Jenni Reilly's Official Blog
While I was in town for work I wanted to try out some new restaurants to review. Being that I had been in the car for a few hours and I was starving for lunch I thought it would give any restaurant the advantage of me liking anything that I was about to eat. Sadly I was mistaken.

When I walked into Russell's Blue Water Grill I was greeted with a picture frame of a review by Zagat.com. I'm not a huge fan of Zagat.com as it take a while to load webpages properly and their reviews have such a unique method that it would take some getting used to. I suppose I could grow into them. The review in the picture frame looked pretty good, but I didn't let that cloud my judgement.

It was a little after lunch and this place was dead. There were only two tables seated with under 4 people at each table. When I walked in a noticed a piano to my left along with a nicely set up bar. To my right and also in front of me were several tables that were already set up for fancy dining. My waitress Erika placed me near the bar in a well set up booth. She immediately took my drink order and told me about their 3 course lunch special. That seemed a little much considering this place is in a strip mall and the decor was set up like a clearance section at Pier One.

After looking more at the decor I noticed that it was a mixture of different styles. I like the idea of the large mirrors and vases set up around the place, but the Denny's style glass partitions kind of take away from the copper and candle lit glow this place could have. Everything seemed clean at first, but at second glance the partitions had food stuck on them and the dishes had dark spots on them that looked like they were dirty (they weren't dirty, but the dingy dishes gave that illusion).

I ended up passing on the 3 course lunch meal and I ended up getting a Caprese Chicken Sandwich. It was described as a piece of grilled chicken with tomato and smoked mozzarella topped with a balsamic reduction and a side of French Fries. When it came out it looked okay, but I was a little disappointed with the presentation. Nothing was really bright in color like you would expect from Caprese. The French Fries were home-made and even though the texture and heat was there it lacked in any flavor or seasoning. Don't get me wrong, these fries beat out Wendy's any day of the week. I'm just pointing out that they needed something on them other then just placed on the plate. The Caprese sandwich had an odd flavor too it. Although the chicken was seasoned well and the tomatoes were fresh I felt like the mozzarella wasn't giving off a fresh flavor. The bun had been toasted with butter, but it didn't give it any flavor just a greasy feeling. If it weren't for the balsamic vinegar reduction I would have probably sent this sandwich back. BVR can make just about anything taste good and it was covering up for something on this sandwich.

As you all know I realize that sometimes restaurants have an off day and I would be willing to try this place again, just not if I'm paying. The cost was high on a lot of the menu items and the food wasn't at the same level. My waitress Erika was good at what she does, but keep in mind that by the time my food hit the table I was the only person left in the restaurant. I'm not really a high maintenance customer (mostly because I try to keep a low profile when I do food reviews). Maybe this place is really only meant to have a dinner menu instead of a lunch menu, but if you're open I'm stopping in. Sorry but Russell's Blue Water Grill restaurant is going int the "No Doggy Bag For Me" list.

Russell's Blue Water Grill on Urbanspoon


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