blue point

A couple years ago I wrote a post about Blue Point. In short, I discussed my fascination for this widely popular Warehouse restaurant. Specifically, trying to figure out what it was that people raved about. I’ve been there numerous times through the years and not once ever left impressed by the food. In fact, I referred to Blue Point as a glorified Red Lobster, which caused quite a stir.

I found myself there again this past weekend to celebrate my one brother’s 40th birthday (his choice). Like I’ve shared before, I have a lot of siblings and they are genuine fans and regularly suggest BP. I was looking forward to the evening – even the dinner. It’s been about two years since my last visit so I decided to go in with an open-mind.

We spent the first 30 minutes perusing the wine list – the very bulky and lengthy wine list. Now, I get that this may impress people, but I’m not one of them. I’d rather have a limited list with really good choices. I love my wine, but I don’t like to spend a lot of time studying and wondering if I made the right decision. It also doesn’t help when the server isn’t too familiar with the list and can’t confidently make a recommendation. In the end, we decided on Hess petite, which I think we enjoyed because it led to 6 more bottles.

For my appetizer, I chose the ahi tuna tartare over avocado mouse. As for dinner, nothing was really jumping out. I ended up picking the scallops and shrimp with garlic butter, vegetables and an upgrade to lobster mashed potatoes.

Let’s start with the positive – I loved this appetizer. In fact, it was so good, that it made me excited for dinner. And to continue with the high notes, let me jump ahead to dessert. I passed on my own and instead opted to graze on Jamie’s flourless chocolate torte, which was ridiculously good. So there you have it – if I would have come in for a glass of wine, this appetizer and this dessert, I would have left happy and reconsidered my previous comments. Actually, considering that was the highest dinner bill this group has had yet, part of me wishes that’s exactly what we did! But that’s not the case. I had dinner. We all had dinner.

From the second my plate was handed to me, I knew I wasn’t going to like it. The shrimp appeared to have sat under the lamp one too many hours. And as for the overall presentation, it looked like someone walked through a buffet line at a wedding and just threw some stuff on a plate.

As for the taste, it wasn’t much better. The scallops were so overly salted I left all but one bite on the plate. As for the garlic butter, there was no garlic, just butter – lots and lots of butter. And even more was hiding in the lobster mashed potatoes. Even the vegetables were still slightly raw.

Unfortunately, there was nothing good about this dish and left me wondering once again, what is it exactly that people like about this place so much (my sister agreed, who had the same dish, and Jamie’s steak wasn’t much better). In general, I think their food is over priced. But with that being said, I don’t mind paying a higher price for something when I know I’m getting wonderful and knowledgeable service, the food is knock-your-socks-off good and the atmosphere is enjoyable. I just don’t get that from Blue Point, and they have had plenty of opportunities to win me over through the years. So as much as I love my family, I think I’ll have to pass the next time the group heads to Blue Point. I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.

But food aside, the evening itself at the restaurant was very memorable. In fact, the whole night was great. It was a 40th birthday that I know my brother would like to think he’ll always remember, but unfortunately, he already can’t recall half of the evening.

14 Comments

  1. Nancy Heller
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the honest review. I've heard such raves about Blue Point, it's been on my list for a while. Your review makes me feel better about not rushing to spend precious dining dollars there.

    Did you send anything back? You shouldn't have paid for a dish you could only eat one bite of.

  2. michelle v
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Wow – I'm surprised to hear that you haven't been there yet b/c you are so in to food! I assumed you've eaten just about everywhere.

    No, I didn't send it back. And normally I would have. I believe that you should let the kitchen know when something isn't right b/c all parties are much happier in the end (they can learn from mistakes and the diner feels they have been heard and will get a better product in the end). But given the situation, I really didn't wnat to make a fuss.

  3. Jim Alunni
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I could not agree more with your negatives, I've only been there once on a date long ago, $210.00 later I was really struggling to figure out what exactly I got for that price. I equate it to a certain "need to be seen" vibe as to why people go there.

    I know some rich older people who go there often and if there one thing we learn at the FD with our geriatric medical training is they lose there sense of taste. Perhaps they cater only to them.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    This is not making a fuss?

  5. michelle v
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I didn't want to do anything at the restaurant on this particular occasion. And it wasn't just my meal, but several. And it's not like this is the first time – I've been there at least 10 times through the years for various occasions. Others can like it, but for me, I'll spend my $ elsewhere.

  6. Michael Walsh
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Stick with the oysters, they are fresh, well treated, and they go through a ton of them. Hence the name sake. Even the raw platter is enjoyable.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Glad someone else realizes this about Blue Point. Surprised you've been there so many times – there are so many other great places to spend your money in Cleveland (as you well know). Maybe the people that like it never get seafood anywhere? Or travel anywhere?

  8. food.photog
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    First off, I have to say I'm a big fan of your blog – it's one of my morning routine sites I check out before getting lost in a sea of e-mails. :)

    I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Blue Point. Was a little puzzled myself with all the hype, and dining there was actually what prompted me to be on Yelp. Looking back, I may have been generous with my 3/5 star rating (my review is Michele G.). http://www.yelp.com/biz/blue-point-grille-cleveland#hrid:LhADeKEfglfTFPwt8_Q38Q

  9. Anonymous
    Posted June 23, 2009 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    I worked for BP, and it was not more than 5 years ago that I sat in a meeting with all the Hospitality Restaurant management and the editer of a national restaurant magazine gave a speach that included the, at the time appauling statement that, "the food at BP is mediocre at best but mixed with the customer service, wine list/knowlege, and overall experiance, the food doesn't matter" How funny we have come full circle. And to think of it, I don't think a single BOH manager is left from that meeting. I was outraged. Not by the statement alone, but that the group as a whole took it to heart.

    Its a real shame that a restaurant with such pull puts out such mediocre food. I always thought BP fell short of there potential.

  10. Bite Buff
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    It is such a relief to know that I am not the only foodie out there that is not raving about BP. I went there for the first time in January, and I think that I ordered the same dish because I was having flash backs as I read your post. But I do remember the app. and wine being fantastic. Maybe they should just stick to that!

  11. michelle v
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    food.photog – thank you! Glad you enjoy.

    Actually, I've only been there once by choice and that was shortly after they opened. Every other time was because family picked it (I can't always pick the place, even though I wish they'd let me!) or for work. But I won't go there again – unless it has something to do with work and I have to…

    Funny – when I first talked about my dislike for BP two years ago, I got such nasty e-mails and comments. This time, it's more of the opposite. I guess those people have come to their senses – ha ha.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    So, 7 bottles of wine, and the tab was expensive? Any other beverages? What was the per person tab?

  13. Anonymous
    Posted June 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    yeah, some facts would help bear out your case here. sounds like there was a bit of boozing going on. what was expensive, the food or booze, or both?

  14. michelle v
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Anonymous – Of course when alcohhol is involved the bill is going to be higher. A big portion of our bill was alcohol. It was a 40th bday celebration and the wine and vodka was freely flowing. Our bill, for 10 people, was $930. Drinks aside, it's my opinion that the food itself is overpriced for what you get and the quality. And I have been there numerouus times so I am not making this claim based on Saturday's visit. Again, I don't mind paying a little bit more for food when I know I am getting a quality product and wonderful service. But I don't get that from Blue Point – on any of my visits. So if others like it, that's great. But for me, I'm spending my money elsewhere. I gave them one too many chances.

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