Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bluegrass Grill and Bakery - Charlottesville

I usually like what Cville Best has to offer, but this time it has led me astray. For some reason everyone in Charlottesville picks this as the best breakfast in town. Now I haven't been to many breakfast places in town, but if this is the best out there, then this town is in desperate need of help.

To start, let's talk about the size, set-up and service. There are about 12 tables and a few at a bar in here, two servers and a busboy for Saturday morning. The wait list is done by the waitresses, so they only seat people when they have time, and that is only after the one bus boy finally clears off a table. I could give several examples from just this past Saturday morning for how inefficient this system is, but it would just be tedious. Instead I'll just say that we waited 45 minutes for a "just okay" meal. The food did come out fairly promptly, but this was only after the server "threw" our coffee on the table ever so roughly and neglected to refill my water (despite the fact that I had clearly just run a 10k).

The food itself wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything special in my, my husband or my brother's opinion. The most unique thing they had to offer was a potato dish that was basically roasted potatoes topped with vegetables, cheese or meat. It was something different, but I can't say it was all that original. I ordered mine with a biscuit that I was quite looking forward to, but it was quite dense and more like a oll than a biscuit.

The total bill came to about $30 for three entrees and two drinks which I won't complain about. However, for a 45 minute wait and all the hype, I was expecting something phenomenal and Bluegrass Grill & Bakery didn't provide that. I truly enjoy cooking so for me, going out for a meal is a treat because I have someone to wait on me, clean the dishes and prepare something I wouldn't normally prepare at home, so not hitting any of these notes really disappoints me at a restaurant. Sorry Cville Best, but I'll keep looking for the best breakfast restaurant in town.

Bluegrass Grill & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Old Mill Room at the Boar's Head Inn - Charlottesville

The Old Mill Room is a AAA four-diamond restaurant, so really this review shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. In short the meal was perfect. From the service to the food, you really can't ask more from a meal. Out of towners from the nation's capital will probably find the meal a steal, but for us in this part of the state dinner at the Old Mill Room is saved for a special occasion, which is how my husband and I happened to enjoy it. Either way, it is definitely a place making sure you visit at least once in your life whether you're a local or a visitor.

The menu at the Old Mill Room provides plenty of options in every area. To start, October is Virginia Wine month so they had additional choices of Virginia wines by the glass and bottle. I enjoyed a glass of Barboursville Cabernet Sauvignon with my meal thanks to this special homage. However, I think it was because of this that I have my one complaint from the meal: there was a table in the middle of the dining room littered with open and unopened bottles of wine. I guess that was because of the special promotion, but it didn't exactly look nice. Maybe this sounds like a silly complaint, but at a 4 star restaurant I feel I can nit-pick these kinds of things.

The menu has options for 5 courses, but I would explode if I ate that much. Instead I opted for a bowl of she-crab soup and my husband a roasted quail with apples and spoonbread. Both were excellent and a great start to our meal. These courses averaged $8-10.

For entrees there are several fish, meat and also vegetarian options ranging from around $20-$35. The crab-topped red snapper almost had me, but I decided to go for the candied peach pork tenderloin instead. I'm sure the snapper would have been excellent, but I thoroughly enjoyed my pork tenderloin with peaches and cheddar grits. My husband opted for the pan-seared lamb loin that was paired with mint couscous and green beans. This was also an excellent option.

We decided to opt out of desert instead saving room for frozen yogurt at Arch's (look for my upcoming review!), but I have no doubt that dessert is just as delicious. All around the Old Mill Room offered a superb meal and certainly one I will request again for a special occasion, or maybe for brunch (which I hear is amazing) in the near future.

Old Mill Room on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Duner's Restaurant - Charlottesville

This post can be summed up in one word: YUM. But diner's be warned: you may have to wait for your food, and no reservations are taken. Despite this, you will certainly leave happy and full, for a reasonable price. Duner's is located just west of Charlottesville on 250 near Ivy, you'll probably only find locals at this spot. The menu changes every day. Literally.

If you're an appetizer lover or come in starving, you can't go wrong with the calamari or the brie. Or anything else I'm sure. I've never had a bad item here, so I would be inclined to encourage trying anything that sounds good! You really don't have to order an appetizer to leave full though, so don't feel like you have to! Appetizers tend to run around $8-10 and can easily be shared between 2-3 people.

There are always about 20 entree choices which still boggles my mind. Even though its 3 hours by car to the coast, the seafood is always excellent. You'll also find some local meats and river trout, in addition to a few vegetarian options. I guarantee any of these will be excellent. I'm a sucker for seafood, so I tend to order some kind of fish. (See two of these in my pictures including salmon crepes on the right and rockfish below.) All entrees come with a nice salad and fresh (delicious!) bread, so for an average of $25/entree, you're not breaking the bank. Pair it with a pint of Starr Hill, a carafe of house wine, or a bottle of a local wine and you've got one great meal!

The deserts are also awesome at Duner's and I always find myself wanting to finish my meal with one. They'll pack it up for you to go if you like. The chocolate dome cake had me the first time I saw it, and it was every bit as good as it looks. Other seasonal options are always available to, so those are always a good option.

Duner's is definitely a classic and a stable in this part of Virginia, so if you haven't gotten over there, go tomorrow night!

Duner's on Urbanspoon