Tuesday, October 01 2013 23:39

Bluestone

By  John Cullen with Marty Shayt

Bluestone, where we recently celebrated Marty’s birthday, is a locally owned, non-chain restaurant. Situated on a side street off York Road, it can be easily missed, but is definitely worth finding. Despite a busy Saturday evening, we were impressed when we got seated right away for our 7pm reservation, and also by the amount of space between tables.

Though Bluestone has a reputation for seafood, the menu is diverse. We found Maryland crab soups, side salads, a half dozen appetizers ($6-11), a half dozen seafood entrees, a half dozen non-seafood entrees ($19-32), and eight Tavern Fare options ($10-19), including entrée salads. We also noted that there were no obvious vegetarian/vegan options.

After pondering the menu while munching on warm bread, we agreed to share two appetizers — a beet salad ($6) and a short rib “small plate” ($9) — between us and our friend Marta. For the main course, Marty picked the Crisfield seafood stew ($23) and John decided on broiled wild Coho salmon ($24). Marta asked if she could just get the smaller five ounce filet without the crab cake that it was paired with; our waitress quickly nodded assent (and later the check reflected a reduction compared to the price of a standard 8-ounce filet).

The short rib starter included a tender hunk of short rib beef sitting on top a square of corn bread with a red wine demi gravy and a touch of cilantro puree. The beet salad was colorful with diced red and yellow beets on baby greens in a citrus mustard dressing and a ping pong sized ball of goat cheese mousse with walnuts. An easy “Thumbs Up!” on both was our verdict.

Marty’s Crisfield Stew was a huge hit (leaving John determined to return and order this dish). The large bowl was filled with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and pieces of fish sitting in a wonderfully zesty tomato/veggie broth with toasted Italian bread. John’s salmon arrived with a crust of capers and garlic perched on a bed of the best, spicy ratatouille John has witnessed in a very long time. Marta’s filet was tender and arrived cooked just as requested with a mound of perfectly cooked asparagus spears and mashed potatoes. We judged another round of “Thumbs Up!” on our entrees.

Despite taking home half of the large portion of his Crisfield Stew, birthday boy Marty picked out a Blueberry Cobbler for dessert. With too many temptations to pass up, John and Marta order some citrus cheesecake. Sampling both, “yummy” came to mind, and we had yet another unanimous “Thumbs Up!” verdict.

Along the way, the owners visited our table inquiring if the food and service had met our expectations — it had. That level of concern and caring seems way more than perfunctory and may one of the reasons why Bluestone excels. With good food, better than average service, and a contemporary upscale feel, Bluestone earned our “Thumbs Up!” on all counts. Bluestone is worth finding.

Bluestone
11 W Aylesbury Rd. • Lutherville-Timonium
410.561.1100 • BlueStoneOnline.net
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, beginning at 11:30
Full bar • Limited vegetarian options

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