Recently, my husband and I chose to use a Restaurant (.com) certificate to a local Poquoson, Virginia restaurant. It is called Port 151 Raw Bar & Grill. It is located at 100 Carys Chapel Road.
We knew of the restaurant, although we had never tried it before. Our children had cautioned it was out of our price range. With the $25 certificate; however, we figured we had nothing to lose. We were wrong!
Port 151 is small restaurant located just inside the Poquoson city limits. It is attractive enough, although certainly nothing to write home about. The establishment is small with a bar and tables that seat two, four or six people with ease.
The thing we liked most was that our waitress greeted us at the door and gave us our choice of tables. She promptly brought our menus and took our drinks while we perused them.
The largest part of the Port 151 menu is seafood because that is the restaurant’s specialty. They even offer frog legs for individuals who were feeling adventurous. Unfortunately, we were not.
My husband quickly settled on the fried oysters, which are among his favorite dishes. He went for them plain, although they also came Cajun flavored, blackened or flavored with lemon pepper.
I had a more difficult time deciding on what I wanted. I love scallops and had hoped to find those on the menu. They were there, but were only offered fried. Not being a fan of fried scallops, I moved forward looking for something else to please my discerning palette.
I eventually settled on a dish called black and blue New York strip. The steak was to be blackened and then sprinkled with bleu cheese crumbles. That sounded delicious, particularly since I’m a fan of mixing up flavors.
While we waited for our meals, our waitress lit the candle on our table and brought us a basket of hush puppies to munch on. Although they were slightly overdone, they tasted delicious and we enjoyed them immensely.
Both of us ordered salad as one of our sides and were delighted with the selection. The salads were chock full of all of our favorite veggies. Cheddar cheese and croutons finished them off beautifully.
Unfortunately, the salads were so large that neither of us could begin to finish them. They could have been a meal into themselves. I felt regret for wasting the food.
Our main courses were delivered promptly upon completion of our salads. We both immediately noticed there was a problem with the baked potatoes. They appeared to be old with the inside looking brown in color rather than fluffy white. To top that off they were ice cold. We knew immediately that we wouldn’t be eating them.
While my husband was pleased with his plate full of oysters, I was not happy with my dish. The New York strip came out plain, without blackened seasoning or bleu cheese. To top it off, it was overcooked. I ordered it medium rare, but it was cooked medium.
By the time they took the dish back to season it, it was done medium well. That meant the meat was tough and difficult to eat. I sliced what I could extremely thin and managed to down about one-third of the dish.
With my meal a flop, I had a lot of time to gaze around the establishment while my husband enjoyed his. It appeared to be fairly clean and well kept. I loved the fanciful seascape mural painted along one wall. Other than that; however, the decor was rather bland and dull.
We were also a bit upset with the loud, drunken behavior of some of the clients at the bar. It spoiled the dining experience somewhat and begged the question: Should those people be drinking anything else if they intend to drive?
While our dining experience was not particularly good, the service was excellent. Our waitress catered to our every need and took the time to answer questions and converse with us. That helped to make up for some of the other problems.
I doubt that we will return to Port 151. We don’t eat out often but when we do we are picky about our food. If we are going to spend the money, the food should be worth it. We ended up spending another $21 at Port 151 on top of the $25 certificate. Considering the fact we didn’t have drinks or dessert, it definitely wasn’t worth it.
I give Port 151 Raw Bar & Grill 2 out of a possible 5 stars. It wouldn’t have earned that but for the excellent service and the success of some parts of our order.
5 Stars – Excellent
4 Stars – Good
3 Stars – Average
2 Stars – Below Average
1 Star – Poor