Blackfish, Conshohocken

June 17th, 2007

119 Fayette St
Conshohocken, PA 19428
610-397-0888

Overall: Trendy, creative Conshohocken BYOB with loads of potential. Unfortunately, the cuisine and execution at Blackfish are too inconsistent to rate it among the area’s finest.

Food: Creative Modern American fare with a focus on seafood. Everything started brilliantly during our first visit to Blackfish. Wonderful whole wheat rolls paired beautifully with extra virgin olive oil and whole olives. The Risotto of the day — Arancini, a Sicilian favorite of breaded, fried rice balls, paired with a red wine reduction dipping sauce ($9) — was excellent. We also tried the Parmesan “panna cotta” (a custard-like substance) with pickled ramps and roasted ruby beets ($9), which was a bit different but also quite tasty. Veal agnolotti, served in a crispy sage brown butter sauce with a wonderfully pungent Parmesan cheese topping ($12), however, was the starter that caused fork fights to the very last bite at our table.

By now, we could not wait to recieve our entrees; we had selected the wild striped bass with asparagus and trumpet mushrooms in a curry emulsion ($28) and a strip steak special served with sweet shallots and trumpet mushrooms in a bordelaise sauce ($36). Disappointingly, the second course could not nearly hold up to the previous one; not only did the dishes suffer from uninspiring flavor, every one delivered to our table was poorly executed. My fish was completely raw in the middle (I enjoy sushi, but this bass was so tough it could not be cut with a fork), so I sent it back. Others at my table who ordered the same dish were met with a similar fate, as the fish was neither cooked evenly nor completely. Even once I received a fully cooked filet, the dish itself did not inspire. The supposed curry emulsion offered no addition to the dish’s flavor, and the veggies were simple but boring. The steak, amazingly enough, was also undercooked (ordered medium rare). We’re not afraid of a nice red steak, but this was pushing the boundaries of rare. (Interestingly, a friend who visited Blackfish on a seperate occasion complained of the duck being badly undercooked before hearing our story… hmmm.) The steak otherwise was a fine dish, but was hardly worth the steep price tag.

The appetizers were good enough to convince us of dessert, so we tried the Vanilla Beignets with Spiced Anglaise ($7) and the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake ($7). Both were quite rich and tasty. (Although we prefer chocolate, the gleefully warm beignets were the winner that night.)

Ambiance: Far brighter than the previous Maya Bella, Blackfish ironically features stark white walls throughout. It is a busy, loud room, like any main street hot spot should be.

Service: The waitstaff was extremely friendly and helpful dispite the inadequacies of the kitchen. The chef did insist on re-cooking my entire dish (some at the table were finished eating when it arrived).

Value: The trend for upscale area BYOB is for the entrees to venture into the upper 20s and low 30s, and Blackfish certainly aims to live within that scale. The execution, however, needs to improve greatly to justify charging $36 for any entree. Creative, tantalizing menu descriptions are one thing, but true value only comes with the delivery of a well-created entree.

Details:
#of times we’ve eaten there: 1
Cards: Yes
Reservations: Yes, must reserve early (OpenTable)
Bar: BYOB
website: http://www.blackfishrestaurant.com/

23 Responses to “Blackfish, Conshohocken”

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  1. Joanne says:

    We went to this restaurant with three other couples and had a horrible experience. We were seated at a long table and conversation was difficult, particularly because it was extremely noisy. The food was expensive in addition to being quite mediocre with extremely small portions. The worst part was that when we thought we’d have some time to visit after we had paid our bill, the waiter actually requested that we leave, stating that others were waiting for our table. I would NEVER recommend this restaurant to others and will NEVER return. I can say nothing positive about it.

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    • Splabdo says:

      I can’t comment on the first few issues, but once you have paid your bill, it’s time to go. It’s quite rude to pay your bill and then just take up space that another customer could be using.

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  2. Bart says:

    BlackFish–STAY AWAY. A restaurant trying to be upscale except the service is horrible. We were truly forced to leave by the GM after ordering the 3 course dinner plus desert because we sat for 2 hours. They even removed the reservation from Open Table as they did not want us to post a negative review.

    I dine in some of the best restaurants in the world and have never experienced the horrible customer service as we experienced at this dining spot.

    We ordered in a timely fashion and eat in normal time. However, the GM wanted to seat more people and they demanded we get up.

    Stay away. Your nice evening will be ruined by a GM who only cares about over booking, than having a happy customer. You will regret going.

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  3. Horrible says:

    Food was well below average- I had four courses and so did my date. I tried them all. The bread was the best part. WAY over priced. They are putting old city prices on food that’s not even as good as decent pub grub. Don’t waste your money. I’ll never go back.

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  4. Joe McGinn says:

    Went once for lunch. 3 of us ordered burgers and it took over 45 minutes to get them. Will never go back.

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  5. Jeremy says:

    Recently had dinner at Blackfish with another couple and was very disappointed with the quality of the food. Three of us ordered the fish special and two were uncooked in the middle. Had to send them back. Portions were also EXTREMELY small and we are not big eaters. Good service but couldn’t overcome the food.

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  6. Marilyn Mehalick says:

    We were there for New Year’s Eve. The food was good, but not exceptional. The price was $75.00 a person, and the amount of food was minimal. Each of the four courses was very small. My entree was the scallops and there were only 2 scallops. One person in our group only half jokingly suggested a stop at McDonald’s on the way home.

