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blue hill tavern in canton

brewsky55 Jun 28, 2009 04:58 PM

I drive by this place all the time on Conkling Street in Canton. Says they're opening next month, looks really nice. Anyone know anything about it?

  1. BmoreHound Jul 19, 2009 05:31 PM

    Went last week and honestly, I can't see how they are going to make it. A couple of observations.

    (1) The place is huge. Two floors of dining. When I went there, the good tables (they have outdoor patio tables on the second floor) were taken, but the interior tables were empty.

    (2) They did a really good job with the rehab/construction. It's a cool looking place.

    (3) Service was strangely schizophrenic. At the first part of the evening, the waitress stopped by frequently (almost too frequently), but after dinner was served, could not find her for dessert menu or the bill.

    (4) The food was good but it's a somewhat strange menu. It's almost as if the chef wants to do something more adventuresome but the owner says that we have to have chicken and shrimp and crab cakes and burgers and steak. Still, I had the oysters and the wild boar, and everything was cooked very well.

    (5) Drinks are expensive and don't seem to have much alcohol in them.

    So all in all, I think it has the same problem as Saute - the food is not nearly interesting or good enough to be a destination restaurant like Salt or Jack's Bistro, but it's too expensive to be an every day restaurant. Plus, since it's huge (and they seem to have a large staff), they probably have a huge nut to crack. I hope they do well, but I can't see how the economics are going to work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BmoreHound
      Woof Woof Woof Jul 20, 2009 04:29 AM

      Bmore you hit the nail on the head esp. with (4) "a somewhat strange menu" I am glad some else agrees with me. And yes the place does look huge, kind of reminds me of what that mess Terry Coffman II did with Velleggia's in Little Italy. He poured almost a million dollars into it adding a second floor (where no one hardly ever sat), renovating the place i guess trying to make it look all "nice" and then poof what was it a year or so later, it was GONE.

    2. d
      drunk_again Jul 18, 2009 07:51 AM

      Went to Blue Hill late last night for dinner, and it looks like it's going to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, East of Canton, in the growing Brewer's Hill area. As soon as we pulled up outside, we were pretty impressed at how the place looked, especially with the outdoor balcony seating on the second floor. Now mind you, it was Friday night around 10 that we arrived for dinner, and the place was jumping, very lively, very noisy, with a good mix of people. The inside decor is very pretty and you can tell that there is a heavy bank account behind all the action.
      Being so late and feeling like the place had already made the transition from restaurant to bar atmosphere, we got seated downstairs in the dining room with the intention of solely getting a quick entree ( the kitchen does close at 11pm, but we hate being the last ones to get seated ). The server was very nice, although at this point in the evening it was hard for us to hear each other, and she had to bend down real low to capture our order. The prices are reasonable, and we ordered a bottle of wine on their Under $25 offering for a quick and easy table red, the Campos de Luz Garnacha for $18, not too shabby. I got the wild boar pappardelle for under $20, and I thought it was well composed and delicious. My wife got the half roasted chicken, which was also around $20, which came with steamed broccoli and mac n cheese. I tasted her chicken and I thought it was fine, but all in all, kind of a boring preparation and the sides were lacking. At least the chicken still had some juice and flavor to it. My sister got the $12 burger. I don't think she was happy. It seemed like it was one of those end of the night, sloppily made items that make its way out of the kitchen past quality control. She ordered it med-rare, and it came well done. The fries seemed like they were made an hour previous. The brioche bun was burned. We were starving, and it was late, so she didn't want to complain or send it back, but it could've been done much better. Check comes = $78. Not too bad for a quick dinner for 3. Will be back to try it out again and see how the results are.

      5 Replies
      1. re: drunk_again
        Turkeybone Jul 18, 2009 09:11 AM

        So did you like it or not? You say welcome addition to the neighborhood, yet your description of the meal belies the rest of your post.

        1. re: Turkeybone
          drunk_again Jul 18, 2009 02:39 PM

          Wow. I was reporting on how my night was in a restaurant that has only been open a couple of weeks, not trying to make a hard evaluation, or too critical of an eye. I'm sure they have a lot of wrinkles to iron out. I will return and try them in the near future. I like the ambiance and the feel of the place and the convenience of valet parking. I believe it is a welcome addition to a neighborhood that has a plethora of corner bars with pub food. Would our food had been different if it was not served so close to kitchen closing time, possibly? I was happy with my pasta: the pappardelles noodles had a good sense of flavor without drowning in a heavy sauce, and the meat was moist and tender. I look forward to hearing about other's experiences, and see if the consistency gets better or...

          1. re: drunk_again
            Hal Laurent Jul 18, 2009 04:00 PM

            They have valet parking? I wonder where they're parking the cars?

            1. re: Hal Laurent
              Woof Woof Woof Jul 18, 2009 10:45 PM

              Mmm Burger. But not well done. Would not of paid $12 but given the time I can see this being the case. Doubt I would of sent food back at that time either, considering how close to closing time. Perhaps the kitchen was more concerned with spraying the bleach then cooking the food, the presentation. Probably worth another try at earlier time, imo

            2. re: drunk_again
              Turkeybone Jul 18, 2009 10:43 PM

              Wow. I was just asking for some clarification, which you gave, so thanks. No wow needed.

        2. l
          LGood Jul 9, 2009 06:37 AM

          From their website:
          Wine Night
          Monday and Tuesday all night $15 bottle of wine*

          *Not all bottles qualify, limited selection only.

