Friday, December 7, 2007

QUICKVIEW: Black & Blue- ++ / $$$

Black and Blue advertises itself as a restaurant and speakeasy. I don't understand the speakeasy part. It just seems like a restaurant to me. Taking the place of The Indian Club, they changed the color scheme to a subdued, trendy blue; and almost nothing else. Nice interior, with a gigantic explosion of color in what looks like Jackson Pollock's nightmare on the wall as the centerpiece. The dining area is somewhat small, with the bar inefficiently taking up most of the back. The menu is, again, steakhouse-ish. Damned steakhouses are everywhere. The menu is competitively priced. Wine list is very good. A large list of affordable wines combines with an even larger list of more expensive wines. List skews American, with many high-end options.

Appetizers are average. Fried lump crab meat was acceptable, but barely spiced and rather bland. Seafood is nice, but prepared sub-par. Scallops were overcooked and sandy. Sauce was too salty. Steak was overcooked, but not by much, and the pinot noir reduction sauce was sweet and satisfying. Orange and spice chicken was very tasty. Cappuccino was below average. Desserts were disappointing. Flourless chocolate torte was dry, while the banana & ladyfingers thing was very bland. Entering the crowded steakhouse scene means lots of competition from excellent places. The nearby Eleven Forty Nine outclasses this place turn for turn. Still, it was good enough where I might come back.

Black & Blue: ++
Price range for two: $40-$75

BLACK & BLUE
455 Main Street
East Greenwich, RI 02818

26 comments:

Life is Good! said...

Yikes Arron, what kind of review are you giving when you bash this place and then say you might return! - I have yet to try this place but with a review like yours - I WILL try it! Sounds like you are a very tough person to please! I'll resond wit my review following a dinner there.

wine guy said...

WOW! I guess when someone catches on to your scam it really pisses you off!
you arrived at Black and Blue and promptly handed the server a card stating you are a restaurant critic...no real critic would ever do such a thing.....unless of course he is not a critic just someone trying to scam restauranteurs for free apps and deserts,which you did not get..pissed you off?
you asked to see the chef, but since the Chef has been around he reconized your scam and did not come out to kiss your ass...pissed you off again?
as for you so called reveiw ,it means nothing to all the customers who truly love the place.
oh by the way ...there are no scallops on the menu!!!!!!
your comments on the decor...are you blind ,did you not notice the 9 custom made light fixtures hanging in the dining room,did you even walk in the bar area...becuase if you had you would have notice the bar (completley made off black granite with blue fiber optic lighting)does not take up most of the room .
it is an 19 foot bar in a 64 foot room!DID YOU NOT NOTICED THE EXPENSIvE FLATWARE AND CRYSTAL.
please get a life and stop the scam, you are not an acredited critc.
TO ALL RESTAURANTEURS ,please do not give this person any thing free ,his review is nothing more than someone out for ATTENTION AND FREEBIES .
HOW DO I KNOW ALL THIS ...I WAS YOUR SERvER!
please sir follow your own suggestion and go to 1149...please

Vikram said...

haha well played wine guy. well played indeed.

Aaron MC said...

Holy crap, Wine Guy! I did nothing of the sort! I have never gotten anything free and if offered I would not accept. I don't know who you're talking about, but it was, without any doubt, not me.

I don't know what to say. I got scallops. I believe it was a special. Scallops and lobster in a butter sauce. I really don't know what else to say. I got scallops the night I ate there.

And your comments about the decor, I stand by my statement. I felt most of the decor was straight "off the shelf" with nothing of note. It was nice enough, but unremarkable.

I apparently did not notice the expensive flatware. I apologize. It seemed like ordinary flatware to me.

