Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar
Charlottesville, VA 22901Neighborhood:
SeafoodPrice: $30 and under
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://bluelightgrill.com/
- Phone: (434) 295-1223
- Hours of Operation:
Sunday - Wednesday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 4:00pm - 12:00am
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Continental, Contemporary Southern
- Executive Chef: John Meiklejohn
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Private Party Contact: Stacy Libitz firstname.lastname@example.org 4342951223x
- Entertainment: DJs, Televisions, people watching
A word from Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar
Fresh and seasonally focused Seafood. Lively bar scene features local breweries and craft cocktails including house made tonic, gingerbeer, and cordials. Upscale but relaxed atmosphere -- No Dress Code.Continued
Weekly Promotions include:
Tuesdays: $1 Va Oysters on the half shell
Wednesdays: "Wine Down" - half off selected bottles
Sundays: Funday - Cocktail Specials
Weekly Promotions include:
Tuesdays: $1 Va Oysters on the half shell
Wednesdays: "Wine Down" - half off selected bottles
Sundays: Funday - Cocktail Specials
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar - Best Restaurants in Charlottesville ›
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
18 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance3.7Noise LevelModerate
vibrant bar scene (8)fit for foodies (6)great for outdoor dining (4)hot spot (4)neighborhood gem (4)special occasion (3)good for groups (3)romantic (1)late-night find (1)Show More
- Hurried date nightfoodsnobVIPDined on 11/8/2014We arrived a few minutes early for a 6:30 reservation, at 7:05 the hostess(?) came by to inform us that there was a 7:30 reservation on our table so we needed to be done by then. REALLY??! We had ordered two rounds of drinks, appetizers, main and dessert and coffee - I think we had the right to take as much time as we needed. While we were savoring our coffee before diving into the dessert, the waitress came by and was concerned we hadn't started on it yet!As for the food - the mussels were very good and the chocolate creme brulee was to die for. I found the tuna peculiarly sweet - it was not to my taste and my husbands scallops were so-so. We ate here because it was convenient and we had a gift certificate. I don't think we'll be back.
- BellaLoverDined on 11/8/2014Last time I tried Blue Light was during Restaurant Week. The starters were very good and my fish entree was extremely heavily salted. This time, our group only had entrees and I was very disappointed. Our "cioppino" ONLY had a very small piece of fish and a few mussels in a broth. Cioppino is always a dish with a variety of seafood. I paid a lot and was hungry when I left. Cocktails were outstanding!
- AmazingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014The service, the atmosphere, everything was great. But the food was truly exceptional. I can't remember the last time I was so blown away by a restaurant. I highly recommend the salmon, it was unbelievable! Go out of your way to dine here! You will not regret it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Solid All AroundDouglasDined on 10/25/2014It's hard to compete in Charlottesville, VA for good food. However, the Blue Light Grill offered us a solid drink list and a variety of seafood options. The fried oysters was the best dish we ordered. The steamed shrimp, crab legs, and hush puppies were also solid. The food took a very long time to come out of the kitchen, and the serving line seemed back up, but I do believe that this was a one-time event rather than a perpetual issue. I would return here for cocktails or a quick bite when on the downtown mall.Special Features:
- WATCH YOUR WALLET !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!bobgDined on 10/4/2014when i paid my bill i found that i was shortchanged/stolen from ... when i asked the general manager she said she assumed it was just a mistake and blamed it on the server ... there are many more quality honest restaurants in cville
- Bread ChargeDavyVIPDined on 9/13/2014I have eaten at many restaurants all over the world and especially in NYC, foodie heaven but I've never been told that bread costs $2. The waitress showed off by not taking any notes of our order (party of 6) and of course there were mistakes. Portions of the same entree were inconsistent in size and a lobster tail entree ordered by four diners contained a piece of lobster no bigger than a shrimp.
