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“Black & Blue Steak & Crab - not so good”

Black & Blue Steak & Crab
Ranked #4 of 145 Restaurants in Amherst
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $40
Cuisines: Seafood, Steakhouse
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Much better steak houses in Buffalo area...Fiamma for one, Russell's for another. Black & Blue is overrated & overpriced.

Thank michpolo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (198)
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179 - 183 of 198 reviews

Reviewed May 7, 2012

We checked out this establishment with the oh-so-telling name recently. It wasn't awful, but I have to say, we've had many a better meal in the Buffalo area.

This is a very handsome restaurant, part of a chain, with another in our sister city of Rochester. It's been our experience over the years that chain restaurants have a certain conveyor-belt-like quality to the service, and that in fact is the same thing we found here, even though we went in open-minded. The place is large with neutral and metal decor, so if you're into intimate dining, this might not be the type of ambience you're looking for, but a handsome place nonetheless.
We started with a glass of wine at the bar, and off the bat the bartender greeted us pretty darn coldly, as though she didn't have the time (we were one of three couples at the large and lovely bar). We each ordered a glass of pinot noir; my husband specified the brand he did NOT want, but the message was miscommunicated and this is what she poured us. Recognizing the musky aroma, my husband realized she had poured the wrong wine, and she proceeded to argue with us that this was the wine we had asked her for for a good two minutes or so. (The proper thing to do here would be to apologize, take back the wine, and pour the correct one without further ado.) The replacement pinot was eventually poured, and unfortunately, was not a great selection either - no complexity or body whatsoever. For a steakhouse I'd expect better, but we drank it anyway. There were plenty of other great wines on the list that we recognized; we simply made a poor choice ordering a pinot.

Skip to the meal. For apps, we ordered a dozen Malpeque oysters on the half shell (small and pricey, but fresh and tasty) and the tuna tartare (horrible). If you're a fan of tuna tartare, you've probably had it thinly sliced sashimi-style or diced with capers, olives, onions, citrus, or the like. If your product's good and fresh, you want to boast it. This tartare came, quite literally, blenderized into a mush and shaped as the upper tier above the cucumber "slaw". The "slaw" was grated into strands roughly the length of the cucumber itself so that it could not be pulled onto a fork without decimating the whole dish. It was painfully soggy and flavorless. In fact, other than three fried rock shrimp perched atop (which became cold from sitting on the tuna) and a drizzle of sweet soy sauce and oil around the periphery of the plate, the whole thing had little to no flavor and I had a very hard time making my way through it. I couldn't finish it.

The menu is large with many options for steaks and seafood, as well as choice of preparation. Steaks come with a choice of one sauce and one side. We ordered a filet with lump crab meat, Bearnaise, and a side of grilled asparagus and a strip steak with truffle butter and button mushrooms. Steaks here are wet-aged (in the vacuum-sealed plastic package apiece); if you like the dry, tender, deeply beefy flavor of a dry-aged steak, be forewarned this is not what you will get here. What you do taste is not so much the meat, but the salt, pepper, and spice rub they season it with before grilling. The steaks came out on a sizzling metal platter, as did the sides. They were literally so hot we couldn't bite into them for almost five minutes, but they were perfectly cooked. The crab meat was sweet and flaky, and the asparagus and mushroom sides were also nicely-cooked and tasty. But my Bearnaise...was not Bearnaise. It tasted of something out of a package and/or mixed with sour cream. I've had on-the-spot Bearnaise and have made it myself many times; you know it when you taste it. It's wonderful stuff. And this was simply not it, no disguising it. The server was attentive and knowledgeable, and I couldn't bring myself to complain when she asked how the meal was, in part because we just wanted to eat our meals and not be interrupted with the follow-up. The manager did come over while I stepped to the ladies' room, however, and remarked to my husband that I had looked as though "something wasn't right with my steak". My husband told him my feelings about the Bearnaise, to which the manager had replied that all sauces were made on-site, but that he would check with the kitchen regarding my complaint. At this point, however, the place was filling up, and he never returned to our table. We skipped dessert and took the check at that point.
So, I'll sum up our experience as objectively as possible: in my other reviews, I've mentioned that we've eaten out all over the Buffalo area and surrounding towns. This is not to sound like a food snob, but to illustrate that you get some good meals and you get some bad ones, but you know good food and what to ask for in a decent dining experience without demanding too much. We like value, and we'll pay whatever for it so long as that's what's delivered. Black and Blue is sort of like a wealthy man's Applebees; it's pretty mechanized, not too personal, and don't expect anything spectacular from what's on the menu. It's totally possible for someone to have a great experience there if they order the right things and aren't too persnickety. But if you want better value in fine dining, look to your metro-area, non-chain establishments, where you'll pay about the same but might get a little something more authentic.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank NorthBuffaloLocavore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2012

I had carpaccio--it was superb. Husband had steak--perfect. Fish dishes all looked great, too.

Thank Yesbut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2012

This is my favorite place to dine, great food fair prices and very good atmosphere, which makes a great overall dinner.

Thank leon039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

For the appetizer I had the portabella mushroom stuffed with risotto. Very bland and the mushroom was small the red pepper was way over powering in the risotto it was also cold in the center. The presentation was over the top they had so much garnish on it that I couldn't see what was underneath. This dish doesn't even deserve a rating it was that bad it can be a great dish but needs work.
For the main course I had the lamb chops cooked to perfection (rare) excellent flavor the rosemary was perfect not over powering a little on the tough side though, the accompanying side dish was garlic mashed potatoes very good and REAL. The vegetable, I don't remember. My wife had what I call hush puppies for app and you could tell that they were ones you could buy from any supermarket enough said on that. Her entree consisted of the black and blue tenderloin and it was good. Over all the place was average.
My background consists of 35 years in the food industry last 15 years as the sous chef at a 4 star restaurant serving French, American cuisine. I also have a catering business.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Gary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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