We ate at the Black Iron Grill and Rotisserie on Saturday. At first, when walking in the atmosphere was great, the new building reminds you of an experience similar to Jakes or The Rex in Billings. The staff was all dressed very professional, and they said it would take 20 mins for a table, so we waited in the bar and ordered a bottle of wine. We got seated very quickly and it was definitely not a 20 minute wait. The waiter was very friendly and professional.
I was surprised the menu offering was so small... a lot of appetizers, 2 pasta dishes, a bird pie, a bbq platter, duck, 2 steaks, and a fish of the day...was what I remember exactly...there was probably another bbq choice and an over priced hamburger ($14 i think?) and a few other things I'm missing.
The 3 of us ordered the mac n cheese pasta, the BBQ platter (which was a mix of brisket, chicken, sausage, and ribs), and the Hawaiian fish of the day which was Ahi. We started out with a crab cake appetizer, which came very prompt and was very hot. The food comes out very fancy, plated very creatively for normal "Miles City" standards. The crab cake tasted good, although we only got 3 little balls of crab cake (which ended up being $2 for a bite). Our dinner also came out very promptly. But the expectation was not met. All 3 dishes were cold, the fish was coated in tarragon seed and was extremely over cooked...to the point it was like chewing on a tire. The BBQ platter was ice cold, and was sent back to be re-heated, and came back warmer, but not as hot as expected. The mac n cheese, was probably the best dish.
We then tried dessert, which we had 3 choices and picked a huckleberry spongecake. After getting the dessert, and eating it while searching for the spongecake in a mound of ice cream and huckleberry sauce, I asked the waiter what it was supposed to be again, and he said he thought there was supposed to be spongecake, but looks like it's just ice cream and sauce. It was very good ice cream and sauce though.
Overall, the atmosphere and professionalism of the staff was 5 star, the appetizer was good, the entree's were lacking, and the dessert was tasty--but not what we were expecting. The price is a little expensive, which I don't mind paying for if the food is amazing...amazing it was not...
I realize we were here on the 3rd day of opening, and I will give the food another chance...but it probably won't be a restaurant that I would eat at weekly.
my wife and I also ate at the Black Iron on Saturday night and our overall experience was similar to spacekase. I think I detect an attempt to be a Walkers or Jake's which work in Billings but might have trouble in Miles City. My thoughts are the menu items are too expensive, too limited choice, too upscale maybe. Prices are way too high. My wife had the fowl pie, I had the smallest portion they had of the barbecue platter and we shared a single serving of the chocolate cake and I had to study the wine list carefully to find a bottle I didn't feel I had to take out a bank loan for. The food was ok but not knock out great, which I frankly expected at the prices charged. And something just doesn't work when trying to be a fancy joint and the floor is painted concrete.
They have been cooking food there for a while now,and head chef is not from here and is from a colinary(spelling?) School! I have high hopes for the black iron but hope it dosent close the stage coach aka the rib and chop house!
Haven't ate there yet, but being a new place, there is bound to be some hiccups and whatnot.
My opinion is that I believe that things WILL get better as I have worked with the owners before and I am pretty sure they will do their best to be their best. Give them a copy of your report and they will take it seriously and will improve and fix whatever needs it.
Rule No. 1 of fine dining. NEVER go to a restaurant the first month it is open. I plan to check it out after the first of the year. It is probably priced more for the tourist trade than those of us in Miles City. We are mondo cheapo here in old Milestown. I've heard many people complain about serving size but rarely quality. Oh, it 'culinary.' As in Culinary Institute of America.
[This message has been edited by Amorette F. Allison (12/16/2013)]
In my eyes the first month would be when to dine there, considering that's when they want to make a good impression to keep customers coming back. I haven't eating there yet but I do plan on it, as I do love a good BBQ joint!!
In my experience, the first month everyone is just trying desperately to remember all the new stuff they learned. I always give them a chance to get the bugs out before I visit. I have never found being an early adopter to by the best plan.
I have visited the Black Iron twice--once for a company Christmas party and once as a special guest. Both times the food and service were excellent! I have absolutely no complaints about portion size. I thought everything was very plentiful.
The Christmas party was an appetizer buffet and was constantly being replenished with delicious ribs, wings, grilled shrimp cocktail, grilled foccacia with roasted red pepper hummus, a steak and potato and two desserts--a chocolate bite and a shortbread crust with lemon curd and raspberries. Both of the desserts were very artfully presented. Each item was unique compared to anything else I've had in town. No one should have gone away hungry.
At the special invitation event, I had the 20 ounce ribeye--yes, 20 ounces. It was delicious that night and the next evening. It was served with roasted vegetables (carrots, potatoes, turnips and parsnips), and the wedge salad. The servings were plentiful and again nicely presented. I was with five others and we all had food to take home. We did order two appetizers and it was plenty for the six of us--the crab cakes and the crab dip.
