New Alton Restaurant Takes Over Location of Former Diva Favorite

**Lisa Kampeter photo** revisedThe Dining Divas

By Lisa Kampeter

It’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens up in our neck of the woods, or at least close to our neck of the woods.  When I got a text from a friend recommending the Dining Divas try a new place in Alton, I was eager to check it out.  Some place new, relatively close to home?  Great!

The Dining Divas gathered at the Bluff City Grill on 9th Street in Alton.  The Divas are no strangers to the location.  Years ago, we dined at the old Copley’s West 9th and loved it.  Perhaps it was because we each were given a single rose.  Perhaps it was because we started our meals off with a complimentary glass of champagne.  Or perhaps it was because the food was really good.  It made an impression with us, but unfortunately, the restaurant closed years later.

Sadly, Alton has had its share of non-chain restaurants open and close, and we’re rooting for this one to prosper.  The Frequent Diner Diva says it’s always nice to have another dining choice nearby.  If you’re interested in more of a bar atmosphere, there’s a sports bar connected to the restaurant.  Looking to have a drink with a business colleague, there’s a swankier restaurant lounge area.  Or wanting a menu with a variety of choices, Bluff City Grill won’t let you down.

As with most “grills”, you’ll find the typical salads, burgers, and sandwiches.  But unique items like pot stickers, guacamole bites, and jalapeño tilapia set this grill apart.

The Dining Divas had just gathered together for a movie day the previous weekend.  And just like with the typical Divas dinners, there was a lot of chattering going on.  Fortunately, for those interested in watching the movie, they could enjoy the feature in the quiet movie room of the New Homeowner Diva’s home.  The Loud-Mouth Divas stayed upstairs.

This night’s dinner at Bluff City was no exception.  Although there was still a lot of chattering, we didn’t have to apologize to customers for being too loud.  However, we probably should have apologized for our gawking at the handsome chef as he perused the dining area.  Unfortunately for us but luckily for him, our group attempts at devising reasons for getting him to come back out again so we could get another look failed.

The Teacher Diva wasn’t upset that her Smothered Cut Fries appetizer with bacon, scallions, cheese, and ranch dressing were hard to share.  More for her!  The Shrimp Tacos were amazing.  Several of us were wishing we’d ordered them.  The Grilled Chicken was just grilled chicken.  Nothing special.  But if you’re watching your diet, this could be an option.  The Calorie Counting Diva would like to think the Chicken Grascha with portabella mushrooms was a wise choice, but the sherry cream sauce served over angel hair pasta probably sent her over her limit.  But she thought it was worth it.

The group agreed Bluff City has a unique variety of choices on their menu.  The group was divided on loving the place, and it being an average restaurant.  The ambiance in the dining room was lacking but our fingers are crossed that they’re just getting started.   Although it’s close to North County, one St. Charles Diva isn’t letting the distance keep her from trying it out again.  And this time, she’s hoping for a rose.


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