Blue Paddle Bistro

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What we ordered:

  • Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with bacon lardons, garden chives, and bourbon honey balsamic glaze – $10
    • These Brussels sprouts were amazing. Just the right amount of tang from the balsamic glaze, lots of great bacon flavor, but still able to taste the Brussels sprouts themselves as well. If you have read our review of Hatchet in Richmond, these Brussels sprouts are very similar to those in theory and execution.
  • Creamy Corn Chowder – $8
    • It was just that. Creamy, tons of corn, thick, rich – there was no mistaking this for a corn soup.
  • Cider Brined VT Raised Pork Chop with bacon braised cabbage, potato mash, and a cider reduction – $30
    • The bone-in pork chops (there were two!) were very juicy and flavorful, not to mention tender. We ate with compostable silverware, and we had no problems cutting the meat with the flimsy knife! The bacon braised cabbage had a very good bacon flavor, with a slight bitterness from the cabbage. Plus, the purple cabbage added a wonderful pop of color to an otherwise single-toned dish. The mashed potatoes were alright – nothing special, but certainly not bad. The crispy potatoes on top were actually sweet potatoes, which was a very interesting and well-executed idea!
  • 13 oz Ribeye with VT cheddar mashed potatoes, Caesar salad, and horseradish sauce – $34
    • While the Caesar salad was good, it wasn’t anything special. The mashed potatoes were the same as the ones that came with the Pork Chop entrée, but with a layer of melted cheddar over top of them. The ribeye was a very classic, well-seasoned ribeye, and the horseradish sauce was the perfect balance of spicy and creamy.

The Verdict

Overall, we believe that Blue Paddle is a great restaurant, but more of a casual dining experience than we would have expected for the price. We would liken it more to Hatchet than to Michael’s On The Hill or Hen of the Wood. The portions are very sizeable, so you definitely get your money’s worth, and perhaps the dine-in experience is more upscale, but due to the pandemic, we ordered takeout and can only judge the food alone. If we are back in the area, we would definitely go again (and maybe order less food!), but it certainly won’t be somewhere that we travel over an hour to get food from.

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