is a well hidden treasure in the woods of Wading River. The Great Rock Golf Club provides the backdrop for this restaurant that could be one of the best on the North Fork. This reporter could have chosen any venue on the dining scene but this well seasoned restaurant always is the first that comes to mind when a special event needs to be celebrated.
Ambiance: The deeply carved Blackwells sign signals the turning place off of the North Road. A covered portico and double French doors open to reveal a grand waiting room with an enclosed bar on the right and the dining room directly ahead. The windows overlook a pond and golf greens that defy description in their state of refinement. The plush seating and richly draped window dressing are echoed in the saxony carpet gridded area rugs.
Wine is the theme, if there truly is one and the handcrafted cabinetry that lines the walls house a remarkable collection of wines from far and near. The music doesn’t overwhelm, but had had hoped for instrumental rather than vocal accompaniment to the meal. Table conversation could take center stage. The china is acceptable but not sensational and a bit of pizazz in that area couldn’t hurt.
The Dinner: Blackwells offers a price fixed dinner at two different prices on Sunday through Thursday, before 5:30 p.m. the cost is $19.95. After 5:30 p.m. the same dinner will cost $24.95. Friday through Saturday the price goes to $29.95.
The meal began with warm rolls and crunchy-edged corn bread. We selected an Australian wine, Pink by Yellow Glen and from beginning to end found it was a perfect complement to our dinner. We chose to start our evening with seafood chowder that Warren raved about. He commented that it was served piping hot and was chock full of tidbits from the sea; fresh and tender. My caesar salad was a bit heavy on the dressing, but the lettuce was crisp and the cheese, abundant. The main course was pan-seared salmon served with roasted corn salsa and warm basil cream. Sometimes a critical fish eater, Warren found it to be pleasantly seasoned and I thought it to be an exquisite plating. My Delmonico steak in a wine reduction, was served with roasted potatoes that were a surprise, having been hidden beneath the featured item with well flavored, garlic broccoli on the side.
Dessert: The grand finale was the Belgian chocolate torte and tiramisu. After tasting one another’s choices, we couldn’t decide which we liked best. The portions were overly generous and I only wished that I could have reserved some room to be able to leave an empty plate. That proved impossibility. The chocolate was a superb quality and the torte was light and not overly sweet. Tiramisu is one of my favorites and this one ranks among the top. It was light and mildly sweet with a creamy interior layer that beckoned to be indulged.
The Verdict: We’ll be back.
Blackwells is located at 141 Fairway Drive in Wading River. Call 631-929-1800.