And Life is Good!, I am not too tough to please. At least, I don't think I am. I'm sorry if the review didn't convey exactly how I felt. It was alright. That's a good word for it, alright. There was nothing abysmal about the night that would drive me away, but nothing special to draw me back, either. And I look forward to your own review. I love talking food.

wine guy said...

lsst night the parking as usual full wth jags a bentley or two and hanfull of mercedes we got the usaul compliments on the decor, you know the custom made light fixtures ,the glass block walls and on and on.
someone noticed the water glasses flown in from italy and of course the Riedel wine stems all while going on and on about the great food being so much like a top notch manahattan rest.
I plan to search the waitstation for your card we kept it to laugh at!if there I will scan it and post it...the Chef got pissed when he heard we were keeping your card around...I guess he dont want to waste space on a critic who works as a critic for no one.
it's funny that another of your bloggers (life is good) noticed the anger in your writings.
so again please go to 1149 , black and blue is pretty much booked with people of taste.
one more thing the 19 foot bar in the 64 foot room...open your eyes.
wine guy

fivehorizons said...

Just got home from an exciting and elegant dining experience at the Black and Blue Steakhouse and Speakeasy and I have to say that I was very impressed. From the moment my wife and I walked in, we were greeted with a warm welcome from an obviously experienced staff. The decor was elegantly tasteful and portrayed the aura of a fine tuned restaurant with soft lighting and sensual artwork. It actually made me a little homesick having grown up in Manhattan and frequented many fine restaurants within the city. This place mimicked that exact feeling. Did I mention? the food was to die for! I had the Cowboy Steak which was a perfect....and I mean perfect, medium rare and started off with the oysters which quickly reminded me that the aphrodesiac qualities of oysters are second to none. My wife had the Chilean Sea Bass and Mescaline Salad, also very, very tasty. The waiter, cleary very experienced, suggested a great bottle of wine with our dinner and I was delightfuly happy with his choice. It really heightened the experience. Congratulations to the chef and staff on a wonderful new restaurant in East Greenwich. I'm sure you will be around for quite a while and look forward to dining with you again!! And if Aaron would like to join me for dinner that would be great seeing how it seems that he hasn't even been to the same place that I just experienced. I'm going to tell everyone that if they truly want a great night out with fantastic tasting food, then make it to Black and Blue Steakhouse!!!!!

Aaron MC said...

Wine Guy,

I again plead innocent. If you do have the card, scan it and post it so I can verify that I am not guilty of this stunt. I would like to clear my name. I don't even have business cards for my actual business.

I am also very glad to hear that your parking lot is full. Even though I did not have a memorable time, I enjoy seeing businesses succeed.

Five Horizons, I am very glad you had a good time there and I thank you for your post. All I can say is that my experience was different. For me, it was adequate. Perhaps I'll take your recommendation and try their Cowboy Steak.

Jay said...

Okay everybody, just slow down here.
Why don't I tell you about MY experience at the Black and Blue, (which, I hope, this guy is not trying to pass off as a unit of the REAL Black and Blue's located in Rochester and Buffalo, both of which, by the way, blow this place out of the water. Here's the URL www.blackandbluesteakandcrab.com You'll notice the blue colors are eerily similar, no?) and them you can really have some fun.
I'll use a fairly new Hollywood ploy where they tell you the ending first, then flash you back through the story, purely for effect.
...and after viewing the menu, I stood up and said to the Hostess on my way out the door, "My Nanny called, and I have to go."
6 minutes before...
It was a Saturday nite, the Saturday nite the Patriots beat up on the Jacksonville Jaguars, just around 7 o'clock. Having been turned away from a recently opened fine dining establishment a few miles down the road, (no available tables.) my wife and I decided to try Black and Blue.
As we approached Black and Blue, we questioned whether or not it was even open, as the lighting as viewed through my tinted windows seemed overly subdued, and the parking lot had 3 cars in it. (none of which were Jags or Bentleys)
We parked across the street and walked over, and saw 3 seated tables through the window, and decided to enter, even though from our vantage point the decor and seating ( all tables, no booths) left a bit to be desired.
3 minutes earlier...
Now I'm a bit particular, and it's no secret I tend to weight the quality of restaurants on some pretty esoteric items, but overall I'm always amazed when an operator misses the pretty big ones, like decor and 'ambiance'. My question is to everyone, but in particular my ever present wife, "what's up with the very bland and unattractive hallway leading to the dining room and bar???" I felt like I was walking in to some urban clinic of some sort. Maybe the operator should just hang a bare bulb from a wire, and if they could figure out how to make it swing back and forth, kind of like that move Trainspotting, that would really send the "cheap' message for them.
Obviously, not much in the way of 'setting the mood' thinking going on here. Still, we trudge on...
2 minutes earlier...
The Hostess is pleasant enough, greeting us and asking for our seating preference, hey afterall, since there are only 3 tables seated (saturday at 7pm mind you) I can see how she wanted to spoil us with our choice. But it's at the Hostess stand that another question and observation are made;
my question is, what's that dark ominous place behind the partition, and who's the goon that sticks his head around the corner of it with that "Who are you?" look???
My observation is the same as my question, but framed differently and with some additional inputs; "Whoa. that place looks dark and ominous - who the f#**& is that guy looking at me? - and, as I pan to the right, this is one terrible looking dining room.
Since it's 'our choice' on seating, my wife elects to sit by the window...
1 minute earlier...
Our Hostess seats us and provides menus. I open a very poorly designed menu to peruse my options, glance to the right to take a peak at a patrons food choice and see a lackluster presentation of what is obviously a NY Strip, apparently pared from an anemic cow, quickly determine the side of french fries which accompanied the 'Strip' were more than likely of the pre-frozen variety, (and dudes, don;t insult my intelligence and tell me they weren't; If there is one thing I know, it's french fries. Frozen, fresh, Belgian, traditional, were they punched with a 3/8ths screen, etc. you get the picture.)
Being somewhat shocked, I went back to the menu and saw the selection and pricing all at once. It was a flash, but I remember $26 to $32 for steaks, and Ala Carte pricing on the sides, $6 or something like that, and glancing over my menu top I saw the crinkled expression on my wifes face that just screams "What??? Are these people serious???"
All I said was, "I'm out.", I stood up and said to the Hostess on my way out the door, "My Nanny called, and I have to go."

So there it is. One very poor establishment. The only saving grace was the pleasantness of the Hostess, and I in some weird way I feel bad for her wasting her talents on an obviously hastily thrown together restaurant.

I'm going to side with Arron on this one. The place sucks.

The Jayman

Aaron MC said...

Jay,

Thank you very much for your comment and your views on the restaurant.

I'm really sorry you had such a bad time. You seem completely disappointed. I hope you found some other restaurant or had some food in your glove box. I keep beef jerky in my glove box for just such an occasion.

Some nearby restaurants you may want to try are Cafe Fresco, 1149, and The Grille on Main. The Grille on Main is great for cheap sandwiches and whatnot and 1149 has some dynamite steaks.

Jay said...

I tell it like it is. Like the site. I will contribute as much as I can.

wine guy said...

wow ,another asshole ...must be a freind of yours sent by you!
still trying to cover up your scam.
still hoping for the freebies.
this moron Jay admits not eating the food but puts the place down ..he's a bigger asshole than you,had he waited till 7:30 the place was full as usual.
oh by the way the fries are cut fresh to order and cooked in goose fat...probably the best in RI.
you two jerks keep writing ,your reviews are so bad people cant help believing your just a scam artist ,and a lonely freindless person seeking attetion.
thanks and again...please go anywhere but black and blue
wineguy

Aaron MC said...

Wine Guy,

Please refrain from calling other posters nasty names. Also, stop calling me names. If you disagree, then fine. No problems with that. I love to discuss and argue. But name calling does none of us any good. We are not in the third grade.

I have run no scams. I fool no one. And your repeated assertions to the contrary are childish, mean, and would classify as libel.

