After a friend suggested this restaurant I did a little investigating. She said that they get fresh seafood flown in daily. This piqued my interest because my husband loves grouper and we were going to be celebrating a special occasion – our 16th wedding anniversary. Of course I wanted to do something very special for my husband and this sounded like it may be it.
I called and spoke with Matthew Barnes, the Manager and he confirmed this. He also said there would be no problem ordering in the group for our upcoming dinner. I was so excited! I reserved a table on the OpenTable app and, two days prior to our dinner, I called to confirm with Matthew that he was able to locate, and secure fresh grouper for our dinner that evening. He said that my husband could choose the preparation when we arrived.
Upon arriving for our reservation, I noticed that they also have outdoor seating which would be great on a slightly cooler evening and if one was not celebrating a special occasion. Also, the interior is nicely decorated. We were seated promptly at a booth and almost immediately were greeted by our server Jack. I selected a glass of Veramonte, a Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. It was delicious and I was tempted to have a second glass. I would highly recommend this selection from their expansive wine list.
We were served a half loaf of a crusty, hard bread. It was delicious but quite a bit too tough. Because of the crustiness of the bread it made a mess as you cut into it for bite size portions. Perhaps slicing it first would be the better option for diners. However, the butter was soft and easily spreadable.
As my husband looked over the menu, I informed him that his main course had been selected and he would be selecting the preparation for fresh, flown in that morning, grouper. My husband was pleasantly surprised and chose to have his grouper broiled with garlic butter. He also chose the Market Fresh Vegetables and Garlic Potato Wedges.
I selected the Crab Cakes for an appetizer (which were two crab cakes over a spicy lemon remoulade). For my main course, I selected the 12 ounce ribeye (a thick, marbled, boneless ribeye) and added Oscar-style (traditionally hollandaise but I opted on béarnaise with the lump crab). I also chose the Fresh Market Vegetables and opted for the White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes as my sides.
The appetizer arrived and I was very pleasantly surprised at the crab cakes. They were large in size and, upon my first bite; I discovered it was loaded with crab and not a lot of filler. The spicy lemon remoulade was absolutely amazing. There was just the right amount under each crab cake to get the flavor to accompany the crab cake. I would highly recommend adding one order per person upon your visit.
When our meal arrived I was very hopeful that the remainder of our meal would be as awesome. We were not disappointed. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his grouper and sides. He said it was the second best grouper he’s ever had. We have gone on coastal vacations and not been able to find grouper for him. So, not only was I happy the restaurant was able to secure some for his meal but I am also glad that it was prepared properly and to his liking. He said that his vegetables were cooked perfectly al dente and he could not stop raving about the Garlic Potato Wedges. Of course, this meant that I had to try one of the potatoes. Wow, they seemed lightly infused with garlic. The flavor was so amazing that, when our server, Jack, came back to check in on the quality and taste of our food. I asked him if he knew what made those potatoes so special. He said that he was not sure but that he would ask the kitchen staff. He returned to inform us that they were flash fried in garlic oil. Wow, wow! These were amazing and I would definitely order this next time as one of my sides.
My steak – it was a great steak. I would have preferred if the ribeye had been trimmed of some of the marbling on the edge of the steak. I expect a ribeye to have fat running through it but it would have been better, presentation wise, to have trimmed the edge trimmed before serving. My steak was cooked to perfection, a perfect medium, as requested. The Oscar-style was delicious and loaded with lump crab and was topped, of course, with fresh asparagus tips. I highly recommend their ribeye steak Oscar-style.
Our entire meal was amazing! Then there was dessert…
My husband was too full to order dessert but, as a Food Writer, I feel it’s important to always order an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. Since I would be enjoying dessert alone, and my husband doesn’t care for Crème Brulée, I knew I had to order it when I saw it on the menu.
I ordered the Berry Crème Brulée (their menu says, “Traditional custard served chilled. Topped with caramelized sugar and a mixed berry compote. Accompanied by fresh mint and a housemade shortbread cookie dusted with powdered sugar.) I was so excited to try this Crème Brulée!
When the Crème Brulée arrived, it was not what I pictured in my mind based on the menu description. Don’t get me wrong, it seemed to have all of the components mentioned. However, I guess I thought the shortbread cookie would be like a decorative piece of cookie, but it practically covered the entire Brulée. The presentation, for me, was a visual letdown because it covered almost all of the best part. The best part of any Crème Brulée, you know, is that the perfectly browned, caramelized sugar you should hear when you tap it with your spoon. Yeah, that didn’t happen!
Once I removed the shortbread cookie, which I didn’t even taste, in the center of the Brulée was the mixed berry compote. I also didn’t get a chance to taste this either. The Brulée itself barely had any color on it but that wasn’t what actually infuriated me as a Food Writer. Now, their own menu states that this dessert is “a Traditional custard served chilled.” This dessert was nothing less than a hot mess. Literally! This Crème Brulée not only didn’t have the proper setting time required to chill but it was warm and literally was horrible. I took one bite and called the server over. I said that the dessert was not executed properly and asked for him to replace it with the Dessert Trio. I had bigger hopes for these three desserts.
When the ‘replacement’ dessert arrived the trio of desserts was stunning. They were larger portions than I was expecting and they all looked great. The Dessert Trio, as described by their menu, “is White Chocolate Bread Pudding, Coconut Key Lime Cheesecake and Dolly’s Triple Chocolate Cake.”
All three of these desserts were absolutely amazing but, the one that hit the home run for me, was the White Chocolate Bread Pudding. It was the best bread pudding I have ever had, period. I would definitely order this again over the other two selections, and definitely would never order the Crème Brulée here again. But the other desserts were very good.
I feel that I needed to call out the Pastry Chef, or whoever actually pulled the Crème Brulée dessert and put it together to be served to me. This was truly inexcusable and that item should have been removed from the menu the rest of the evening. Was this their “deconstructed” version of this traditional classic?
Upon review of the final bill, I noticed that the Crème Brulée had been removed from our bill and we were not charged with The Dessert Trio. This was a thoughtful gesture considering what I will forever call my Crème Brulée experience.
Overall, this restaurant is a MUST VISIT! The next time I am in the area, I will definitely return for dinner. I want so thank the Manager, Matthew Barnes for bringing in the grouper for this special occasion. It was a success!
During our visit we also chatted with the Front of House Manager, Hunter Evett, who was also helpful.
Visit Bluewater Grille at 224 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402 and don’t forget to reserve your seat using the OpenTable app. It’s fast and convenient. You can visit their menu, and obtain additional information on their website at http://www.bluewaterchattanooga.com.