I, for one, love the atmosphere, the decor and the food. I can only imagine it will get better and I'm sure the owners are working hard to work out the kinks. The coffee and tea were presented in a French press to each individual--a very nice touch. I requested decaf and they didn't have any but were willing to pass the request on. I suspect they will have decaf on my next visit. Those with me said the coffee was good.
I'm happy it's not like everything else in town. I felt the prices met the quality of the service and the food. It's no different than what you would pay in Billings at Walker's, the Fieldhouse, Lilac or the Granary. I will definitely be back--soon!!
I look forward to trying this place out. I see a small menu as a sign that the chef wants to focus on producing stellar dishes each and every time. Sometimes a large menu can get out of control and the execution of each dish is lacking.
I agree with Amorrette that the first month is not a great time to visit a new place.
My husband and I went on Friday night and were very impressed! The atmosphere is welcoming and seemed very quiet, we could actually carry on a conversation! I ordered the sirloin and my hubby the rib-eye. My hubby being a big steak snob said his rib-eye was the best steak he's ever had! I loved my sirloin! I chose the baked potato as my side and it actually was roasted red potatoes instead of an actual baked potato, they were amazing with the pesto sauce the served them over! My daughter joined us later and ordered the hamburger, she said it was awesome! The fries were the small crispy ones which is a nice change verses the steak fries the other fancier restaurants serve. I was disappointed that my meal was so large that I wasn't able to try any of the desserts, the lemon bars I saw floating by looked delicious! There are some kinks that need to be worked out like any new business. I love the different variety of the menu but wish there was a few more choices, maybe they will add more as they go! Pete did an amazing job with the menu, tried switching things up a bit and tried not making it like the other restaurants in town! I look forward to the next time we dine there!
I do know that the booths are a tight fit, so, if you are an expansive person, I assume you should ask for a table. That was from someone who ate there and could barely get in and out of the booth and who was not, by any definition, a hefty type.
I notice on their website that their hours are "4pm to close." That's not very helpful, especially if a person is coming from out of town. I assume, once they have their routine down and know the market a little more, they'll establish more of a set schedule.
My family and I recently visited the black iron grill. We were welcomed in by friendly faces and quickly seated. After we sat at our table our server came and took our drink order. It seemed as though the bar drinks took a little bit of time to get but were fantastic once they arrived. Looking over the menu and trying to decide what to eat wasn't the easiest choice. None of the food items seemed to "jump out" at you. Once we did decide, we chose the miles city q, a ribeye steak, and the Mac n cheese. The steak was the best choice. I wouldn't recommend the miles city q and would not suggest the Mac n cheese (unless you really like Parmesan). The food on the Miles city q was decent at best. The ribs were very fatty and the chicken didn't have much flavor. The BBQ sauce served with it was the worst I have ever had.
For the prices of the food, I would have hoped for a better quality. $$$
Our service was O.K. She was friendly but made us feel very rushed. After receiving the meal she asked if we decided on dessert and when we replied with "we just got our food" she went and grabbed our check.
The building has a very nice appearance it the atmosphere seems nice, but being able to see into the server station and the cooks may not have been the best choice....you can really tell when things aren't running smoothly.
Finally got the opportunity to sit down with friends/family to a dinner at the Blackiron Grill last night.
We ordered: the chicken with steamed vegetables, the Macaroni and cheese, flatbread and meat/cheese plate appetizer, fowl pie, fries, the pesto, and numerous mixed drinks, pints, and a bottle of Moscato from the bar.
Seven of us sat down for the meal and everyone was more than pleased with their dish (and sampled from everyone else's plate). The portions were large enough that everyone went home with leftovers.
A few highlights (and notes):
- the House Salad was the best use of Brussels sprout I have ever tasted; unlike anything else any restaurant in Miles City is serving. The apricot cheese, squash, candied onions... all of it was perfectly balanced.
- the Muenster cheese and imported raspberry Parmesan on the cheese/meat tray was excellent (and most everyone at the table fought over it).
- the fries are made in-house, and again, were unlike any fries any other restaurant is serving locally.
- and that might really be the prime highlight for us: while we enjoyed the flavors of the familiar and some definitely new and unfamiliar; what made the evening was the opportunity to enjoy food that isn't usually available locally. All of the dishes were obviously prepared and crafted (definitely NOT standard Food Services dishes, or the pre-boxed Olive Garden spreads, nor the prepped food of Applebee's) in the kitchen. This was most definitely REAL FOOD, minimal preservatives, each dish made fresh at the time of order. The uniqueness and "real" quality was a big selling point for us.
[If I want a steak, I know which restaurant in town I prefer to cook that medium-rare steak; if I'm after soup I know where I'm going (hamburger-mac from the 600 or 4B's tomato); if I want garlic mashed potatoes, I'm off to the Rib & Chop House. I commend Blackiron for giving me numerous options that, up until now, were not available in Miles City.]
