Thursday, August 12, 2010
Typical steakhouse fare, unique ambiance at Blackstone
MATT GENTRY The Roanoke Times
Patrons dine at Blackstone Grill in Christiansburg on Tuesday. Although the restaurant is in a strip mall, the interior decor is upscale.
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Blackstone Grill on Peppers Ferry Road in Christiansburg serves up traditional steakhouse fare in a classy environment.
Although a quick glance at the menu gave the impression that there were limited dining selections, there are actually enough options that I was asked the standard "Do you need a few more minutes to decide?" by the helpful waitstaff several times before I could zero in on the queen's cut prime rib.
Fortunately, Blackstone offers several local microbrews on tap, so perusing the menu is quite a pleasurable chore.
On my visit, my party ordered a few appetizers, a filet mignon and a grilled chicken panini, in addition to my selection of prime rib. I was not overly fond of the lime shrimp starter -- the grilled flavor of the shrimp was excellent, but the sauce was a bit thin and slightly bitter.
The oysters Rockefeller were very good -- a nice balance of oysters, finely chopped spinach and bubbly, toasty Parmesan smartly presented on the half shell.
The prime rib had that delicate flavor that exists nowhere in the world except in authentic, good prime rib. The meat was cooked to order, and it was so tender that I could have cut it with a spoon.
Filet mignon is such a good cut of meat that typically one must work to make it anything but delectable. Blackstone's filet was cooked as meat should be -- with a dash of salt and pepper to season it, and then grilled to order. The only detraction for the filet was that I sampled it after the melt-in-your mouth tenderness of the prime rib.
The grilled chicken sandwich was tasty -- a hefty chicken breast atop a chewy ciabatta roll with a juicy, grilled red pepper to polish it off.
The portion size of the entrees was just about perfect -- no one in my party left even a morsel on the plate.
I was a bit disappointed with the sides. Entrees are served with a single side, selected from a potato-heavy list. The fries were good, not overly salty and with a very strong potato flavor that is hard to find. The mashed potatoes and coleslaw were both good, but neither stood out as special compared to other restaurants.
In general, the food at Blackstone Grill is fairly typical steakhouse fare.
However, the ambiance of Blackstone gives the dining experience something unique.
Although the location of the restaurant is somewhat unfortunate (a little strip mall on Virginia 114), the interior decor is very classy. Blackstone also has that classy steakhouse feel that is so different from a chain restaurant.
I felt that my meal was prepared specifically for me, with a menu that was designed for the New River Valley instead of for America as a whole. The prices reflect the fact that this is not a chain, with entree pricing running slightly higher than at a chain restaurant, but the price difference is justified by the quality of the food at Blackstone.
The well-lit, pleasant environment and friendly, attendant waitstaff serve to draw conversation out of diners, making for a great experience.
Blackstone is an ideal restaurant for a special occasion, be it a business dinner, a visit to town for a Virginia Tech football game or a great meal when Mom and Dad visit a Tech student for the weekend.
420 Peppers Ferry Road Northwest
Christiansburg, VA 24073
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