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“Not as good as we expected”
Review of Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar - CLOSED

Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar
Price range: $8 - $24
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 2nd Street
Description: Located on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, Blue Light Grill specializes in fresh oysters, seasonal seafood, craft cocktails, and local beers.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

With all the fresh seafood selections on the menu, we thought this would be a great choice for dinner but it was just so-so. For seating, you can sit outside in the pedestrian mall area but we chose to sit inside, which was a mistake because the music they play is god-awful and way too loud. The bar is backlit with a blue light, which does not create a very relaxing ambiance. As for the food, we started with the lump crab hushpuppies, which were actually pretty good. For my entree I had the crab cakes, which were disappointing. They appeared to have a lot of brown breading, and I'm not sure if it was the breading or the spices but they had a flavor I didn't care for. They were served atop a portion of cheesy grits, which were good, and a bacon cream sauce which was also good, and topped with a "slaw" of apple and fennel, which was just okay. Hubby had the scallops and said they were just okay as well. But overall this was not a place we would recommend.

Thank snissie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (100)
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39 - 43 of 100 reviews

Reviewed September 30, 2013

I had to write after reading the negative reviews of this restaurant. We had a fantastic experience with great food and service. Make sure you order oysters. They were fantastic. Our waitress was sweet and did a great job of taking care of us. We even shared some of our plates since we do not have huge appetites. Sometimes that is frowned upon in restaurants but it wasn't a problem here. All in all it was a nice evening with good food and service.

Thank goodhikers1986
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

This place seemed busier that it actually was in part due to lack of staffing. Really, 2 bartenders for a place that wants to make all those fancy drinks. Despite being able to go right up to the bar and grab two stools, it took over 10 minutes for a bartender to even acknowledge us. Cocktails decent at best. Food took forever. Scallops good, fish tacos... meh... no real flavor or texture or taste. Lobster rolls was inedible.

This used to be a go to joint for my wife and I but it has been about 3 years...and will likely be that long again before we give it another run.

Only responsive person in the place was the dark haired hostess.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank danpri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

I've eaten at this restaurant several times over the last few years and never had a problem with the food nor with the service. The most recent visit was truly a terrible experience. Our starter took a while to arrive but when it did it was actually very tasty and fresh. The follow up course was when things just went to pot. After a full 45 minutes of waiting I complained to the Maitre d' and then I got my plate which was stone cold. Then 10 minutes later my wife got her plate which was supposed to be the catch of the day. Well it was some catch, because for breaded Mahi Mahi it was limp and micro-waved. When food is hotter on the inside it is a sure sign that the micro-wave was used. After complaining, my plate was supposedly re-heated but I just couldn't eat it because that too didn't look fresh. It's an open kitchen and it wasn't a busy evening so I have no idea what happened.

To add to this I believe I had the worst waiter on this planet. He just couldn't care less. Not an apology, not a care in the world. He clearly felt we should be honored. To accuse him of being entitled would be an understatement.

My wife ordered a beer and the waiter plonked the bottle on the table. She politely asked him for a glass and he huffed and puffed and returned with a wet glass. Perhaps a small thing but it leaves such a poor impression.

The Maitre d' attempted to apologize but effectively refused to recognize there was a problem. It was as if she felt obliged to cover up for the waiter and the kitchen. A genuine apology and a genuine attempt to make amends could have made things better. Instead there was a serious arrogance and attitude about the entire fiasco. We then get presented with the bill and sure enough they only charged us for our drinks and starter. This was their unique way of apologizing.

Lesson: The Maitre D' told us that all kitchens have a bad day. As a businessman I can appreciate that, sometimes we all have bad days, but treating a customer poorly and not like a king is just unacceptable. It is clear the owner is not on top of his game and that this restaurant is coasting. The fact that I was not charged for the bad food tells me this is a regular event because I never asked for a discount. I never ask, I just never return.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank 98000mc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Although this grill and raw bar is appealing from the Mall, raw oysters were ok and fish tacos were odd in that the skin was left on inside the taco. Staff is helpful and pleasant but the food doesn't quite hit the spot.

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

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