- Good Food - Poor ServiceWeekenderVIPDined on 9/5/2014Dined here on a Friday evening as a party of seven and dined outside on a lovely night. The restaurant was busy, but not full. I suspected we were in trouble when the waitress brought our drinks and then disappeared. After 20 minutes or so and a search, I was finally able to get her back to our table. When asking for our orders I wanted to know if there were any specials. "Oh yeah" was the reply. Downhill from there. Food intermittently served long waits for each person. No apology, and an indifferent attitude form the waitress when we tried to follow-up on the service. She seemed annoyed. And a mandatory 20% tip to add insult! While we very much enjoyed the food the poor service and attitude by the waitress will prevent us from returning.Special Features:
- nice evening diningsamanthaDined on 8/24/2014This is a good restaurant. Crab cakes are pretty good, steaks cooked as you like it. Wait staff quick, friendly. Price wise, it is competitive with the highest on the mall. For a special occasion, it is ok. Large TVs and booth style dining make it less than romantic.Special Features:
- Good food, good serviceAFNolesDined on 8/22/2014Wife and I thought we'd try this place, looking for some lighter fair than burgers and pasta. While the menu is not extensive, it does offer a good selection with an obvious focus on seafood. Both of our meals were very good no our waitress, Alicia, provided great service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 86 reviews are from the Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar reviews archive.
- So disappointedLaTrexDined on 7/27/2014We had always loved Blue Light for its yummy food--it was the one seafood place that excited my fish-adverse husband. Sadly when we went on Sunday, the menu was really limited but still pricey. The grouper was overpriced and not very good--nothing on thhe plate but small plain fish and a couple of doughy gnoochi. We spent $80 using our Hospice coupon which was ridiculous given the low quality and lmited menu. Apparently the menu was from restaurant week but the server didn't tell us that until we finished so we didn't get the option of the three courses for one price. Such a disappointment in food quality I'm not sure we'll think of Blue Light as a good place to go in future.Special Features:
- Tried and TrueChefMamaDined on 7/25/2014I believe the Blue Light Grill has been a staple on the Downtown Mall for years and years. However under the direction of Chef Meiklejohn and his crew, the food has reached a new level.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A restaurant-week treat.GoodSoutherncookinDined on 7/23/2014Restaurant week in Charlottesville, VA is becoming a twice-a-year tradition, generating thousands for worthy local charities at a buck-a-meal pace as well. The ambience was "collegetown", with "rustic" booths that were comfortable enough, and a young, eager staff. The peanut soup with crispy ham hock chips was fabulous if not warm enough; the bean and rice cake gumbo was quite good if you ate the rice cake quickly. It became soggy soon. My catfish was crispy, tasty and large, well battered and perfect. Our dinner partner did not like the quail and left it; the other friend enjoyed his flank steak. My meal started with a side order of little neck clams that were delicious. Watch the bill; the tip was added automatically!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Restaurant Week standoutLadieswhodineDined on 7/23/2014friends and I have frequently enjoyed Restaurant Week in Charlottesville. The dinner at Blue Light stands out as one of, if not the, best yet. 3 food courses, which was excellent for the non dessert eaters among us and they were all so tasty. The Beet Pappardelle pasta was the only let down..too thick and not cooked properly. But even that was overlooked since the Peanut Pesto sauce and the squash with it was amazing!Special Features:
- We're All Aglow!agratefulcookDined on 7/22/2014C'ville Restaurant Week, Summer 2014. Blue Light came in as our #1 favorite spot for the week, and #1 for all other Restaurant Weeks we have enjoyed. The week's $26 prix fixe menu sounded tantalizing, and tasted even better! Superb mix of trendy and traditional, all done exactly right. My only minor complaint was the counter between seating and the open kitchen was too high for me to climb over and hug the chef. We will be back!Special Features:
- Could have been an off nightabc123Dined on 7/22/2014Food quality was great, kitchen was slow . Server was slow to greet & checking back throughout the meal to fill water. It was warm inside & fly's were bothersome.Special Features:
- Restaurant week disappointmentOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/19/2014We tried this restaurant for Restaurant Week and were disappointed in the food and ambience. The food was so-so, and the wine pairings were also so-so. A few of the wine pairings tasted more like hard liquor than wine. We had made reservations for five, and when we arrived, were seated next to the kitchen. We did not complain, but should have, because two-thirds of the tables were empty, and there were plenty of other places to sit that would have been less noisy and busy. The one good thing about the evening was our waiter, who was friendly and attentive.
- Raw oysters were okEpiskyVIPDined on 7/12/2014We were visiting in from DC, where I must have been spoiled because the oysters I got here were ok, just ok. I also had a salad, which I really liked. My partner had the crab cake and he says it was good. It was a decent meal, the place wasn't crowded so it wasn't loud. We got good service.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Oysters!SunsoulVIPDined on 6/27/2014We love celebrating anything at Blue Light, and tonight we celebrated my husband's birthday with 20+ guests. BL was very accommodating the day before when I upped my reservations from 10 to 20. They were especially accommodating when it came to not rushing us, working with us on tab division, and service of appetizers, dinner and drinks. The oysters are always amazing - and admittedly, that's why we go. One thing I would've like to have seen better: the entrees were not nearly as good as they have been in the past. No one seemed disappointed though, and we had a GREAT time.Special Features:
- Great Food and AtmospereMsAdventure01Dined on 6/20/2014Fresh seafood, fried oysters are fabulous and overall atmosphere festive and fun.Special Features:
- wonderful experienceOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/2/2014The food and service was very good. My wife and I were very pleased with our experience there. I would highly recommend.Special Features:
- Small portions, Fair ServicedobberDined on 4/19/2014We made 6pm dinner reservations at this restaurant on a Saturday evening. We had no problem with how the food tasted, but it took an hour for our food to reach our table from the time we sat down. We also had to ask our server three times for ketchup to go with a burger and french fries. I ordered the most expensive meal on the menu, the $27 sea scallops, which came with 2 scallops, half a strip of bacon, and about 3 forkfuls of polenta. We also ordered martinis, which came in tiny glasses that held not much more than a shot, especially after you took out the olives. Again, the food was good, but I would not call the portions entree-sized.Special Features:
- New Favorite Every Timemark10reviewDined on 3/29/2014This is at least our 4th visit here. We always happen upon a different dish that is always tasty! this time the appetizer special was beef tartare on a the brined white of a hard boiled egg with a cured yolk on top. Simply excellent!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place to eat on MallOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 3/23/2014Disappointed to find them out of fried oysters on a Sunday night, but that means Saturday was busy. Good for them. Love to stop here after a movie!Special Features:
- Blue LightlizzieDined on 3/16/2014My daughter and I had crab cakes that were very good. Also the cosmopolitan was tasty. Our waitress was very nice and attentive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious raw oystersthefoodxpertVIPDined on 3/15/2014We started with the raw oysters which were shucked perfectly. The spring pea soup was very good and the main courses were delicious. We had the scallops, crab cakes and the fish special. All were pleased with their selections. Sides of the French fries and asparagus were also cooked to perfection. We will definitely be back in the near future.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- valentine weekendOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 2/15/2014The booth seating was very private and drowned out the bar noise nicely. Great signature cocktails. The raw oysters were very good and had nice choices, maybe a little overpriced though for the portion size in my opinion. The 3 prefix menu courses were very good overall with varied choice for diners, only 2 complaints: the eggplant ravioli was a little cold/lacked sauce and would have hoped for something a bit more than 2 chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant to others, in fact I did to co-workers today.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food but poor service/drinksyum13Dined on 2/14/2014We enjoyed our food but the drinks we ordered tasted watered-down, and the waiter was not attentive at all. The noise level was fine, but we were seated near the door so we were cold every time people came in or went out.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Went with my daughter on ValentinesFoodiegirlVIPDined on 2/14/2014Went with my daughter on Valentines Day. Enjoyed a nice prix fixe menu. Salmon tartare was very good and plentiful. The house made chips were too salty, didn't care for them. The lamb chop was delicious and prepared perfectly. Very nice dinner and relaxed atmosphere.
