Saturday, September 29, 2012

BlackFinn American Grille - Review

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Now that I've been settling into the suburbs nicely from living in the urban jungle of Chicago, I've been loving the suburban life more and more each day. Don't get me wrong - the city is awesome for all it has to offer, but I guess the suburban girl in me will always think of the suburbs as home. There's a constant debate between suburbs vs city when it comes to restaurants. Sure, the city has every cuisine and food imaginable, but that's not to say you can't find a good meal in the suburbs. The Baron and I share an appreciation for independent restaurants, especially in the suburbs. We also can appreciate some smaller chains every now and then. In fact, we recently were invited to a complimentary dinner to check out BlackFinn American Grille restaurant. There are currently four restaurants around the country with locations in Houston, TX; Jacksonville, FL; St. Louis, MO; and the restaurant we visited in Mt. Prospect; IL. There are 3 more restaurants opening soon in Merrifield, VA; Austin, TX; and Chicago, IL.

The restaurant is divided into two main areas - dining room and saloon/bar. When we arrived, we were seated immediately in the dining room. It was nicely decorated with colorful artwork along the walls with the lighting dimmed to set the mood. Overall, it was a great atmosphere with a lot of people dining on a Friday night. When our server came, we started off with some drinks... The Baron ordered a Crispin hard cider and I got a glass of Mirrasou
For our appetizer course, I was intrigued by the Blackened Brie. This is just a small wheel of brie that has been charred on the outside, resulting in a creamy melted center. It was served with ciabatta toast, sliced apples and an apricot cranberry chutney. Since I couldn't do the toast, the server brought over some corn tortilla chips for me to enjoy it with, which I really appreciated.

Next up was our entree course. The Baron and I were on the same wavelength, as usual. We couldn't decide between 2 steak entrees that caught our eye, that we ended up ordering both to split. The Herbed Rubbed Campfire Steak, which is a dry herb rubbed 16 oz ribeye served with garlic mashed potatoes and maple glazed carrots, was delicious. The Baron ended up with that plate and it was cooked perfectly to the medium rare he requested. I got the Steak Frites American, which is a 12 oz New York strip steak kissed with a cilantro butter, served with broiled blue cheese crusted tomatoes atop a small mixed salad and a side of truffle fries. Just like The Baron's steak, mine was cooked perfectly as well to medium. The tomatoes were also good {with a little gluten due to the light breadcrumb topping} and are also served as a separate side on their menu. The fries were delicious as well, with just a hint of truffle salt. Both entrees were very good sized portions for the price and I thought the service in ensuring our steaks were done to our liking was great.

With two courses down, it would be a shame not to make room for dessert! Our server mentioned their signature dessert was their BlackFinn Hot Chocolate. From the name, you would think it was a special drink... but no, think again. I've mentioned in the past that The Baron and I have a thing for peanut butter and chocolate. This dish catered to that flavor combination in the most indulgent way. The BlackFinn Hot Chocolate is a fallen chocolate and peanut butter soufflĂ© served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, fresh whipped cream and a caramel sauce drizzle.Are you drooling yet?  It wasn't gluten free but the server did say it had a small amount of flour in it. I took my chances and thankfully it didn't bother me much afterwards. This was definitely delicious and it was a huge portion I couldn't finish it all. I want to recreate this as a GF version... it was that good!

Aside from peanut butter and chocolate, The Baron's favorite dessert by far is Key Lime Pie. The minute the server mentioned this, I knew we had to order it. It was a beautiful presentation and The Baron enjoyed it. It had a classic graham cracker crust, fresh lime custard, whipped cream, and raspberry sauce garnish. It's hard to mess up a traditional and BlackFinn nailed it.

Overall, our dinner experience at BlackFinn American Grille was excellent. From the moment we stepped in and escorted to our table, throughout our entire meal and as we left the restaurant, it was evident that the restaurant was doing well with plenty of patrons coming in, enjoying the food and drinks and everything the establishment has to offer. With a few of these restaurants around the country, I encourage yo to check them out and try their menu. You won't be disappointed! The Baron and I would definitely come back again. Thank you to the staff and everyone at BlackFinn American Grille in Mt. Prospect, IL. You did an outstanding job and we appreciate the time and effort you all put forth to make it a great night for us!

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