Yeah, it’s been a while. I’ll try to do better, but make no promises.
As I think I’ve said before, I grew up in Martinsburg which was always a bit a culinary deadspot. Even as a kid, if we wanted a good meal we left Berkeley County for points north, south, east or west. So, I was a bit excited — and a touch nervous — when my parents said that a great place had just opened in downtown Martinsburg.
Boyd’s opened less than a year ago in an old storefront in downtown Martinsburg (109 N. Queen St.). (Aside: I’m pretty sure it was the old Spring House, which was my favorite sandwich place when I worked downtown). Martinsburg’s downtown has a few more restaurants that are open past lunch than it used to, but it is not exactly hopping. So, parking isn’t an issue. And you can’t miss the location; trust me that the velvet ropes aren’t for the Blue White Grill.
Boyd’s advertises itself as a fine dining steak and seafood restaurant and the front room does a nice job of selling that image. The bar is up front and was apparently purchased from Al Capone’s estate. The front is also heavy on tiffany-style glass and the staff are dressed in a roaring 20’s style that stops thankfully short of being more costume than uniform. Be warned the bar area can get tight.
The menu is fairly large (probably too large, but I understand that they don’t want to over-specialize themselves out of business), yet a steakhouse demands a steak in the first pass. I went with the NY strip, garlic mashed and broccoli (pretty classic).
The glass ramekins for the sides was a nice touch. I wanted to try the brussles sprouts but they were heavily tainted by bell pepper. The steak was closer to medium than medium rare, but still had nice beefy flavor with enough of a satisfying chew that you knew you were eating a steak (that’s a good thing). If you want to try a Wagyu steak, they have those too.
Before the meal, my parents and I shared an artichoke-spinach dip that was surprisingly good for something that appears on so many menus. I feel silly for recommending it, but I do. I also tried the B&O crab soup, which I thought would be a creamy crab bisque, but was more of a Manhattan style crab chowder:
It was very good with a nice peppery kick (though oyster crackers would have been a nice touch).
Boyd’s has a full bar — Al Capone would have insisted — and they also do their own flavored lemonades, which were surprisingly refreshing. Service was friendly and generally pretty attentive, though it was packed our night.
The steaks and entrees were in the $20-$30 range, which is about as high as it gets in Martinsburg. It’s a good value, but not great. I wouldn’t place Boyd’s in the top tier of WV restaurants (The Bavarian, Julio’s, Noah’s, Savannah’s, etc.) but it is quite good and needed in my old hometown. If you are in the area, it is worth a visit. On weekend, call for a reservation. (304) 262-2693. I can’t find a website, but they are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boydsteakhouse.