          Happy Hour

          Come in and find out how we do Happy Hour!
          M-F, 4pm to 6pm, 25% off of your entire check from 4 to 7pm. Bar area only. "

          Both sound like great deals, can't wait to check it out.

          5 Replies
          1. re: LGood
            Woof Woof Woof Jul 9, 2009 01:04 PM

            Wonder what food is in the bar area...Menu online I suppose under Dinner or Appetizers I guess looks absolutely vile. 4 fishy things and 2 other questionable items poached and pickled beans and god knows what. Report back if they have normal bar food? :)

            1. re: Woof Woof Woof
              LGood Jul 10, 2009 04:39 AM

              I would assume, like most everywhere else, that their full menu is available at the bar.

              1. re: Woof Woof Woof
                bluepig1 Jul 10, 2009 10:01 AM

                Wow, seriously? Reading your post I had to immediately google the menu just to see what constitutes "vile". The non-"fishy" things you list (I'm not sure oysters, clams, and scallops count as fishy, but I get that you're not into seafood) are a charcuterie plate, hummus, or carpaccio.

                Vile is a pretty strong word. I would suggest if you're looking for "normal" bar food (do you mean things like burgers, nachos, wings, and sandwiches?) that this is perhaps not the place for you. They do have burgers and sandwiches. They also have a "snacks" section on their menu where the aforementioned savory donuts show up, which I would suspect probably is included among the light fare served in the bar area. I haven't been there to comment whether they're any good, but that felt like a surprisingly sweeping judgement.

                1. re: bluepig1
                  chowsearch Jul 10, 2009 10:15 AM

                  This place is new. Despite some amateurish attempts to create buzz and considering the possibility these operators have enemies in town (an owner was part of Ruth Chris/Big Steak Mgmt/Steve de Castro group which has a highly variable record), both creating comment volatility, we should wait to pass judgement until they get past opening shakedown and a bunch of Chowhounders have eaten there when it's all settled down.

                2. re: Woof Woof Woof
                  NewToBmore Jul 23, 2009 11:14 AM

                  you can order the full menu from anywhere in the place!

              2. b
                bragger211 Jul 7, 2009 08:53 AM

                I've heard great things, although I haven't been. FYI all, they are closed on Sunday evenings until the fall. Rumor has it the cucumber martini and crabcakes are great!

                1. n
                  nicko2 Jul 6, 2009 09:21 PM

                  I just checked out their website and they have a specials section up.

                  1. t
                    tbombs34 Jul 6, 2009 08:46 AM

                    My wife and I went for dinner on opening night. The place was packed, which was nice to see. The restaurant is gorgeous both inside and out. They really did a great job with the design. They have a nice wine list, which includes about 10 wines on an "under $25" list. We got a Malbec from this list, which was very good. For an appetizer, we got the parmesan donuts, which consisted of two cake donuts, one of which was covered with a savory tomato glaze and the other of which was covered with bacon powder, which looked like powdered sugar but tastes like bacon. Both were winners in my book, but I definitely preferred the bacon donut. For entrees, my wife got a papardelle with wild boar. This was similar to a pot roast and was very tasty. I got the halibut, which was covered with a miso glaze and set atop soba noodles. This dish was also very good. The fish was cooked perfectly with a nice crispy, seared top and juicy interior. My only minor gripe with this dish is that the noodles had mushrooms in them, which I don't like and which weren't in the description of the dish. For desert we had a mixed berry shortcake. This was good, but not as good as the appetizer or entrees. The berries were fresh and the shortcake was tasty and seemed homemade. The service was excellent and the owner seemed very interested in how the experiences of the diners. Our waitress was very friendly and was able to answer all of our questions about the menu. The owner stopped by our table to chat for a bit and I could sense that he is very genuinely interested in making sure his customers have a great experience. Overall, I think that this is a great addition to both the neighborhood and the City's dining scene. On a side note, I know that Blue Hill wants to be both a place where people will stop by after work for a quick bite as well as a special occasion place. We were told that they don't plan to have happy hour or other drink or food specials. I think that, if they want to get people to go back repeatedly, they should reconsider offering specials. Not only do most neighborhood restaurants do this (e.g., Jack's, Birches), but so do other perennially popular places such as Pazo.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: tbombs34
                      tartuffe Jul 6, 2009 05:05 PM

                      Good review thombs 34. Thanks. How expensive and how noisy?

                      1. re: tartuffe
                        tbombs34 Jul 7, 2009 06:12 AM

                        Our total bill was a little over $100, but I gave a good tip as the service was excellent. You could definitely get out of there for under $75 for two. Based on the price, it's not somewhere I would go all of the time, but with the number of wines under $25 it's definitely somewhere that I'll be back to on a regular basis.

                        Regarding the noise, it was pretty noisy, but that's to be expected on a Friday night in my opinion. However, it was not so noisy that we had to speak loudly to hear each other. It's definitely quite enough to have a nice, relaxing dinner.

                    2. y
                      youngfoodieguy Jun 28, 2009 06:58 PM

                      Seen preliminary menus and wine list. supposed to be open for 4th of July, never know for sure with a restaurant, not to mention a restuarant in Baltimore. Wine list was nothing to drool over, but the place does look beautiful. they supposedly have a chef's table. I wonder if it is a true chef's table in the kitchen or a table nearby that Baltimoreans label a chefs table. Only time will tell. food menu looked good, just depends on kitchen

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