Friday

Blackstone's in Yorkville, IL



Blackstone Bar and Grill is the best place to dine in Yorkville, Illinois.  I live in St. Charles, IL and travel to Yorkville for Blackstone’s every couple weeks.  It has a formal appearing d├ęcor, but is very casual in style—wear anything and the host/owner will serve you fine food at very reasonable prices.  Everything from fish to hamburgers is on the menu in this non-smoking establishment located on Veteran’s in Yorkville (about ½ mile from the well-traveled Route 47).  The parking is plentiful, but do take a leisurely approach to eating here at busy hours and holidays (e.g. Mother’s Day) because everyone locally knows this is the best restaurant within thirty miles in any direction for chef-prepared upscale food at very reasonable prices.  A favorite of my wife and I is the pot roast dinner, which has succulent pot roast, well-cooked (not underdone) in wine sauce that is out of this world; it’s served with garlic mashed potatoes and thin crispy and warm onion strips.  Enough to fill the hungriest of diners, it’s currently about $15…well worth it.  They have custom burgers with fries for $9, and soda with free refills for $2.  Bread is included with each meal, and a small side salad for $3 is with a vinegar-based house dressing that is tangy and wonderful.

The care that goes into the food preparation is evident, as this restaurant is the best outside of Chicagoland proper.  The owner is always present when we’ve been there—at least a dozen times—which makes a giant difference in the effort of the staff, the atmosphere in general.  The lighting is dim but not dark, the music is always just ideal (Frank Sinatra at the perfect volume to allow diner conversation), and the temperature is comfortable; many restaurants fail in atmosphere, which is as important as the meal.  The owner and family being “on-site”, often coming up to the tables to assure that all is well, is a giant step toward consistency of service.

The full bar is located on one side of the Blackstone, and has LCD TVs and boths as well as the huge bar, and it has an upscale atmosphere, open and high ceilings, that is not overwhelmed by TV noise; it is a place where one could conduct a business meeting, a celebration, or even dine alone in comfort.  When the restaurant is full, the overflow is seated at the bar, and we enjoy that area just as much.  There is literally not a bad table in the house.  The drink menu is extensive, everything from beers of the world to Cosmopolitans and martinis (even mini-martinis for $3! When you’re hitting the road). The restaurant’s official website linked below shows photos of the Blackstone, plus I snapped a couple on my point-and-shoot camera so you’d get an idea.

I’d like to point out that there is a restaurant, Stonefire, on Route 47 that has a similar name to Blackstone and is at a more central location on the “main drag”.  It’s far inferior to Blackstone in ambiance, service, and quality of food.  Stonefire reminds me of a fried fish fry with beer in a Wisconsin vacation spot, whereas Blackstone Grill and Pub is more like a modern, niche restaurant that one would find in a Chicagoland suburb (think Gevena, St. Charles, Glen Ellyn, etc.) or in downtown Chicago itself.  There is one thing about Blackstone in Yorkville, though, that is improved from Chicago: the prices.  A diner can have a wonderful and healthy meal of chicken, steak or fish, two sides, a garden salad and soda with tip for $26.  That’s pretty hard to come by in most restaurants of this caliber.  I do not personally know the owner, but will one day introduce myself.  As everyone in north central Illinois is aware, this is the place to eat for fine dining.  Enjoy!

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