Blackfinn Restaurant Comes to St. Louis
Disclosure: I was invited to a media event for lunch. Additionally I received two Blackfinn drinking glasses. Opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
Blackfinn is a small cross country restaurant chain, with it’s newest location in St. Louis county. They’re bringing it in with lots of local appeal.
Divided and United
Blackfinn is 10,000 sq feet of restaurant and bar. Themed sections break up the space into four venues.
The Dining Room is the place for a quite dinner out for your friends or date. Dedicated booths for two are included along with tables for six.
Photographs line the walls. Each represents a local photographers take on a St. Louis icon. The Arch, Busch Stadium, and the waterfront are shown off.
The Grill Room is a bit more casual, including it’s own bar. Themed around boating and hunting, tables have lanterns and the seats are boating style material and colors. Hunting art hangs along the walls and the ceiling hangs small paddling boats. Each boat is an early 1900s original.
The Saloon is a Friday and sports night hangout. Dual sided bar, sports art and decorations, and numerous televisions make this a top line sports bar. A St. Louis touch is added with framed magazine covers of St. Louis sports heroes. Four hidden large projection screens can be dropped down for big games.
Blackfinn promises over 36 beers on tap. I noted Schlafly, Fat Tire, and even 312 at the taps. My favorite, Guinness, was included. The Grill Room and The Saloon both have bars though each has slightly different tap selections. Along with beer, wines and other spirits are provided.
Blackfinn opens with one of the largest menus in greater St. Louis. Boasting over 100 items, there are classic burgers and appetizers along side bacon wrapped meatloaf and Chilean Sea Bass. I tried the Queen City Chicken. Portioned into cutlets with a light bacon wrap, it was plated with asparagus and a pile of mashed sweet potatoes. Plating was simple but neat and the mix of flavors worked surprisingly well.
The starters took half a page on the menu and went beyond St. Louis standards. Including Asian Shrimp, Calamari, and more, Toasted Ravioli is found as well. In my opinion though, this eclectic spread might not fair well in this region. Also, singling out toasted ravioli will mean they need to step up the game there.
Main menu entries include chicken, steak, and fish choices. The bacon wrapped meatloaf is a signature dish as well. I found the choices overwhelming though, and vegetarian or gluten-free dishes were not clearly marked. Several salads were offered though again, not marked as veggie safe.
Wait staff did seem familiar with all the menu items we asked about and were able to make solid suggestions.
For the St. Louis geek
Large tap selection is just a part of a great hangout. The owners wanted to draw in the geeks as well. It’s all about wi-fi and outlets.
The restaurant will provide free wi-fi with The Grill Room sporting outlets both at the bar and at each booth. Couple this with the comfortable atmosphere, local brews, and that plate of toasted ravs and I might hang out here to work, um, play.
Not yet ready for prime time
There are unfinished bits to Blackfinn. The Patio was not completed at my visit, nor was the meeting and conference area below. Housing 10,000 sq feet of restaurant and bar on the main floor, beneath will be another 10,000 sq feet of meeting area. It will be broken up into various size areas, sound and video equipment will be provided, though no kitchen is in the works at this time.
Blackfinn staff I spoke with were locally recruited. One bartender was pleased at the step up to the Blackfinn bar. Another expressed confidence and comfort with coworkers and the restaurant.
Music was playing in all sections. No smoking is allowed inside. It’s a large floor plan with a fair amount and variety of seating. The menu is not specific to each section; all choices are available regardless. Price wise it won’t break the bank though it’s pricier than most casual dining spots in the area.
Will I visit again?
Yes. It’s an a solid addition to the neighborhood. The appeal to St. Louis area will be chiefly in the beer and venue choices being in one place. Outlets and wi-fi are strong plusses as well.