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  7. Joe says:

    What a wonderful meal!!!! The place is great and the food is outstanding! I will be back .

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  8. Todd says:

    I am very surprised at the rave reviews of Blackfish. My wife and I went there and I had the signature dish. It was sub par and rather bland. My wife also was not satisfied with her meal. It was very cramped even for two slender folks like ourselves. Fayette Street Grille, Viggianos and Pepperconis are better Conshohocken options

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  9. Jamie says:

    We ate here last Saturday night and had one of the best meals of our lives… Each dish was executed beautifully and we only wished they offered a tasting menu. Order the smoked salmon appetizer with the poached egg flash fried in panko. We have tried to make it at home twice this week and can’t even come close.

    If only my husband had allowed me to order another egg for dessert that night…

    We’ll be back!

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  10. Carrie says:

    Had dinner there again about a week ago. The food was amazing but I have to agree, save room for dessert. I finally did this time and my husband and I left there on a sugar high after splitting 2 desserts. Really though I have to say that the service at this place is simply the best part. The servers are friendly and helpful, but not at all stiff and overly formal. Glasses are ALWAYS full, and plates are whisked away within a minute or two of when you finish. They should make all servers eat at Blackfish for training purposes, as the service I receive in the rest of Conshohocken is not at all on the same level. The only downside to the place is that it is a bit noisy when it’s full.

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  11. Josh says:

    We have dined here several times; just the 2 of us to 8 diners. It is usually very good but not great. The place is crowded and noisy but the waitstaff are excellent. The service is attentive but not overwhelming. The food is always good and sometimes very, very good. The specials are usally the best bet. The deserts are definately worth saving space. Overall this is a very good, not great, byob but worth the experience.

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  12. Trey says:

    Food here was WAY overrated. We went here recently and I had the signature blackfish and thought the presentation was hiding the quality. The tables are only about a foot a part so do not expect and ptivacy.

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  13. Robert says:

    Back recently for the third time. First with wine group of 8 for a pre fix menu (done very well) and last 2 times with a friend during a weeknight to kill a couple of good reds. My most recent experience was the best and overcame prior which was not up to snuff. Sat at a cramped table for two at the front. After that, everything uphill. Attentive and well trained staff. I particularly liked the person who took our order, provided extra wine glasses, olive oil, etc. Very professional. Food was very good and imaginative. Profiteroes (sp?)with choc. and caramel dipping sauces put those I’ve had in New Orleans to shame. A fine evening.

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  14. Lynn says:

    We have dined there three times, Amazing each time. The staff is ridiculously attentive, but not annoying, you never need to ask for anything, they pop up out of nowhere to ask you before you realize that you are low on, or missing something. The food was astounding, especially for Conshohocken, where some of the other allegedly “upscale” restaurants try to pass off their substandard creations as gourmet. The decor is simple and clean and the entire experience is worth the cost.

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  15. Jeff says:

    After reading some reviews on this site, we choose Black Fish rather than our usual Fayette Street Grille (which is excellent too).

    What a fantastic experience. From our very knowledgeable wait staff (specifically Ashley) to an incredible meal that was perfectly prepared. Well done Chip, you made the start of our night unforgettable.

    Thanks so much for bringing your restaurant to Conshohocken!

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  16. Matt says:

    Loud and cramped. Food was solid, but a bit unremarkable for the price point. Service was better than I would have expected from a few of our very young servers. Worth a try, but temper your expectations.

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  17. Karen says:

    I have eaten at Blackfish tons of times and every time it has been amazing. I would highly recommend it to anyone!

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  18. DAVID says:

    My wife and I have dined at Blackfish approximately 25 times and have received the most consistently excellent food available on the Mainline. Never have we received fish undercooked as described above. I might also point out that the Warm Molten Chocolate Cake is fully as good as the one at Jean Georges in New York. It was invented there some years ago and we were there at the time to taste it, so we ought to know. At $7 it is underpriced. This quality level for desserts in a BYO is very unusual. They cannot afford pastry chefs, so if a meal is going to disappoint, this is the area it is likely to do so.

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  19. JG says:

    I went to Blackfish with 2 others and all 3 of us were dissatisifed with our meals. I had the seabass with a raspberry emulsion and the “emulsion” part of the entree was awful. I had the scallop appetizer and that was the best part of the meal. My husband had the pork belly and just about got sick on the table; he usually loves this type of dish. I agree with the critic that Blackfish is over-priced! I will not go back.

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  20. Larry says:

    After a meticulous meal I was suprised to read your review. My service was very appropriate, attentive and personable. The food was creative, simple, fresh,
    and not contrived. I will definitely be back. Based on their first performance, I am expecting consistency.

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  21. hc says:

    I’m surprised to hear the inconsistent comment about Blackfish. We’ve eaten there twice now and the food (apps, entrees and desserts) have all been outstanding. We’ve had lamb, steak and chicken and none have ever been undercooked. The only semi-negative comment I have is that I wish the food didn’t come out so quickly. The whole dining experience there usually lasts less than an hour and a half (that’s with dessert and coffee!). That feels a little rushed to me…

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  22. [...] Blackfish, Conshohocken [Main Line Restaurnat Guide] Blackfish Restaurant [Official Site] Read More: Blackfish, Conshohocken, Montgomery County, Seafood [...]

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