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“Get the Ahi Tuna!”
Review of Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin
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Ranked #5 of 996 Restaurants in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The Blue Marlin was the first restaurant I tried when making several trips to Columbia, SC for work. First time was the charm! I've since been back 8-10 times. I recommend the Ahi Tuna entree and the Firecracker Shrimp appetizer.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Joshua O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (1,173)
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958 - 962 of 1,173 reviews

Reviewed March 18, 2013

Love this place, really good menu and always something different to order. The chefs at Blue Marlin really provide an excellent menu, not the same boring food. We love the atmosphere and the staff is great.

Thank sheribliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2013

A group of 9 of us eat at the Blue Marlin with excellent service and excellent food. Everyone's order came out correctly and well done. The waiter was attentive and interacted well with the group. I definitely would recommend the Blue Marlin. Did I say the building itself is worth the visit? If not, it is!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steven R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 15, 2013

The restaurant decor is nice. The service is top notch. For the prices, I think the food could have been better and the portions a bit bigger. I had the Mahi Orleans. It came with garlic mashed potatoes and sauted fresh green beans. The fish was cooked perfectly. It had a sauce made with chunks of crabmeat and three small shrimp. The sauce was OK, but not great. I was served a small, warm, in house baked, loaf of bread that was excellent (and I am not a bread person). It was served with whipped butter. I ate at the bar and the two bartenders were outstanding. Both used just the right amount of smiling chit chat without being annoying. They were extremely friendly and helpful with some questions I had about Colubia (first time there). I didn't have a mixed drink, but they all looked good and well made. They have a decent wine list, although I did not have any wine either. I would go back again. As stated, it was good but not spectacular. As stated in a previous review, the presentation was very average for this type of restaurant. Give it a try, but don't expect it to be ultra superlative.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CodShark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

As you know from all the posts I put on tripadvisor - my husband and I love checking out and experiencing new restaurants.

I must say - when I looked up Blue Marlin on here, even though the majority of reviews are favorable, I was a bit hesitant after viewing the food photos that are posted, as I would expect much more professional and sophisticated presentation to their plates for a restaurant of this caliber. But with this being said, I did not mention this observation to my husband, and went with an open mind that we would be as wowed as many of the other patrons who voiced their opinions on here.

So here is how our evening went ... as alway, we like to start with drinks and often times an appetizer at the bar. However, after quickly discovering the bartender forgot to bring a personality with him to work that evening, and did NOTHING to make us feel welcome at his bar that had only one other patron - after one drink we opted to head to our table in the dining room. This also might be a good time to point out that my husband started the evening with Grey Goose on the rocks. If he got a thimble full of vodka in his glass it would have been allot. A very skimpy portion for $8 - while the 'regular' patron next to him was poured what appeared to be a very generous drink in comparison!

The bar stools we were seated at just happened to be directly to the side of the hostess stand. When I turned around to let them know we'd like to go to our table, 4 employees were gathered - all engrossed in conversation and/or checking their phones for what I'm sure were urgent messages ...or to see what earth shattering comments were being made on their facebook pages (A HUGE pet peeve of mine that seems to become the accepted norm everywhere these days!) But once we had their attention, they were cordial and promptly took us to our table.

For a Monday evening - the dining room was bustling and chatter level high. Our experience once again became hopeful when our server approached our table. A terrific guy - nice personality and very welcoming.

We ordered a nice bottle of wine and started with what sounded like a delicious appetizer - the flash fried calamari dusted with pecans. Instead what we received was a generous portion of calamari, way overly breaded and more than flash fried. We also quickly discovered, after just the first few bites, we both grew tired of the the sweet onion romoulade that accompanied it.

(If you read any of my other reviews - you will see we are huge fans of calamari and shrimp - and from all the different takes we've had on both, consider ourselves pretty credible judges on both subjects).

After a big (and very delicious) lunch earlier that day - I opted for something light and asked if it was possible to get the signature BLT salad and a shrimp cocktail; which even though the don't have it listed on the menu - he assured me it was very doable.

My husband ordered the scallops. The plate arrived looking like it had been dished up on a cafeteria line. My original impression from the photos posted on here only confirmed that absolutely NO thought goes into presentation; and on a scale of one to ten - he gave the meal a 2 or 3 at best, which for a guy who is nowhere near as particular as I, this is not a good score!

My 'signature' salad was a huge disappointment as well. Again, very sloppy presentation. Salads should be crisp and fresh tasting - and inviting to look at upon arrival. (Served on a chilled plate makes them even better). This was limp, served at more room temp, swimming in dressing & with an over zealous portion of bacon that completely overpowered it. (I'd be more than embarrassed to call this my 'signature' salad!)

But that wasn't the worst of it! The shrimp!! I knew from the minute he placed them at the table and saw at least 18-20 of these minute, little guys lined up around the rim of the glass bowl I was in for a big disappointment.

Let's just start by saying - if they were in fact fresh, quality shrimp - they wouldn't be serving that kind of quantity. But, the reason they could is because they were cheap, manufactured shrimp that were beyond awful!!

They might be able to camouflage them when the dip them in batter and fry them - but alone and naked - they were without a doubt some of the worst shrimp I've ever eaten.

We let all our other disappointments pass and didn't say a word to our nice server - but I did tell him neither of us could eat the shrimp and he did not charge us for it.

The bones of the restaurant brings with it allot of nice character - but we would be hard pressed to ever spend our money here again!

In today's competitive market - might I highly recommend the chef/owners take a hard look at how their food is being presented - and the quality of products they use (prepare). But then again, perhaps the way they do things must be acceptable and more the norm for this city. Most others who review them don't seem to mind.

Being the foodies we are - other than the cordial and efficient service from our waiter and the nice bottle of wine we had - the rest of it was a total bust!

Thank Luv2Dine55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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