Food Porn: Bijou Grille

source: Dogbert10 on Flickr

For our last “unmarried” anniversary, Alli and I were trying to figure out somewhere new to go out to eat.  Initially we had a big list of potential locations but we had to scale it back to fit our budget (it’s the holidays, were saving for a wedding, things get tight).  So we settled on Bijou Grille as I always thought the location was pretty cool.  Right downtown on Main Street, it is across from Shea’s and down the street from Town Ballroom.  We thought it would be neat to sit down and watch the “train” go by and people watch.  So on a Friday night we stopped by and walked into a nearly empty restaurant, which I was OK with because we go to sit near the window facing Main.

Their dinner menu has various semi-upscale entrees featuring seafood, chicken, beef, veal and pork.  Their menu ranges in the $15 to $25  range, so we had a certain expectation of the quality of food.  Here’s how our meal turned out…

Along with our high expectations of food, I was also expecting the interior to be a little nicer.  I’m not saying that the dining room was dirty or anything, but from everything I was told about the place I was assuming some really romantic atmosphere.  Instead it had a vintage diner feeling when I walked in, reminded me of the dining area of King’s Court.  Regardless I was excited, we had looked over the menu prior and we had both picked out what we were going to eat.

We started the meal with their Brie Artichoke Crab dip which was pretty delicious, boiling hot, but delicious.  Served with some toasted foccacia chips, we would have devoured the entire bowl of dip if we didn’t have more food coming.  A creamy dip that was filled with pieces of crab and artichokes and then covered with bread crumbs, it was well worth it and hit the spot.  The best part was the next day the left overs were just as delicious.

I ordered the Lobster Ravioli which was topped with some grilled Shrimp and then covered in a lobster cream sauce, for $17.  The ravioli’s themselves were pretty good, large and wrapped in a tasty noodle.  However the filling was pretty heavy on the cheese and not so much on the lobster.  I was really hoping for more lobster bits and pieces in the actual ravioli, which was unfortunately not the case.  However the shrimp were fantastic and fairly large.  For the price, I was expecting a little more out of the dish, it certainly wasn’t inedible but it let me down.

Alli ordered their Gorgonzola Chicken entree and, like me, was not overly impressed.  The actual gorgonzola cheese sauce was a bit thin and runny.  We make a Gorgonzola cream sauce quite often in our house and I understand the dilemma of making sure it’s not watery, but this really didn’t stand out as anything exceptional for her.

We walked away from our meal at Bijou Grille on the fence.  It wasn’t a horrible meal at all but at the same time it wasn’t a meal worthy of $60 dollars.  If I had walked away from that meal paying $30 I’d probably feel better about our experience and would be encouraging everyone to go and try a dish.  Neither the food nor the interior really left us wanting to come back.  Their lunch menu is considerably cheaper and maybe if I worked closer to the downtown area, I would definitely stop in for a burger or salad.  Our only other gripe was the ridiculous hassle we had trying to figure out if they would accept a restaurant.com gift certificate.  On the certificate it says they do not accept them on nights with HSBC Events, Shea’s Events or Irish Classical Events.  The hastle of having to check 3 different calenders to see if I can use a gift certificate seems a bit excessive and maybe they should just stop participating with the website.  Needless to say we went during a Sabres game, so we didn’t attempt to use ours.  Also I tried calling the restaurant 3 times over several days leading up to our meal but constantly went to the answering machine, which was also frustrating.

I can’t say it would be my number one choice for eating before a Shea’s or HSBC event.  I still think places like Encore, Pearl Street, Snooty Fox or Century Grill would all rank ahead at this point.  But if you want to eat somewhere that reminds you of a different time of Buffalo’s history, where Main street was “THE” place to go on the weekends then maybe you’ll get some additional enjoyment out of Bijou Grille.

Bijou Grille on Urbanspoon

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