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Sep 4, 2007 12:50 PM

Blaze on Hope

Anyone eat there before? I'd like to know your thoughts. It was voted best neighborhood restaurant in 2006.

Anyway, I went on Saturday. We had the Rhode Island calamari for an appetizer. I thought it was yummy. I had the salmon with snowpea slaw and crisped brown rice cake. This was also good, but messy to eat due to the plating. My friend had the fried catfish and jambalaya. I thought the catfish was very light, but kind of boring. The jambalaya did not impress me at all!

The waitress we had was terrible! She did not connect very well with us, was very impersonable, and not attentive at all.

I'm deciding whether or not I would give it another chance.

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  1. I've been there 3 or 4 times, and it's okay. It does seem like good value, with decent food at decent prices for a place that feels like "a nice night out." But every time I've been, there has been a thing or two that really rankled. Some of the things that have bugged me are: stale bread, lackluster service, too noisy for conversation, terrible coffee, and something I'm pretty sure was a glass of not-chardonnay, when I had ordered a glass of chardonnay.

    But nothing too fatal, and it's convenient, so I keep going back. I get the feeling that it's a popular bar scene, without having a frat house atmosphere. So if you're looking for a lively upscale bar with decent food, it's a good bet. Not so much for a quiet romantic date.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tartinet

      I couldn't have said it any better than Tartinet! We keep going back because it is the only "desirable" evening out in our neighborhood without going to a junky eatery or cheap-feeling place. The service has never been great -- usually decent, once or twice dreadful. Prices are fair. There are always a couple items on the menu that appeal to us. We prefer sitting outside, even though the view is nothing special obviously, it is quieter than indoors, definitely a problem with the acoustics and loud music for those who want to hold a conversation (similar to the volume problem at Red Stripe.) As for the menu on the whole: I personally find more attractive the one at Red Stripe, but that's a matter of taste in regional cuisines. As far as Hope St restaurants are concerned, Blaze is our first choice over Oak and Pizzico (won't ever go back to either.)

      1. re: madgee

        I agree with everything said: Decent service, fair prices, solid food, good vibe... Definitely prefer it to Oak... I've had two good Pizzico experiences thus far, although it is pricer than I'd expect.

        - Garris

        1. re: madgee

          Why the thumbs down on Pizzico? It has (had, really, as it's been a while) been a favorite of mine forever----I heard last year or so something vaguely negative, but nothing specific. What turned you off?

          I was underwhelmed by Blaze the one time I went. They had just opened. I thought there was a little bit of attitude that was out of proportion for the whole scene. The food was good, the prices reasonable----the attitude ended when a sort of recognizable VIP who was dining there got up and kissed and greeted someone in my party---THEN we got a table right quick. A large table that was available when we walked in, but still the attitude. The service was pretty good. The key lime pie was possibly the best I have ever had---very tart. I have never been back, but that's more about opportunity/just choosing a favorite place when I do get the opportunity, etc. I'd go back----I just don't get the whole mystique and specialness of the place.

          My husband, for some reason, has this thing about going to Oak for brunch. I try to steer us to other places, and he always suggests Oak first, by default. It's a mystery.

      2. Accurate posts above, to which I would add a big grumble about meager drinks. They did comp us an appetizer after some service fumbles. Loud. The cooking is great.

        1 Reply
        1. re: atheorist

          Just went there again last weekend and we were VERY disappointed for the first time. We had a really spacy waitress (and we're not your nit-picky diner, we just expect normal things) and a very salty meal. In particular the steak frites w/ Caesar was one huge bite of salt after another. ?? The last blow was the fact that they phased out the lava cake and coffee ice cream from their dessert menu, which was always so wonderful. Too bad.