- the atmosphere was a definite plus. The restaurant was very full when we sat down, but laid out so we could still have great conversation without having to raise our voices. Further, if my spouse and I want a nice dinner where we can visit without yelling across the table and without the children, we will definitely be making a reservation. There are quite a few restaurants in town were it is nigh impossible to have pleasant conversation below a "Yell" in the dining area.
- and the desserts were rich, flavorful, and beautifully presented.
With seven different tastes at the table, we were all very pleased at the end of the meal (and looking forward to lunch leftovers today). Miles City's steakhouses and current restaurant offerings are great, and the Blackiron adds more menu selections to our existing options. Kudos for branching out!
[This message has been edited by Hannah Nash (12/27/2013)]
My wife often orders macaroni and cheese at restaurants, and is disappointed 9 times out of 10. Its that 1 time out of 10, when you get true baked mac-n-cheese, not boiled pasta in a cheese whiz sauce, that keeps her ordering it.
FWIW, we make Martha Stewart's macaroni and cheese recipe at home, which is probably better than 99 out of 100 restaurant mac-n-cheeses out there.
The mac n' cheese we enjoyed last night was officially called Cavatappi e Formaggio. Three cheese sauce: cave-aged Gruyere, sharp white cheddar, and imported Italian Parmesan. (I had to look at the menu-- I have every intention of getting their House Salad takeout for my dinner tonight.)
Served with a balsamic vinegar sauce to mix in if desired (very flavorful); you can see some of the brown smears on the sides of my plate. Lightly toasted with a crusty Parmesan chip garnish.
It isn't a standard mac n' cheese.
(Martha's recipe is AWESOME! You and your wife must have excellent taste!)
We made reservations and yes, it was very busy. And, yes, it has "Bozeman" prices but it also has "Bozeman" decor and service.
I had the Fowl Pie. Sadly, it wasn't as good as my sister-in-law's chicken pot pie. Nice but not spectacular. The puff pastry was just a puff pastry square baked and set on top. Makes clean-up of the dish easier, as it was not cooked in the dish it was served in.
The 'grilled shrimp cocktail' was three grilled and then chilled shrimp and cocktail sauce for dipping. As I am not an eater of bugs, I don't know how it was, but Steve and Bill seemed to like it.
Bill had the 'mac and cheese.' It was very flavorful but, like Steve's mussels, too salty for us. We have been on a low salt diet for several years and really notice salt. Steve did enjoy the pesto-coated spaghetti.
We didn't have dessert because we had leftover dessert at my younger brother's house and I know that the cinnamon meringue torte is the tastiest chocolate dessert known to man.
Next time, I may try the rotisserie chicken. It looked tasty.
Was I wowed? No. But I will probably go back for some special occasion sometime. There may be something on the menu which will knock my socks off next time. It is a very limited menu but I expect it will change with time.
ETA: And the booths are tight.
[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (12/29/2013)]
Geez... I am convinced that, where food and restaurants are concerned in , some of you would bitch if you were hung with a new fleece-lined rope.
The "complaints" about a limited menu are especially irritating. If you do a really good job at certain kind of dishes, why also make things that you aren't good at? Not every place in town needs to serve Mayor mashed potatoes with chives. Do you go to the office supply store and complain that they don't sell helicopters? And who gives a poop about comparisons to Bozeman or Billings or someones sister-in-law. Rather non-sequitur and arrogant, don't you think?
We are blessed to have a fine establishment like the Black Iron in town. We need to support and promote what we have so they can be successful.
[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr. (12/29/2013)]
I wanted to LOVE the Black Iron. I really, really did. I was very sad to be disappointed by the pie-less fowl pie. It wasn't bad. It just wasn't delicious or special. Maybe I should have had the duck confit appetizer. Last time I had duck confit appetizer, though, it proved a bit rich for my system.
I was so hoping to be impressed and I was let down. Maybe my expectations were too high, because I live in a family of superb cooks and used to live in Bozeman but I have to be honest. Would you rather I lied and raved about something that wasn't that great?
I am upset that I wasn't impressed or delighted because I SO wanted to be. I want the restaurant to succeed and and I want the food to be great. And the cocktails from the bar to be better than they were, but that's another story.
I will go back. I will try something else. And I hope against hope that I will be thrilled. Or at least not so let down.
[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (12/29/2013)]
I guess I've been hungry enough in my life that I see no point in such silly 1st world problems and I am really easy to please. People are entitled to their opinion (even if I disagree).
It's simply a matter that I find some of the complaints about restaurants in non-sequitur. I can't go eat at someone's sister-in-laws house so making that comparison as to the quality of a restaurant is of little value. It make little sense to me to make comparisons to places that you would eat at in other towns, when you're not eating in other towns. Comparing rib-eyes between MT Chophouse and Black Iron is a valid comparison. Comparing ribeye's at Black Iron and Chance R in York, Nebraska (insert your favorite place here) makes no sense.