Saturday, May 30, 2009
Almost Heaven…Bistro Twenty Seven…
So yesterday was a great but jumbled mess. Earlier in the week we had been invited to movie night at a friends house. At the time I was really frustrated about trying to line up a babysitter for a future engagement to seemingly no avail, that I had turned down the invitation simply because I just didn’t have it in me to try and line a sitter up for another outing because it was seemingly an impossible task. Cue hot hubbie...
So, Friday afternoon Joel calls me up and says, “So you feel like a movie tonight?” Thinking he meant a rental I said, “Sure what did you have in mind?” He says, “Whatever they are playing at movie night.” Huh???? So he goes on to say that one of the sitters we called a week ago to try and line up for this engagement in June finally called back (we had since lined someone up). So Joel asks if she is free for that evening and she was. So sweet…such a man….I then had to explain that these people were not planning on us (they were also serving dinner and had other guests attending), and to call the day of to say, “Hey….lucky you… we are coming!” would be rude. Sigh. However, big kiss and bravo for the effort. So then he says, “Well, then would you like to go on a date with me?” Swoon. Really, how could a girl resist? So it was a date. He picked Bistro 27 and I was glad. We had been once before and I adored it so I put back the leftover pizza I was going to eat for lunch (mind you it was 3 in the afternoon...kids…sigh…) and made a small salad to tide me over.
Where to begin. It never ceases to amaze the restaurants that seem to get a ton of hype and play while the ones I find the be the best in town get a nod at best. This is one. So let me lay it out for you…..
Joel calls to make reservations. They guys says to him, “What time?” Joel responds, I am guessing more thinking out loud than anything like he typically does, “I don’t know…7:15, 7:30? We would like to have a drink at the bar and ease into the evening.” They guys puts us down for 7:15. This should have been perfect, the sitter was coming at 6:30 which means we could be there by quarter till 7 and have nice slow drink at the bar. However, it did not happen like that. The babysitter was a little late, our son was being clingy our daughter wouldn’t go to sleep, you know…life was happening. That said we make it to our 7:15 reservation by the skin of our teeth. When we get there and give the host our name he asks if we will be sitting at the bar. I think we look a little confused , and he says, “I thought you were the person that called and wanted to sit at the bar and have a drink and ease into the evening.” Joel said, “I did, however, we are running late. “ He tells us we have time and to go ahead. At that point I was impressed. Impressed he remembered or made note of it. Impressed. I don’t know if he is the manager or the owner, but he clearly is someone who takes great care in making his patrons happy. I don’t expect that level of care, but it certainly impressed me and was nice.
So, we sit our happy behinds at the bar. I have a martini. I love martinis (as many of you know by now) but I hate to order them (as many of you know by now) because everyone puts too much olive juice in. This has lead me to asking flat out for just a tiny bit, and still sometimes all I get is an olive juice spritzer. So now I feel like Meg Ryan from When Harry Met Sally ordering a martini and I hate that. So I ordered it and I am sure the cute little bartender thought I was a pain, but he was super sweet and could not have been more accommodating. I have to say it was the best martini….EVER. Joel turns to me while I moan and says, “Almost as good as mine.” That man does make a mean martini. Sheepishly I had to say, “Better.” I think I hurt him a little. However, his bourbon took the edge off I am sure!
We had our drinks and then were seated. From here I will short hand the evening a bit. The service was great. The host/manager/possible owner (Ken is his name by the way…when you go… and you NEED to go!) checked on us several times. The waitress was stealth, unobtrusive by on top of things. The setting is lovely. I could go on, but you get the idea. We order the Carpaccio di Manzo as an appetizer to split. Joel ordered the Spring Beet Salad and Ravioli di Manzo e Fontina. I ordered the Fillet with Black Truffles. I don’t even know where to began. Really. I have said before that I am not the girl to talk about the notes in the food, at the end of the day, for me it is a simple..good..bad. All I can say is……GOOD. Grunt inducing, lick your plate, smack your husbands hand for trying to snag something, I think I might cry…GOOD. I don’t want to belabor things by breaking down every bite I had. The fillet was huge. It had a beautiful char on the outside but was still blood red on the inside (like I like…grrr.). The truffle was rich, earthy and lovely. The Beet Salad (my husband was nicer than I and shared) was just one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth. In fact at some point, I told Joel the salad was… and I am a bit embarrassed to say this… the salad was making love in my mouth. Shut up… you would have to have it… it was THAT good. His ravioli was amazing. I said I wouldn’t belabor this and I am… spot on. That is all I can say… everything was spot on.
Dessert was amazing too. Joel got a Crème Caramel and I had the Monte Rosa Italian Cheesecake. Joel’s dessert was amazing, but let me just tell you about mine for half a second. It was perfection. That is it… all I have to say.
Let me just end this spewing of happiness by talking turkey. Cost. I find Bistro 27 to be a bargain. Their entrees rang from $13-$22 dollars. It seems to me that the going rate at most descent restaurants in Richmond is more like $18-$29, however that $18-$29 doesn’t typically get you the level of service and quality I think Bistro 27 is offering. Just like my husband said when he met me, it is just the whole package.
So Richmonders (or anyone willing to travel)if you have not been…go to Bistro 27 and get some mouth love making food. Now. Your mouth will thank you…sigh..