Blackwells is situated at the Great Rock Golf Club. And it has more loft than a 5-iron.
Clubby, friendly, shining with enough mahogany to host a vintage PBS series, it's a good-looking spot in a generically tasteful way. The dining areas include a section styled to look like a library; another suggests a comfortable country club. And the tap room keeps brews flowing with more casual fare, ranging from a "fairway frank" and a lobster roll to the pizza du jour and steak frites. Even if you're not ready for the 19th hole, chef Chris Gerdes' cooking makes Blackwells worth visiting.
Crunchy and sweet, a special of lobster-and-corn beignets with sauce rémoulade expertly tees off dinner. The smoked-duck and frisee salad, with dried cherries and sliced almonds, does, too. Blackwells prepares a light, creamy seafood chowder and good crab cakes; a refreshing, chopped salad with Gorgonzola cheese and a better spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. A trio of slim, juicy lamb chops on mesclun heads the huskier choices. You'll enjoy the house's steaks, especially the hefty porterhouse for one or two, and the excellent filet mignon. Seaside, the pan-seared striped bass, accompanied by an asparagus flan, is very good; likewise, the meaty, uncomplicated lobster potpie. On the side, sample the creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, fries. Creamy rice pudding arrives in a glass suitable for a margarita. Tiramisu: light, mild, fresh.
The combo of a slender, grilled pork chop and sweet sausage in wine sauce is on the dry side. St. Louis-style ribs are meaty; the sauce, acidic. Pasty macaroni-and-cheese, made with orecchiette, look glued together. Skip the bad concept bacon-and-Brie riff on Tater Tots; and the frazzled-more-than-frizzled onions.
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