Monday, January 30, 2012

My Travel Blog- A Culinary Adventure At The "Black Rock"!

For my family, food is always a big part of celebrations and a sense of camaraderie. Good food and a welcoming atmosphere seem to enhance the occasion, whether it's a specific celebration or just a chance to connect. Last week my family got together to celebrate a birthday.

My daughter-in-law Mia suggested a restaurant new to our family, the "Black Rock Bar And Grill", in Hartland, Michigan, located in a strip mall at the junction of U.S. 23 and M-59.

The "Black Rock Bar And Grill"  is a unique restaurant featuring "Australian Rock Cooking", but also offers favorite dishes gathered  from around the world. From steaks, fish, to sandwiches, with a variety of appetizers, the menu has something for everyone. (They even has free Wifi) The owner, Mr. Lonny Morganroth, told me that one such recipe, a strawberry salad, was gleaned from his mother's neighbor in Florida!

Reservations are not necessary. However, for a large group or special event, they are suggested. Mia made reservations. (We were a party of seven, with balloons, gifts, and a cake in tow.)  They had our table set up and ready for us when we arrived.

One could say that this unique restaurant is a combination sports bar and up-scale eatery. Banks of screens were everywhere, but they were not accompanied with the usual loud atmosphere one usually gets at a sports bar. The atmosphere was pleasant and inviting.

Our server was Lisa A. (to distinguish her from the other two Lisa's that are there) She was fabulous. She explained the menu and made suggestions on the appetizer list. We chose their spinach cheese dip and calamari for appetizers. Beverages were served quickly, as were the appetizers. I must say folks, give these a try if you dine there! They were wonderful! I loved the presentation. The calamari was served on a unique oval plate. These were just enough to whet our appetites.

Next came the main course. The little birthday girl got macaroni and cheese, which she claimed to be wonderful. My daughter-in-law's mother, Willy, ordered  the strawberry salad and enjoyed it immensely.

The rest of us decided to try the "Black Stone" beef  or beef and seafood combo. This "Black Stone" consists of a hot black stone and raw food, which you cook yourself.

Evan's plate- doing a fantastic job and enjoying it thoroughly!

My 8-year-old grandson, Evan,wanted to try this also. When Lisa brought the "raw" food to the table and instructed him on how to cook it on the black stone, he sort of looked like a deer in the headlights. We adults promised to help where needed, but it wasn't long before he was cooking like a pro, and thoroughly enjoying himself.

I ordered their special beef steak, lean, tender, and wonderful. I like my meat medium to medium rare, so could take it off the stone when it was to my liking. Perfect! Lisa stopped by often to check on us, even though the restaurant was filling up by this point. I have to say, she was a true professional!

The restaurant allowed us to bring in our own cake. When we sang "Happy Birthday" to Payton, who was turning three, other people in the restaurant joined in! Gifts were next. Our server took all the chaos in stride, helping where needed. Mia offered the staff the rest of the cake, which Lisa seemed to appreciate.

At 6:00 p.m. the live music began, featuring Carol, playing the piano and singing. She didn't seem to let the din of conversation bother her, (though, as a fellow musician, I would've wanted everyone's attention!) But that's the nature of the place- hers was background music. She sang and played very well, and took the time to sing special songs upon request.

Carol had noticed the balloons and cake, so sang a special "Happy Birthday" song to Payton. The little birthday girls eyes lit up, and a big smile brightened her face! Thank you to Carol for including Payton in your evening repertoire!

What a wonderful evening it was! I was delighted with the atmosphere, the food was wonderful, and I can't say enough about the staff. Lisa A was fantastic!

If you choose to visit  the "Black Stone Bar And Grill", be sure to ask for Lisa A.

A hardy "Thank You" to the owner, Lonny Morganroth, our server- Lisa A, and the cooking staff for a wonderful evening!

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