Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar

Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://bluelightgrill.com/
  • Phone: 4342951223x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner

    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 stacy@bluelightgrill.com 4342951223x
  • Entertainment: DJs, Televisions, people watching

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 2nd Street
  • Public Transit: trolley - CAT (downtown mall)
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: We validate two hours of parking in both the Water Street and Market Street covered garages.
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
21 reviews since May 6, 2014
Overall Rating3.9
  • Food3.8
    Service3.9
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
72% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (7)great for outdoor dining (7)special occasion (7)good for groups (6)vibrant bar scene (6)hot spot (4)late-night find (3)neighborhood gem (3)notable wine list (2)kid-friendly (2)romantic (1)great for brunch (1)great for lunch (1)Show More
  • nice evening dining
    samantha
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good food, good service
    AFNoles
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Wife 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:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • So disappointed
    LaTrex
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    We 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:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Tried and True
    ChefMama
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    I 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:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A restaurant-week treat.
    GoodSoutherncookin
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Restaurant 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:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week standout
    Ladieswhodine
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    friends 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:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We're All Aglow!
    agratefulcook
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    C'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:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Could have been an off night
    abc123
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Food 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:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Restaurant week disappointment
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Raw oysters were ok
    EpiskyVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oysters!
    SunsoulVIP
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    We 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:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food and Atmospere
    MsAdventure01
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Fresh seafood, fried oysters are fabulous and overall atmosphere festive and fun.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • wonderful experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    The food and service was very good. My wife and I were very pleased with our experience there. I would highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 8 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 6, 2014
    • Overall Rating3.8
    • Food3.6
    • Ambiance3.5
    • Service3.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 75 reviews are from the Blue Light Grill & Raw Bar reviews archive.
  • Small portions, Fair Service
    dobber
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We 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:
    Good for Groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New Favorite Every Time
    mark10review
    Dined on 3/29/2014
    This 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:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place to eat on Mall
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Disappointed 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:
    vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Blue Light
    lizzie
    Dined on 3/16/2014
    My daughter and I had crab cakes that were very good. Also the cosmopolitan was tasty. Our waitress was very nice and attentive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious raw oysters
    thefoodxpertVIP
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • valentine weekend
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    The 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:
    hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food but poor service/drinks
    yum13
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, romantic, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Went with my daughter on Valentines
    FoodiegirlVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Went 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great drinks, fine food
    Rachel
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    The 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:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was great, both in
    SABC
    Dined on 2/1/2014
    The 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:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Expected better
    Polly
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    Ate 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:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • pretty good - during restaurant wee
    tbone
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    Went 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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Use the phone for reservations!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 1/27/2014
    The 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:
    great for brunch, notable wine list, hot spot, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food and very friendly
    TBManningVIP
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    Good food and very friendly service. The cheddar and thyme and biscuits were excellent!
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Raw Bar
    jmccauesq
    Dined on 1/18/2014
    We enjoyed the Mahi Mahi and Blackened Red Snapper. The raw oysters were excellent. Good service, too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for Seafood!
    SunsoulVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Energetic 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:
    vibrant bar scene, romantic, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • NYE Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    Had 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:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a good choice...
    Frances
    Dined on 11/27/2013
    We 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:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great seafood
    lovefood2
    Dined on 11/16/2013
    Great seafood, excellent service, and great vibe. Probably not a "family" restaurant, but a great dinner spot for a couple or small group.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wish it was better
    Earlydiner
    Dined on 11/8/2013
    I'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:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food mediocre service
    Maggie
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    Took a group in for the football game from out of town. The food, as always, was very good. The service was minimal at best. While orders were taken the y rarely checked in to see if we needed anything. The steamed clams came with stale crackers and no butter but there was no server in sight to ask for help. Generally we like Blue Light but they need to add some servers that actually check in with the customer.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Sea Food in Charlottesville
    TartarVIP
    Dined on 10/19/2013
    It was quite surprising and good to see a quality seafood restaurant in Charlottesville. Well done!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    Chartman12
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Really great seafood, competent service, nice selection of wine and beer. Would definitely go back and recommend to others.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was horrible
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 10/5/2013
    The food was not edible and the service was poor. Will not be going there again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great CVille food
    vbdiner
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    Our dinner was absolutely fresh and delicious! Our party of 6 was easily accommodated outside on the patio and our server was attentive. The crab cakes and salmon were a hit! We enjoyed the wine selection as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food and service were good;
    tkent1234VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2013
    Food and service were good; but, I thought that it was pricey compared to other spots with similar food and service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed.
    MistyRiverLadyVIP
    Dined on 8/12/2013
    Not our first time here, but what a bad experience. Bartender did an excellent job, but hostess and server were poor. We announced twice that our reservation was through Open Table and they did not note, so we received an email from Open Table noting it appeared we had not shown up. A very poor reflection on Blue Light. Our waiter asked us is we want to order an appetizer 10 minutes after he had put our appetizer order in, he knew nothing about the wine selections, and brought us an incorrect bill and was not over apologetic for doing so. Owner/managers do not provide contact info for communication. We enjoy the bar at Blue Light, but will probably not dine there again - too many other good options opening up in Charlottesville.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate