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Blacksmith


Coast Mountains along the Torres Channel

Hidden away in downtown Bend at Bond and Mississippi is Blacksmith, formerly one of Conde Nast Traveler's best new restaurants in the world.  We had noticed Blacksmith last time in Bend, and it looked nice - we were eager to try it.  It was a Saturday night in January, and we didn't call for reservations until that afternoon.  When we called, we were told that there were no tables open until 8:45 PM.  That was later than we wanted, so we parted ways.  We talked for a moment, and decided what the heck - we wanted to try.  When we called back for reservations, now all of a sudden they were full all night long, and even the bar was full all night.  Disappointed, we decided to just go into town and find somewhere else to eat.

We found a place to park, and as we walked toward Staccato at the Firehall, one of our favorite restaurants in town, we happened to pass by Blacksmith and noticed that there were several open tables in the bar.  On a whim, we went in and asked if there was any room for us.  "No problem" and we were seated in the bar.  Hmmm....   Well, we were happy we would get to try Blacksmith.

They were already out of their popular appetizers - Dungeness Crab corn dogs and Mussels - which was disappointing.  We ordered a martini and a vodka tonic to drink while we looked over the menu, which the server promptly brought.  The martini was excellent, but the vodka tonic was flat and undrinkable.  When the server came, we told him about it, and instead of pleasantly offering to bring us another one, he argued and told us he had just changed the soda water yesterday.  Ok, we said, how about trying a Vodka Collins?  He begrudgingly brought that, which was terrible as well, neither of us could drink it.  When he asked if it was better, we tried to be nice, but said it too was flat.  He told me that it was just me, and walked off.

The rest of the night after that, the server wouldn't so much as look at me, or talk to me.  The vodka collins sat in its place on the table the entire rest of the night - he never did take it.  We ordered the Chichen and Waffles for an appetizer (which was actually quail), and asked to share the Lamb, along with a glass of wine each.  When the entree came (we had asked to share the lamb), he placed it in front of Sandra without any other plate, and walked off without a word.  She called him back and asked for another plate and for the wine we had o

What we liked:  Fireplace, Jazz Ambience, Personally met by chef, Exceptional food, Introductory Glass of Champagne, unusual offerings, excellent service, open on Sundays and Mondays when nobody else in town is, place settings and tables, four entrees to choose from, friendly and knowledgeable server, complimentary appetizer.

What we didn't:  The sauces didn't stand out, and the mashed potatoes were too thick.  It would have been nicer if our two entrees weren't prepared the same way with the same sides.

Our Recommendation:  Our favorite restaurant in Bend - and that's saying something!  Great place for a special occasion.  Go on Mondays to hear live Jazz.  A real treasure.

Reservations:  Recommended on the weekends.

Entree Prices: Four course fixed price menu $49.00 per person.  With three glasses of wine between us, appetizer, soup, salad, champagne, entree and dessert, the total damage was $122.00 for two.

More Information:

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