- Great drinks, fine foodRachelDined on 2/14/2014The cocktail, whiskey, and wine lists were excellent and we really enjoyed our drinks. The food was just alright, tending to be over-spiced so you couldn't taste the actual fish (too much dill on the salmon, too much strong sauce on the shrimp). The scallops were very good. The dessert that came with the prix fixe was just two small chocolate strawberries each. It was still enjoyable and service was good, but I wouldn't recommend for a date night.Special Features:
- The food was great, both inSABCDined on 2/1/2014The food was great, both in presentation and flavor. Service was good without being overly attentive. Will definitely be going back. My only criticism is that the decor is lacking.Special Features:
- Expected betterPollyDined on 1/30/2014Ate during restaurant week. First courses were fine; fish course was not: seared salmon was overlooked and rock fish was way undercooked. Server must have been new. Didn't notice uneaten food nor react to kindly offered feedback. Knew to expect noise but not great if one was expecting a lot of conversation.Special Features:
- pretty good - during restaurant weetboneDined on 1/30/2014Went during restaurant week so could have been off their game a bit. Good dinner items, well-prepared but nothing too special. Had salmon on ravioli and the ravioli wasn't al dente, it was not cooked. almost crunchy. Salmon well-prepared if unspectacular. One exception was hand-made chips with crab dip and pimiento cheese, and that was really tasty. Lovely, helpful hostess who seated us early (we arrived early to have a drink and said we'd be happy to sit down earlier if it was available); decent if very unanimated server. Not impolite, just detached. Overall a good dinner but nothing to write home about.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Use the phone for reservations!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 1/27/2014The experience was delightful and one worth repeating! However, I was disappointed with my reservation through Open Table. I wanted to book a 6:30 p.m. reservation for a Monday night. Open Table said the earliest possible reservation was 7 p.m. When we arrived at 6:50, there were several open booths available.Special Features:
- Good food and very friendlyTBManningVIPDined on 1/18/2014Good food and very friendly service. The cheddar and thyme and biscuits were excellent!Special Features:
- Great Raw BarjmccauesqDined on 1/18/2014We enjoyed the Mahi Mahi and Blackened Red Snapper. The raw oysters were excellent. Good service, too!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for Seafood!SunsoulVIPDined on 12/31/2013Energetic New Years Eve atmosphere! AWESOME seafood. We had mussels, oysters, calamari and crab legs. YUM! The only reason for the "Good" rating on Service was because of the amount of people there that night - the kitchen was hopping. Great drinks. Great fun.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- NYE DinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 12/31/2013Had the trout. Way too sweet and carrots were undercooked. Menu was limited due to NYE so chef should have been on point due to limited options. Tried the scallops. Overcooked and some sand. Desert was even worse. I have been here before and the food was great but this time was a complete miss. Proteins were drenched in overseasoned sauces.Special Features:
- Always a good choice...FrancesDined on 11/27/2013We have been several times and had wonderful meals. This visit, the night before Thanksgiving, was the only misstep ever. They were out of Redfish, so we had the Rockfish on the Redfish set up. The Rockfish was excellent, blackened flavor just right. Not strong, but flavorful. But, the etouffe had absolutely no flavor. Not heat, salt, fish, nothing. It was a good broth, the rice, vegetables, and peas good, but no flavor. We still had a terrific night and will return. The waitress, Alicia, was the best.Special Features:
- great seafoodlovefood2Dined on 11/16/2013Great seafood, excellent service, and great vibe. Probably not a "family" restaurant, but a great dinner spot for a couple or small group.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wish it was betterEarlydinerDined on 11/8/2013I've eaten here several times in the past. The service has always just been average, but the food was good. However, this time it wasn't. There were three in my party and we arrived at 6:00pm. We had the fried oysters appetizer, they were very greasy, but tasted ok. Next we had the shrimp and grits, crabcakes, and salmon special. Two of the entrees were served barely above room temp and were cold before we could finish (shrimp/grits, crabcakes). They were not good in taste or temp! The salmon with fried brussel sprouts was superior to the other two dishes. There are many good choices for dinner on the downtown mall; i'll choose somewhere else next time.Special Features: