Donna and I went to newly opened Black Bass Hotel for our 24th Anniversary celebration dinner. The restaurant had a great reputation and the news of it’s recent opening had a good buzz going on in the foodie community. It even came up at the bar at Marsha Brown’s when Tricia and I visited there a week back. So we were pretty excited when we arrived. It was worth the buzz and the short trip up the Delaware River to Lumberville.
We started the evening off with two classic cocktails, the Singapore Sling for Donna and a Vodka Martini for me. Donna’s drink was nicely made althoughthe bartender had to look up the recipe. The sling was slightly fruity with the gin being covered by the Cherry Brandy and Benedictine. Nice job. My Vodka Martini was a classic, straight up ice cold and three olives.
Donna’s starter was the Baby Spinach Salad. It came with Bacon, Egg, Orange Segments, Sliced Red Onion, Mushrooms, and Candied Walnuts with a Honey Mustard Dressing. Donna found the salad to be well presented and the veggies fresh and crisp. The mix in textures was great as well with the hard boiled eggs, candied nuts and veggies. The salad was not over dressed so it was perfect.
For my appetizer, I went for Crayfish off the daily special menu. I was also looking at the Acadian Barbequed Shrimp but they came shell-on and I could only imagined getting my shirt covered in BBQ Shimp juices, so I went for pre-shelled Crayfish. It was a good choice. The sweet meat was well balanced against the slight heat from the broth. I was impressed by the amount of crayfish I got and how tender each one was. It felt like I was back in New Orlean’s again. Very nice appetizer.
Donna went for the Grilled Dry Aged New York Strip. It was served with compound Garlic Herb Butter, Stag’s Leap Merlot Demi-Glace, Mashed Potatoes and vegetables. Donna likes her steak Medium Well and the chef nailed the cooking. The Demi-Glace was delicious and matched well with the Prime Grade Steak. The unfortunate part was that the veggies and the mashed potatoes were cold. The hot Demi-Glace saved the day a bit by heating the veggies and potatoes. The steak was excellent but the rest of the dish could use some attention.
For my entree, I went for the signature dish of the Black Bass, the Charleston Meeting Street Crab. Lino, our excellent waiter, shared that this dish has been served at the Black Bass for at least 55 years. I can see why. It’s a simple delicious dish. Bascially a Crab au Gratin it was perfectly executed with Jumbo Lump Crab covered with a thick cheese sauce. The gratinwas broiled giving the dish some nice texture and flavour in the sauce. My dish suffered from the same cold veggies that Donna had but the gratin was hot enough to heat them to a good temperature so just mixing them together worked for me. The rice was perfectly cooked and matched well with the gratin and crab. It was a well executed dish with nice flavours and textures.
For dessert, I convinced Donna to try Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream and I went for the Rice Pudding. The restaurant-made ice cream was smooth and tasting very much like cherry cheesecake. It was very nice. Lino snagged us some Guinness Ice Cream as a sample. At first that tasted like coffee ice cream but as the ice cream warmed the flavour changed and you could taste the Guiness flavour. It was very interesting and very good.
Lino presented my Arborio Rice Pudding complete with a Candle to celebrate our annivarsary. The classic rice pudding was served with with Rum Soaked Golden Raisins, Whipped Cream and a Rasberry Coulis. The rice was perfectly cooked but had been around a while that it start to glomb together a little too much. The addition of the raisins and strawberry gave the dish some interesting textures and different flavours. The candle was a nice touch on this great dessert. Thanks Lino.
Net-net it was a great meal and appropriate for celebrating our 24th anniversary. The Black Bass is Back! Go and enjoy yourself.
Black Bass Hotel 3774 River Road | Lumberville, PA 18933 215-297-9260