You have said you have my business card. Ok. Scan it, upload it, and prove to the world that I am a scam artist. If not, I would ask that you retract your assertion and kindly shut up.

wine guy said...

you are correct,name calling is childish and I apologize.
you are entitled your opinion.
after reading many of your reviews I realized your are obviously well read and very inteligent....you have just written an angry review of black and blue for whatever reason you choose.
you belittled very expensive decor, you have spoken of the bar taking up all of the back room ,when in fact it is a nineteen foot bar in a sixty foot room!
and of course you had scallops at restaurant that until tonight never served a scallop!!!!!
then this Jay person destroys the place without ever eating there and you go along with his remarks,why you do this is beyond me.
Jay speaks of fries being terrible without ever tasting and steaks being from sick cows when in fact the beef is 27 day dry aged and probably the best in RI, the fries are hand cut and cooked in goose fat!
The design is one of 71 designed by someone who has done restaurants in Manhattan (40 )Las Vegas ,Naples FLA,Hilton Head Island, Paris , Tuscany and London.
but of course you know what good is...the other 70 people who hired the designer of coure were also tastless people.
and of course the James Beard Foundation , Ny Mag and the New York Times and the Village Voice are natuarully also all wrong when raving of the Chefs accomplishments.
and In 1979 when Chef graduated Le Cordon Bleu, Paris with Honors and did his apprentiship at the Michilin 3 Star Restauerant Taillivent they too were all wrong.
when wine producers hire the chef for his palate as a consultant...again all these people ARE WRONG.
Aarron again please accept my apologies for the name calling it will never happen again as this is my last blog.
I leave with a quote;
"Quickly bring me a beaker of wine so I may whet my mind...and say something clever" ( Aristophones)
goodnight all...Wine guy

Aaron MC said...

Wineguy,

I accept the apology and am glad we can see, sort of, eye-to-eye.

I do not think my review was angry. I cannot help if anger was inferred, but I did not intend it to be that way.

I did not mean the bar only. I meant the bar area. The entire section of the restaurant past the divider that cordons off the dining area from the bar area.

I did not belittle the decor. I even said directly "nice interior." I do not see how that is belittling.

As far as my review goes, I cannot base it on the then-unknown history of the chef, only on what I experienced that night.

And, again, about the scallops. I don't know what to say. I got scallops and lobster in a bowl. It was some seafood thing.

Spencer said...

I just happened upon this site and felt compelled to reply to the rantings of to people whom need to calm down. First and foremost as a critic/reviewer Aaron is entitled to say what ever he wants as it is only his opinion. If a member of the waitstaff feel that his critiques are unfair that is unfortunate. My suggestion would be to get the owner of the restaurant to fight these battles as a waiter is not the man to lead your army.
My one comment for you Mr. Aaron is that for a critic, you seem to know alarmingly little about the restaurant industry or food in general. A "seafood something"? What the hell is that? Does Frank Bruni remember what he eats when he reviews a restaurant? Yeah, because he takes notes you nimrod.Do you know who Frank Bruni is?

I also have trouble believing that any Chef that graduate with Honors from Le Cordon Bleu is operating a 3rd tier steakhouse that will probably feel fortunate to have a revenue over 700,000 dollars. Let me guess it's his passion? As a restauranteur, I can tell you that I would let these people speak for themselves. You are going the right way for a pink slip,namely because you are driving away customers with your cockiness. One bad review is not as damaging as your lack of hospitlality.

Aaron MC said...

Spencer,

Thank you for your comment. You get no 'thank you' for calling me a nimrod.

I do take notes. I also throw them out. I ate here some time ago and cannot be expected to remember the name of a non-menu special from three months previously.

And yes, I know who Bruni is. I read the Times, too.

newportguy said...

