I've eaten at Black Eyed Susan a number of times -- perhaps a dozen or more. I have NEVER been disappointed. That said, this evening's meal was exceptional and deserves further comment.
We were greeted enthusiastically on a Saturday evening, in spite of not having a reservation. The restaurant was busy, though not "slammed."
Our server, Coleen, approached us immediately, confirmed that we had the correct regular and special menus, and asked about our drink preferences. Since we had not yet decided on our dinners, we held off on ordering drinks. I confirmed with her that everything on the menu was, in fact, available -- which it was!
I had more-or-less decided before our arrival that I was going to have my traditional favorite pot roast, which the on-line menu confirmed was still offered. Alas, that entree has been replaced and the web offerings not updated. BES's overall web presence is NOT impressive.
Lacking my favored dish, I ordered one of the evening's specials, fried oysters. I confirmed with our delightful server that they were breaded in-house (they were!) The special, which consisted of seven large, juicy oysters, was accompanied by fresh beans and red-skinned potatoes. The entree was preceded by the choice of a house or Cesar salad. I chose the latter.
The Cesar salad dressing was excellent -- neither too sharp nor bland. The greens were crisp and fresh, the croutons house-made and fresh tasting, and the topping of Parmesan crisps made for a delightful start to the meal.
My wife ordered the house salad with blue cheese dressing. The house salad too was fresh and crisp. The blue cheese dressing, made in-house, was very likely the very best I have ever tasted. It was creamy and had just enough real chunks of blue cheese. I really want the recipe!
So -- what else made the dinner special? My wife's steak was cooked to perfection -- medium rare, as requested. The accompanying sides -- the same as with the oysters, were fine.
I mentioned little things in my review title. Who, in this day and age, makes fresh seafood cocktail sauce to serve with top-notch fried offerings? BES does, that's who. I usually eschew that red stuff and ask, instead, for a few additional wedges of lemon. I noticed that the sauce with my oysters was "chunky," so i decided to taste it. Phillips, Durkee's, and others, eat your hearts out. This cocktail sauce is t h e best I have ever tasted. I imposed on our delightful server to score me a small tub of the delightful condiment to take home with my three leftover oysters.
There is only one "downside" to the Black Eyed Susan. It has nothing to do with the food, the bar offerings, the service, or the cleanliness of the facilities. The problem is with the noise level. When the restaurant is full -- or nearly so -- the sound reverberates off the walls and ceilings and conversation can vary between difficult and impossible, depending on the crowd. This is a problem that can be fixed, but it takes the will of the management and a little outlay of cash. Have you ever heard of "Soundsoak?"
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