24 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Rating: 2 silver spoons out of 5
Overview: Another tenant behind the firehouse in Bryn Mawr, another uneven experience. Blush certainly has the potential to be decent, but a first look shows flawed cuisine and service.
Food: A surprisingly large, varied continental menu that offers a little something for everyone. For appetizers, we tried the Sweet Potato stuffed Ravioli ($8) served with Prosciutto and Sage Cream Sauce then topped with Brown Butter, which wasn’t bad but failed to overwhelm. It was tasty, but the sauce was a bit too heavy. The Duck Quesadilla ($10) was also palatable, although I think I enjoyed the one I had recently at World Cafe Live more (which shouldn’t be at Blush’s level).
For entrees, the Ancho chili crusted rib eye ($30), served atop avocado rice with sautéed sofrito vegetables and finished with a chipolte demi glace, was pretty disappointing. The steak was tough and less flavorful than I would have hoped, and neither the ancho chili or chipolte added much flavor (nor did the bland rice). For the price I would have expected something better. The Plancha seared halibut ($27) served with a fried shirimp & zucchini blossom over veggie risotto in a melted tomato sauce was decent, but it was not served as described on the menu (or by the waitress), creating a poor experience for us.
Our favorite entree was the Pan seared sesame crusted tuna ($25), served with sun-dried tomato mashed potatoes, marinated portabella mushroom and finished with cilantro cream and a chile aioli. The mushroom was kind of thrown on the plate haphazardly, but otherwise this was a tasty dish.
We ordered the Slow Roasted Salmon as well, but for some reason another Tuna was served to the person who ordered it.
Service: Our experience with Blush’s service was flat out poor. As I just mentioned, one member of our table was not even served the entree that he ordered. The waitress was barely apologetic when we pointed out this mistake. Earlier, my inquiry about what “melted” tomato sauce was was laughed off by the server (perhaps she was unable to describe it properly?), as if my seriousness about the food was ingenuine. We were in good spirits that night, celebrating and laughing (at least at the beginning), but I take my food seriously and expect serious answers when I ask about the makeup of an entree, especially at these prices.
One of the entrees was not described correctly on the menu or by the waitress, creating a problem for one of the people in our party. It is unacceptable to leave ingredients off the menu and not describe plates as they come to the table. (It should be noted that we did not pay for this item).
Of course, we were offered free dessert after this comedy of errors. And of course, we didn’t want dessert — we wanted to go home! I will never understand the customer service decision to prolong a bad experience for people. Just admit your mistake and offer to comp the offending meals! Making me stay is only going to make me dislike your restaurant even more!
Bar: Like everything else at Blush, wine is not cheap, but they had a few reasonable values. I’d recommend the Cline Zinfandel for $30 as a nice low-range selection.
Ambiance: Housed in the same room/layout as Bianca, the one thing Blush has going for it is a very nice veranda upstairs. The view is just the parking lot, but the area has a tuscan feel and is one of the better outdoor spaces in the area.
Value: Blush is pretty darn expensive, with entrees in the upper 20s and low 30s. Normally for that price, especially at a restaurant with a full bar, one might expect some pretty spectacular food. At Blush, however, the food is merely decent and the service is poor… hardly a good value.
# of times we’ve eaten there: 1
Reservations: Yes (OpenTable)
Cards: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Hours: Lunch: Monday – Saturday: 11:30am – 3:00pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday – Saturday: 5:00pm – 11:00pm, Sunday: 4:00pm – 9:00pm
Sunday Brunch: 10:30am – 2:30pm