.
by Mark Antonation