Let me start by saying that Blackstone Grille in Jacksonville, FL is a place I’d never heard of until I ate there, and now it’s a place I’ll never forget.
Their simple, classic decor creates an atmosphere that’s elegant, but not pretentious. It was an early dinner so there were only a few other couples dining when we arrived. The hostess swiftly brought us to a table with a clean, white tablecloth and a fresh pink rose. The booth felt clean, and the water glasses were waterspot-free. Nice start :)
Our waitress was over in a flash with some menus and let us mull them over while we munched on oven-fresh bread. We’d already poured over the menu online, but being there in person really made it tough to decide! What to choose, the steak au pouvre, my 1st choice? The scallops in caviar cream sauce? The pistachio crusted chicken? The crispy walnut shrimp in sake cream sauce?!?
Eventually, I will try them all.
To start, we ordered some champagne and the Dan Dan Dumplings:
I’ll be honest, we ordered these by mistake because my boyfriend thought they were vegetarian, but they definitely had meat inside. The menu description didn’t say exactly what meat it was so we guessed it was either chicken or pork, or a combination of both. Either way, they were very good, full of flavor and light on the system. In fact the whole meal felt light, but I’ll get to that later. My boyfriend has been pescetarian for about 10 months now, but he ate these dumplings. Together we wiped up every last bit of that yummy ginger sauce and left the plate clean.
Next up – the main course. Our waitress remembered to bring out the glass of Pinot Noir I’d requested with dinner, before the dishes came out, and that made me happy.
Even with all the temptations, I stuck to my guns and got the dish that called out to me the most online.
Filet Mignon Au Pouvre
That steak was sent from God himself, I swear. If I had to judge, I’d be tempted to say that this was the best steak I’ve ever had. Chef Charles Wang is a genius for however he incorporated that flair of Asian flavor into that savory red wine reduction. Unreal.
Now I am not a red wine drinker. I typically go white all the way, but for this steak I knew I had to go with a Pinot Noir. The groove I got into was to take a small sip of Pinot, and chase it with a small bite of steak……**** A-M-A-Z-I-N-G****!!!! Lol – so good. And not only were the flavors good, the cook was perfect too. Medium-well is the trickiest to pull off, but they did with flying colors.
The sides that accompanied this hunk of tender heaven were creamy mashed potatoes, blanched asparagus and sauteed spinach. Delicious. I ate every morsel of food on that plate. Seemed to be the theme of the night!
My boyfriend got the Sesame Pepper Crusted Ahi Tuna:
I’m not the biggest raw fish fan, but this was excellent. It was a very high grade tuna, and some of the best my boyfriend ever had. It came with Napa cabbage, yellow rice and asparagus.
I’d like to mention here that there was no salt or pepper on the table when we sat down, and I season EVERYTHING. I was prepared to ask for it but completely forgot once I started eating. Everything was perfect just the way it was. Which is rare, and IMPRESSIVE! Well done.
So after all of that amazing food, did we have room for dessert? I don’t know how it’s possible, but we did! I think the waitress was even a little impressed ;)
We got the Walnut Cheesecake and the Creme Brulee:
Both were delightful but the cheesecake seemed to be our favorite. It came with a dense little chocolate truffle on top and fresh mint whipped cream on the side. The crunchy walnut crust was the perfect complement to the thick and creamy cake. I definitely recommend this one.
The Creme Brulee was perfect, thicker than others I’ve had but just as delicious. This is one of the things we’ve tried to make at home, but we have yet to master the sugar melting part.
The experience I had at this restaurant will stay with me for a long time, not only for the quality of food, but also of the service, cleanliness and ambience. The only negative I have was the dessert cart the waitresses bring around to show everyone their dessert options. The things is, the desserts on the cart are made of plastic. They look…. weird! I hate to even mention in, but if I’m being honest… lose the dessert cart, Blackstone!
Otherwise, you’re perfect <3
(Top images courtesy of Blackstone-Grille.com)