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Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar Charlottesville, VA

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  • msal3 Mar 21, 2010 05:25 PM
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Planning a trip to Charlottesville staying at Boar's head inn. Any reviews of Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar ?

Thank you,

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  1. I ate at Blue Light last Tuesday before the John Mayer concert at JPJ. Here are my thoughts...they were featuring several different oysters that night some from New England, some from Chesapeake, etc and we weren't sure of the distiction so my boyfriend and I asked for half dozen of each of the bartenders two favorites. At 2.50 apiece, I thought this was pretty expensive for 12 TINY oysters. They were "good", we had cocktail sauce and bacon mignoette and the cocktail sauce was definitely the winner. They were fun to eat but for $30, we probably would get something differently if we returned. I had the scallops with corn and asparagus for my entree and while the taste combo was DELICIOUS, it was served cold. I don't know if this was intentional or not, but it was a little odd. The flavor was so lovely though that I couldn't stop eating it, despite the temperature! The added bacon pieces were a great touch. All in all, it was okay. Service was ho hum. We sat at the bar as we usually do when dining out and enjoy chatting with bartenders, especially since we are from Richmond and were curious as to what else the downtown mall had to offer. Our bartender wasn't really interested in talking, which is fine but left us a little turned off. I would go for a drink, maybe split an entree as an appetizer and then go somewhere else for your meal. Let me know your thoughts if you try it out!

    1. I live about a block from Blue Light. It's one of many restaurants in town owned by Coran Capshaw, manager of the Dave Matthews Band. It's been there for about a decade. I'm thinking it isn't doing terribly well, based on the odd, recent addition of the flat screen TV's above the bar. It's just a weird addition for a place that seemed to pride itself on "not going there" up until now. I believe that they make the majority of their cash on drink traffic Friday and Saturday nights. It's more of a weekend hipster, late-evening hangout than a restaurant, for most of us who are local.

      The food is okay. Not great. Not terrible. Okay. You can check out the menu items here: http://www.bluelightgrill.com/ Frankly, we don't have a lot in the way of raw bar places in town. There's a place called Rhett's out 29N, but I've never been there. I don't recommend Blue Light when asked for recommendations on the downtown mall in Charlottesville. There are simply too many far better options. C&O, Zocalo and Petit Pois just to name a few.

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      Petit Pois Restaurant
      201 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

      Zocalo
      201 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

      4 Replies
      1. re: CogitoErgoBibo

        Thank you for the information. I will look into the restaurant recommended. To ask another question what do you think about Downtown Grille?

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        Downtown Grille
        201 West Main Street, Charlotteville, VA 22902

        1. re: msal3

          Downtown Grille makes very good steak. It's kind of old school in that all the sides are served a la carte, so your tab ends up being pretty high. But they do cook their steaks perfectly.

          I'd also recommend Zocalo and C & O. Both delicious. I'd never recommend Blue Light for anything other than drinks, and even then there are better places.

          If you are specifically looking for seafood, Ten is a great place located above Blue Light. It ain't cheap, but it sure is tasty! http://ten-sushi.com/

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          C & O Restaurant
          515 E Water St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

          Ten
          120 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

          Zocalo
          201 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

          Downtown Grille
          201 West Main Street, Charlotteville, VA 22902

          1. re: mojoeater

            Hamilton's is a nice place to eat as well. Bijou used to be good, not sure anymore? C'Ville is a nice place to graze, stopping at several places and nibbling...if you are unsure of where to go..Petit Pois and Zocalo are also vg places to eat. Have not tried Ten.

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            Zocalo
            201 E Main St, Charlottesville, VA 22902

            1. re: mojoeater

              I definitely agree with you, mojoeater. Good steak and very old school. Although, I sort of avoid it for the "old school" aspects. The fact that the vegetables are extras that you have to order a la carte. The "wedge of iceberg lettuce salad" with dressing, too. For some reason, I just can't get behind those aspects, as authentically old school as I know they are. But the steaks are good. No argument.

              Bizou is still good. I just don't go in very often. It's comfort food. Very good, reliable comfort food. And the warm banana bread with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce dessert may be one of my favorite desserts in town. But, even though I know they do have specials which are a bit more inventive, Bizou still means comfort food to me. Meat loaf. Chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. I have to be in the right mood for it. Not a slam at all on Bizou. They're very good at what they do. I just seem to want to seek out Zocalo or C&O more often. Lately, since I'm on a Malbec kick, Zocalo tends to win. They have a great wine list for South American wines. Plus, I'm addicted to their tuna tartare appetizer. Yum.