Lots of controversy over this restaurant, heres my take.
Arron ,we all no this as fact any
reviewer, critic , food writer has at least two meals at a restaurant before reviewing...you had one and do not remember for certain what you had,that Sir is a problem.
I agree with others ,you review for some reason shows anger.
I think wineguy should be fired for takling part in this nonsense.
Spencer sounds like another restauranteur, nervous about Black and Blue 's opening.
And as for Jay, his comments should be deleted since he has never eaten there.
As for me I have been there 5 times in 7 weeks and this is without doubt the best steakhouse in Rhode Island.
The steaks are perfect, the Kobe beef tartare is classically presented and to die for.
The wine list tops most in the state, and My wife thinks the chilean sea bass is the best anywhere,and we eat all over the world.
Arron , read and compare all your other reviews before you type so there is at least some sense to what you write.
Spencer, I agree with you about Arron review and his being entitled to his opinion,He is.
but also believe you are a little nervous of this newcommer with the great Chef.
Who is in fact A Cordon Blue Alumni, I checked his credentials ,they are impeccable.
NEWPORTGUY

Aaron MC said...

NewportGuy,

Thank you for your post. I appreciate it.

I agree that a review should be made after multiple visits. That is why I have both Reviews, after multiple visits, and Quickviews, which are less in-depth and usually come from a single visit. That's why I call them quick.

As to Jay's comments, I don't want to start deleting comments. I'll only do so with comments that are totally inflammatory and without merit. I feel that if I start deleting people's views I'll turn into Big Brother. I want everyone's views to be seen by others who see the page.

I didn't mean anger, I meant to express a feeling of "enh."

I'm also very glad that you have had some excellent times there. I wish you the best of luck with your future dining.

EGresident said...

Thank you for the entertaining reading as you boys slashed each other. Are you done yet? Opinions are like the bodypart that you fondly refer to, and everyone has one. So, might I suggest that the critic and waiter find new jobs and buy a thesaurus to expand your vocabularies especially since the hospitality industry is so profuse with adjectives. I was in the hospitality industry in Newport for over fifteen years and left because I tired of pompous people like you.

dan said...

Rumor has it that this place is done, out of business - apparently one of the partners/owners took the money and ran, literally...again, this is all rumor, but I live in the nieghborhood, and can state that this place has been dark for about a week...

Diana said...

Hey all.

jayman here. I guess all is for naught, since, yes, Black and Blue is no more. Closed doors,and phone number disconnected.
So what of it WineGuy? Where are you now? Are you going to open another shitty restaurant? Please don't insult my intelligence by telling me you weren't part of that craphole, and please do us the favor of telling us of your next catastrophe in the works so we can go there and experience your operational prowess yet again and report back to the masses.
This business is full of 'wannabes', and you my man, are most assuredly one of them.
Ahhh Black and Blue. You're just another busted out scam, and you paid the price.
Good riddance.

Oh hey, I'll give you fifty bucks for all those expensive furnishings. My firepit at home needs wood. Any takers over there wineguy? Anyone? Bueller?

signing off,

the jayman

Aaron MC said...

Yes,

I, too, have confirmed the closure.

I'm sad. Like I said, I may have had an 'enh' time, but I enjoy watching businesses succeed.

East Greenwich has a very vibrant restaurant scene and I wish Black & Blue had made it.

Hopefully it will be replaced by another restaurant that will find success.

dan said...

Rumor has it that The Indian Club will be returning to this location - apparently the owner of The Indian Club had a stake in Black & Blue, and plans to reopen...

被烘烤的人 said...

JAY,I BELEIVE THE PERSON YOU WERE REFERING TO BEHIND THE WALL THAT GAVE YOU CREEPY LOOKS WAS MY BOYFRIEND.I HOPE HE DID NOT OFFEND YOU.HE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING ONCE AND IS VERY DAMAGED.AND HAD HIS SHARE OF ACID.BUT HE DOES NOT DRINK HEINEKEN LIGHT.OR HAVE A CREEPY GIRLFRIEND SO HE HAS THAT WORKING FOR HIM.JACK AT FRESCO HATES YOU!BUT I LOVE YOU.IF YOU EVER DECIDE TO LEAVE YOUR WALL FLOWER GIRL CALL ME.
I AM THE ONLY 被烘烤的人 IN MARS.
CIAO-DER

Aaron MC said...

Hi 被烘烤的人,

A very late comment, indeed. I hope that Jayman, to whom I assume you're referring, gets your message.

Anonymous said...

PLEASE EAT STEAK NOW.