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Blue Point Grill, Alexandria - Blue Up.


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Anyone been to Blue Point recently?

I've been once for drinks/apps and that was pre-Balducci's. It's just one of those (many) Alexandria places that I don't have any great desire to check out. I have friends who love it...

Anyone around here have experience (good, bad, or otherwise) dining there?

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Anyone been to Blue Point recently?

I've been once for drinks/apps and that was pre-Balducci's.  It's just one of those (many) Alexandria places that I don't have any great desire to check out.  I have friends who love it...

Anyone around here have experience (good, bad, or otherwise) dining there?

We've had some really good seafood there, both in the Glutton Place and in the Balducci reigns. I think the seafood is better now that Balducci's owns it, but the service was a tad better when it was Glutton Place. Of course, we always ask for (and get) the same waitperson (whatever happened to waiter/waitress?) everytime and she takes really good care of us.

Generally they have 4 or 5 different types of oysters, a couple of fresh fish specials and beef for those who don't want fish...personally, we've always eaten fish and it's always been good.

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My +1 and I had lunch there Memorial Day weekend, 2004. That's probably too long ago for a reference point, but it was one of the single worst meals of our lives, both in service and in food (I still remember what I had and what was wrong with it). We had been there for dinner a few years earlier, and kind of enjoyed it.

Maybe a holiday weekend was a bad time to go.

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We've had some really good seafood there, both in the Glutton Place and in the Balducci reigns.  I think the seafood is better now that Balducci's owns it, but the service was a tad better when it was Glutton Place.  Of course, we always ask for (and get) the same waitperson (whatever happened to waiter/waitress?) everytime and she takes really good care of us.

Generally they have 4 or 5 different types of oysters, a couple of fresh fish specials and beef for those who don't want fish...personally, we've always eaten fish and it's always been good.

I am not sure that I am following this, Sutton Place bought Balducci's several years ago, and changed their name, not the other way around.
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I am not sure that I am following this, Sutton Place bought Balducci's several years ago, and changed their name, not the other way around.

I'm pretty sure it's the other way around. Balducci's is a grocery chain based somewhere up there in the frozen north (Brooklyn, I think). Glutton Place was a local, 2 or 3 store, grocer/restaruanter.

From the Balducci's website:

Balducci's was founded as a fruit-and-vegetable stand in Brooklyn in 1915 by a young immigrant from Bari, Italy named Louis "Pop" Balducci. Balducci's quickly acquired an outstanding reputation throughout New York. In 1946, Pop and his son Andy opened their first retail store in Greenwich Village; this expanded, department by department, until they finally opened a new store on 9th Street that would become known as the food mecca in New York. Balducci's merged with Sutton Place Gourmet and Hay Day in 1999. The Greenwich Village store remained in operation until 2003.

So, I guess you could look at it either way, but I'd say from the company "history", Balducci's was the eater and Glutton Place was the eatee...

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I'm pretty sure it's the other way around.  Balducci's is a grocery chain based somewhere up there in the frozen north (Brooklyn, I think).  Glutton Place was a local, 2 or 3 store, grocer/restaruanter.

Sotton Place bought Balducci's and then took their name. They have a new chef who I was told was "pretty good" but after an abysmal lunch for three I chose not to return for dinner. They had hired a Consultant who I was told ate everywhere in Old Town (poor bastards) and made a plethora of changes to their menu but still left some of the old standbys. The Bar went NON-SMOKING which is a big plus in Tobacco Country. The bar remains a favorite in town if the regulars can get over leaving their butts at home!

They re-modeled the store and are very pleasant but the new Whole foods is going to give thema run for their money.

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I'm not sure why they would trade a strong regional name for one that was totally foreign to the area, but who am I to ask?

[Rant On] I agree that banning smoking in the bar was a great thing. Nothing worse than being a non-smoker and having to run that guantlet of stale, lung clogging smoke to get to your non-smoking table. I have the same problem with other restaurants who put their smoking sections at the front of the house by the door and expect non-smoking clients to wade through that stuff to get to their table. [Rant Off/]

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I'm not sure why they would trade a strong regional name for one that was totally foreign to the area, but who am I to ask? 

They could claim that they were founded by aliens, but that does not make it true. As for Sutton Place being a strong regional brand, it wasn't. The previous owners had made many mistakes, and it was a shell of what it had once been, plus they oversaw the closure of the final Balducci's. The new CEO was the founder of Fresh Fields (which was a much better store than Whole Foods could ever hope to be). You can find more about the name change at thiseGullet thread (the linked article is unavailable).

As for Blue Point, I have not been in many years, but the one memorable dish was a flat bread with caramelized onions and blue cheese. It was simple and but amazingly good.

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Not only that, but they closed the original store that the Balducci's name had made its reputation on.

There was quite an article about this (NY Times?) from what I remember. A number of my Manhattan friends weren't very happy about it either. I vaguely remember their 'store closing' sale and the angst it caused.

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They could claim that they were founded by aliens, but that does not make it true.  As for Sutton Place being a strong regional brand, it wasn't.  The previous owners had made many mistakes, and it was a shell of what it had once been, plus they oversaw the closure of the final Balducci's.  The new CEO was the founder of Fresh Fields (which was a much better store than Whole Foods could ever hope to be).  You can find more about the name change at thiseGullet thread (the linked article is unavailable).

As for Blue Point, I have not been in many years, but the one memorable dish was a flat bread with caramelized onions and blue cheese.  It was simple and but amazingly good.

When I think about it, I realize that I stopped going to Sutton Place/Balducci's about the time that Trader Joe's opened their first store in the area. It was an okay place to pick up English clotted cream or the occassional bottle of wine (and take out dinners now and then) but we never did any serious grocery shopping there.

Blue Point had/has some great PEI oysters on the menu, a really good (and very simple) Swordfish steak and some really good bread. I'd say that most of my meals there have been good but not outstanding (as you can see, not overly memorable either).

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Actually it has been open only 13 years. As I have an inside source at Balducci's, It was the owner, who decided it was time to shut the restaurant, as it was not in keeping with the direction the stores wanted to go in. On a side note, Balducci's in general is going through a major reorganization/cutting of non essential service staff and non profitable areas of spending. The Old Town store is being hit especially hard due to Whole Foods, and the New Mexico store's longeveity is in question. The openinn of the Penn Quarter/7th street store is still green lighted(been wanted to use that term for a while) :)

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