Excellent Meal at Blue Horse
A few weeks back, I posted asking if anyone had any suggestions for a local (suburban) restaurant with a private dining room for a family group of 16. I mentioned that I'd seen mixed reviews for Blue Horse (Blue Bell) and that we had a reservation there: should we change it/keep it/etc. So here's the report:
The private dining room we reserved was just the right size for our group of 16 (including 7 children) and very nicely decorated. We had french doors so that if we were too noisy, we could close them. Granted, we got there at 5pm, so there weren't too many people to annoy, but it's nice to have the option.
We were given menus (approved by my mother ahead of time) for a three-course prix fixe menu for $17.95 per adult and children's menu for $5.00 per child. Despite my apprehension (read on the Chowhound board and you'll see the restaurant has gotten mixed reviews), we were incredibly impressed by the entire meal, from beginnng to end.
Appetizer choices included two types of salad, a mezze plate (which I got - large plate with feta, olives, marinated mushrooms, creamed spinach dip, hummus,and more - very tasty and varied), duck spring rolls (my husband loved them) and a mushroom bisque which was very flavorful and rich. We also got warm crusty bread rolls which were fine, but nothing out of the ordinary.
Main dishes included a nice looking sirloin steak (couldn't taste it, since my brother wouldn't let a bite out of his control), beef bourgignon (my step-brother the chef said it was excellent), a homey meatloaf, a massive chicken parmigian (which my New Yorker step-brother said had the best pomodoro sauce he'd ever had), and pan-fried trout with wild mushrooms (3 of us got that - really delicious- and let me just say it's so gratifying when you order the fish for health/diet reasons and you don't feel shortchanged next to the meat-eaters).
As for the kid's menu - my son asked for the spaghetti and meatballs but was told they didn't have any meat balls made. We wondered at that, since they had meatloaf on the menu and how hard would it be to make meatballs. But a few minutes later, the waiter returned and told us that the chef was making some meatballs for us. We expected a typical kiddie meal. Instead, my son got a large portion of pasta with 6 gorgeous, pesto-laced meatballs in really good red sauce. (My son likes pesto, so the green flecks were not a problem for us.) It was excellent and so much bigger a portion than we expected for $5. My other son had chicken tenders and fries which were nicely done - big pieces of chicken, good fries, not greasy at all.
Desserts choices were ice cream, gelato, sorbet, and abble cobbler (warm, with vanilla ice cream) - not exciting, true, but all were good quality and large portions. When you consider that we only paid $17.95 per person, we all thought that was fair. We were too full at that point for much more anyway.
Our waiter was very accommodating and really dealt nicely with the level of chaos that 7 children (and 9 adults) can provide. My family said they'd definitely come back again.
Given the mixed reviews on CH for the restaurant, I wanted to add in this experience to balance out the reporting.
I'm really glad you had a good experiences. I am one of the very few who really likes the Blue Horse. We have not done the fixed price menu but often use restaurant.com gift certificates so it makes for a very reasonably priced meal. It depends on expectations, if you are looking for a great relaxed time for a reasonable price, it definitely fits the bill. Plus, they have great live music on Wednesday nights.