Brunch in style at Blue­wa­ter Grille

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - DINING - BY CHRIS ZELK STAFF WRITER Con­tact Chris Zelk at 757-6244 or czelk@times­freep­ress.com

Blue­wa­ter Grille has been a down­town Chat­tanooga fa­vorite for years. Sit­u­ated a few blocks from the Ten­nessee Aquar­ium and the Ten­nessee River, the eatery, known for its steaks and seafood, has gar­nered a con­sis­tent rep­u­ta­tion for fine din­ing in a cool, ca­sual at­mos­phere. This is very much the case on Satur­days and Sun­days when Blue­wa­ter rolls out a spe­cial brunch menu high­light­ing old fa­vorites and some imag­i­na­tive vari­a­tions to change things up.

THE SPACE

Step­ping through the re­volv­ing door on Broad Street, din­ers are greeted by a cir­cu­lar bar and lounge area to the right, which gives way to an el­e­vated din­ing room and then pri­vate din­ing rooms down a hall­way to­ward the back. The main din­ing room ex­udes an air of sim­ple el­e­gance. Re­cessed light­ing il­lu­mi­nates dark hard­wood floors and ex­posed brick walls adorned with mar­itime-themed art. A pair of large, col­ored glass lamps breaks up the space.

Unique to Sun­day’s brunch, Blue­wa­ter of­fers live jazz, which sounded great and cre­ated the per­fect back­drop on this visit.

THE FOOD

Af­ter or­der­ing a mi­mosa ($2) and pe­rus­ing some half-dozen food choices, I set­tled on the Steak & Eggs ($19), while my friend and oc­ca­sional din­ing com­pan­ion, Travis, opted to or­der off the a la carte menu, choos­ing an English muf­fin ($2), Cana­dian ba­con ($ 2), fried eggs ($ 3) and brunch pota­toes ($3). Bl u e wate r ’ s Steak & Eggs con­sists of a 10-ounce, cen­ter-cut filet seared and broiled. It’s then topped with two fried eggs and served with gar­lic cherry toma­toes, avo­cado slices and brunch pota­toes. And it’s de­li­cious.

The steak was pre­pared just as I re­quested and ar­rived moist and full of fla­vor. The gar­lic toma­toes also added a lot to the expe- ri­ence. Al­though I ar­rived hun­gry, this dish was more sub­stan­tial than I felt like fin­ish­ing at one sit­ting.

Travis re­marked that the brunch staples he or­dered were fresh and tasty.

Other dishes on the Blue­wa­ter brunch menu in­clude Blue Crab Bene­dict ($13), Chicken & Waf­fles ($14), Veg­gie Omelet ($11) and Ap­ple Pie French Toast ($14).

I or­dered the french toast on a pre­vi­ous visit a few months back and found it scrump­tious, al­though some­what akin to eat­ing an en­tree- sized dessert, as it’s very sweet. They pre­pare it with lo­cally made Niedlov’s brioche bread and top with cinna- mon-whiskey ap­ple com­pote, spiced pecans and co­conut whipped cream. It was good enough last time that I was torn be­tween or­der­ing that again or try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent.

In ad­di­tion to $2 mi­mosas, Blue­wa­ter also of­fers a Bloody Mary bar for $5 dur­ing brunch.

THE SER­VICE

Our server, Jonathan, pro­vided top- notch ser­vice, even as sev­eral large groups seated around us kept him and the other wait staff busy. Ev­ery­thing was served in a timely man­ner.

THE VER­DICT

I have never had a bad din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at Blue­wa­ter Grille. This visit re­minded me that, al­though I’m all for try­ing new places and do so fairly often, it’s good to have a tried-and-true standby.

STAFF PHOTO BY CHRIS ZELK

Steak & Eggs, fore­ground, from Blue­wa­ter Grille’s brunch menu fea­tures a 10-ounce, cen­ter-cut filet topped with two fried eggs and served with gar­lic cherry toma­toes, sliced avo­cado and brunch pota­toes. In back are a la carte menu items Cana­dian ba­con, English muf­fin, brunch pota­toes and eggs.

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