BlackStone Restaurant & Bar
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Taps: 10 / Bottles: 40
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 5 | Reviews: 2 | Display Reviews Only:
4.13/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
Blackstone has become an east side institution since it opened. It has been voted the best bar by Press-Citizen readers at least two years running. It is a nice place, but having eaten there a handful of times the allure escapes me. However, I had never been there solely for the bar experience, so a buddy and I decided to have a couple drinks there the other night.
Be warned: parking, though barely adequate, is haphazard. Blackstone has been shoehorned into a small, new development and no one thought ahead when planning the streets and parking. Parking is available on narrow Middlebury Road, on spaces provided along Westbury (some of which are obviously an afterthought), and in a small lot along Scott, from which I do not think there is a convenient entrance to Blackstone. Somehow, it all works out.
In a t-shirt, jeans, and running shoes — typical bar attire for me — I always feel like I am underdressed at Blackstone. It is a chic and classy joint with a hip décor, and fellow patrons always seem to fit well into that look (unlike a casual bum like myself). It is kind of like the bar for people who graduated from the skuzz-holes downtown but still want to do their weekend strutting. Instead of being business majors, they have business degrees. Everyone is welcome, though, and it was easy to find a place in the bar area. The restaurant — which is well separated from the bar — is usually very crowded.
The service was very good; a waitress was at our table the moment we sat. A drink menu was at the table but it did not list the prices. Blackstone has five regular taplines, three of which are dedicated to the usual macro fare; the two others, on my trip, were for John’s White Ale and Bell’s Two Hearted Ale. There are also five rotating taps, and our waitress had a hard time remembering what they were (she told me John’s White was among them). The bottled beer selection is very good and everything is listed by style. I drank a John’s White ($4) and Rogue Chocolate Stout ($6).
The bar is nice and the food is good, but I would much rather go there to eat than drink.
02-14-2012 15:38:07 | More by TheQuietMan22
3.4/5 rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Blackstone Bar and Restaurant was the only bar in Eastern Iowa to receive Sierra Nevada Hoptimum in early 2011. Well I stumbled upon their twitter feed one day, and learned of this so Emily and I drove out there to enjoy some hop goodness. How they were the ones to get this beer, I honestly do not know.
Their overall selection is a little above average, with some decent taps (Rogue Chocolate Stout, Bells Two Hearted), and a decent bottled selection. The Hoptimum on tap was great, of course.
The atmosphere was...odd. It seemed like they wanted to go for the upper class dining crowd (judging by the menu), yet had some loud music and many televisions scattered among the bar.
The service was good. Their were plenty of bar tenders and people working to keep the bar stocked and running smooth.
We tried the tuna app and it was wonderful. The dude next to us was raving about his calamari. I would recommend this place for a good beer and a great app/dinner. Lil off the beaten track, but worth the drive.
02-22-2011 04:09:47 | More by MarcatGSB
BlackStone Restaurant & Bar in Iowa City, IA
- out of 100 based on 5 ratings.