BlueFire Grill - bad review (San Diego)
This weekend I went to BlueFire at the La Costa resort In San Diego with friends. I would not go back.
First, the positives: the setting is beautiful - we ate on the patio near the fire pit. The appetizers were interesting. We shared the Goat Cheese Terrine (pretty good), the calmari (very good and tender) and the Duck confit bruschetta (average).
But the negatives far out-weighed the positives. The wine list was the worst I have ever seen. It was filled with wines I see at Vons and Costco but with huge mark-ups. I work in the industry and I understand that restaurants need to take a large profit on wines but this was ridiculous. And the list was filled with boring, supermarket choices like Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay - there wasn't anything particularly interesting until you surpassed the $100 level.
Dinner was passable but not good value. I had the arctic char which sounded great. Unfortunately it was pretty boring and I expected more for $31 (even in a resort setting).
The service was below average.
We did not order dessert because everyone was feeling a little ripped off. Six of us spent $425, without dessert and a total of about 10 glasses of wine. The week before the same six of us ate at Cafe Chloe. We spent the exact same amount and were filled with appetizers, dessert, dinner, four glasses of interesting wine each, great service, etc.
I went to BlueFire during Restaurant Week a couple of years ago. My friends chose the place, but I did think the menu looked good. It was SO underwhelming. All food lacked "spark," and I agree the wine list was pathetic (I passed on it altogether). Dessert was the only good part. Green tea creme brulee, something with fresh strawberries, and a mini chocolate cake were very good. You'll never catch me back there again, though. I left feeling completely ripped off, even with the $30 RW price.
Well, I can't imagine any set of circumstances that would ever take me to this place, so I'm in no position to either validate or rebut your review. But I had to laugh when I read your description of Duck confit bruschetta as "average." I should live so long that I could render such a judgment. I guess it reminded me of an old New Yorker cartoon showing a little rich kid turning up his nose at his plate and complaining, "Shitake mushrooms AGAIN?" But, yeah, when you spend over $400 as you described, they ought to make sure you leave smiling.
. . . jim strain
re: Jim Strain
Jim - I know what you are saying on both points. Duck confit is my absolute favorite (Tapenade's especially) but with two young children, we rarely get to go out for dinnner these days. When I saw it on the menu, I had to order it - perhaps "average" wasn't the best description: underwhelming would be better.
As for the restaurant choice, one of our friends wanted to take us "somewhere special" and she picked it out and wouldn't tell us where we were going until we got there.
A lot of people seem to equate "fancy hotel" with "special." In my experience, that is rarely the case. I need to find a subtle way to tell our friend to check out Chowhound before making a restaurant choice.