First Bite: Blue Moon Waterfront Grille

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What the world must look like to John Conlee
  • What the world must look like to John Conlee
After several ownership changes, the great May Day flood, periods of very irregular hours and various openings and closings through the years, Margaret Littman promised us earlier this year that Blue Moon Waterfront Grille would finally be reopening. After a few more months of fits and starts, her prophecy has finally come to fruition.

I dropped by recently to check out the latest incarnation and was definitely pleased with what I discovered. As I remembered, the joint is still a pain to find. I think the last time I went was in the days before GPS, but even the trusty computer in my Camry didn't know where I was going. After passing the entrance once and ending up in a rock quarry (oops), I turned around and finally saw the small sign that pointed me into the parking lot. But not all of the parking lot, since part of it is reserved for users of the marina. Avail yourself of the valet parking when it's staffed if you must.

Once all that's figured out, there are still several gangplanks, ramps and walkways to navigate, but once you find the place it's definitely worth it. The outside dining area seems smaller than I remember, but it still offers a great place to watch boats and paddleboarders making their way around the lagoon. It was a particularly gorgeous spring day when I visited, and I could have spent all afternoon drinking beer and enjoying the view from beneath the canopy that offered a cooling shade and gave everything a "rose-colored glasses" tint.

The interior of the bar/restaurant area is also very comfortable with a few televisions over the bar playing sports at low volume and friendly, efficient bartenders to take your order for a good selection of draft beers (including some locals) and a roster of specialty boat drinks that are quite appropriate for the setting. But really, outdoors is the place to be since it offers a view of numerous OPBs (Other People's Boats). If you can't afford your own boat, and trust me, you probably can't, there's nothing better than meeting somebody else who is willing to shovel their money into that hole in the water surrounded by fiberglass.

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille apparently has a fairly large ownership group, including principals of Noshville and one of the long ago managers of Rainbow Key who might have fired me four times when I used to play in a band there every other weekend. Fortunately, he hired me five times ...

More importantly, Glen Smith brought some of my favorite recipes from him from Rainbow Key including the addictive coconut shrimp appetizer and the black beans and rice that I used to order as a side for all the staff meals we got while playing. The catastrophic Lemon Drops that Lundy made that got us fired at least twice were not as good of an idea...

The menu features lots of seafood dishes, sandwiches and what looks like a great Sunday brunch menu that is served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. I'll definitely have to check that one out. The chicken wings we enjoyed on our visit were top-notch thanks to a nice ginger and soy glaze.

Blue Moon serves a late-night menu, but they are still trying to set their hours. Even though a small stage remains from a previous incarnation, Glen said they really aren't trying to emphasize music and entertainment out of respect to the surrounding neighborhood and folks who spend the nights on their boats. (But he might just have been cutting me off before I asked him for a gig again ... )

As much as I enjoyed my lunch visit, midday hours are tough to come by. Their current hours are: 3-10:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 3 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday. They are closed Monday and Tuesday.

So look for me at a future Friday lunch or forlornly standing on the dock wearing a Hawaiian shirt and holding an acoustic guitar while I try to remember the chords to "Come Monday" for an ambush audition. If you get there before I get back, let us know what you think here in the comments.

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille
525 Basswood Ave.
(615) 356-6666

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