Restaurants & Bars

Bistro 5

JBM | Apr 10, 2003 01:41 PM

After hearing Zagat's and other reviewers rave about this West Medford Italian restaurant for a year, I finally made it there for dinner last night. Despite being located in the Culinary Sticks, it is a very chow-worthy destination.

Nice design and interior. The place was completely empty at 8pm on a Wednesday, which was a little creepy. Apparently it is a zoo on weekends. Good service and very comfortable feel to the place.

My girlfriend and I each started with a half portion of pasta. I had orichette (spelling?) with boar, broccoli rabe, juniper berries and tomato. It was stunning. Slightly spicy and fabulous in its flavor contrasts. My girlfriend had gnocchi with rabbit, pancetta, pine nuts and sun-dried tomato. Also very good: the gnocchi were light, though not the most heavenly I've had (those were at Sage). I don't love rabbit, so I was a bit biased. All in all, a very solid dish.

We both had the same main course: a lamb special. Each had 4 lamb chops, perfectly cooked to medium rare, encrusted with a goat cheese – pesto mixture and served over fingerling potatoes, broccoli rabe and a cranberry demi glace. Fantastic! Just perfectly prepared.

Prices are reasonable. Half portions of pasta were about $12, entrees in the high $20s, except the special, which was $34. Nice wine list, though small and only about half Italian wines.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this hidden gem to any fan of standard Northern Italian fare.

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