This is a story with a beginning, a middle and a rather surprising ending. So stay with me.
When I first heard about a new "gastropub" opening in the old Murad's spot in Kanawha City, I got pretty excited envisioning an upscale menu of artistically plated gourmet food served in a casual setting.
Then I went.
B&D Gastropub has done a really nice job sprucing up the place and has already attracted a nice following of passionate fans. But as I looked over a selection of traditional bar-and-grill appetizers, burgers and sandwiches, I couldn't help saying to myself, over and over, "This is no gastropub."
That doesn't mean it's not good, so I've visited several times over the past month to sample my way through the menu and get a better feel for its vibe. I certainly have a few suggestions for improvement, but you know what? Despite the identity crisis the name implies, I like this place.
A little more decor would do wonders warming up the stark brick walls lining the dining room now. I also think the restaurant should consider changing its name to better match the menu and ambiance - or adjust the offerings to match the name - but B&D is still on its way to being a fine "sports light" bar/grill/pub.
And there's nothing wrong with that.
The interior is subdued, with several TVs but no avalanche of sports paraphernalia falling from the ceiling and walls. Service has been outstanding on every visit - a big plus in my book. The beer list, both draft and bottle, is impressive.
With one exception, the food's been really good. We've enjoyed the Dragon Bites (feta-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon) and Jalapeno Boats (stuffed with spicy sausage and cheddar), although the later came floating on a plate far too large for them, so a little plating finesse would be nice.
The Spinach Salad (with red onions, feta, sunflower seeds and Greek olives) is nice and fresh. The Adult Grilled Cheese (double cheese with bacon and house-made guacamole) is decadent and the classic Reuben is a hit.
Burgers here are phenomenal; each made with six ounces of fresh, hand-formed beef and placed on toasted buns in all sorts of combinations.