The S.O. and I stumbled upon Bistro K on Saturday night (in a now-failed attempt to give Firefly Bistro a second chance).
It's noticeable not by signage, but primarily by the tables on the outside lawn area, cordoned off from the public R-O-W, and twinkle lights, ...you feel as if you're crashing the adjacent theater's pre-event cocktail soiree. We were immediately informed by staff that it is BYO, no corkage. The hostess "saved" our table while we popped down to Vons. We sat indoors, but the windows were wide open so it was almost like being on the veranda. They played my favorite Louis Prima CD for background and opened the wine right away...a good start. It's hard not to mention the staff - the hostess is assertively "energetic"- almost overwhelming, but she obviously likes what she does and applies Hilary's "it takes a village" theory to wining/dining. She is shadowed by an Igor-like presence, who continually surprised me with his efficient, almost stealth-like, serving technique.
What we ate: Amuse bouche of crostini with goatcheese spread.
I opted for two First Courses. The soup of the day - an Essence of Seafood bisque that was quite good, followed by the Summer Salad of Pacific Lobster Medallions with White peaches with a Black Peppercorn and Ceylon Tea Infusion Dressing. The size of servings is just larger than a tasting menu portion (i.e, one chunk o'lobster pared into 3 medallions, one-quarter of peach thinly sliced, a scrunch of mesclun) - but perfect for a light dinner. I was quite satisfied.
The S.O. started with Steamed Black Mussels with Lime, Ginger, Curry and Coconut Milk! Really excellent with lots of jus, a dozen small mussels, and great rolls to soak it all up! (thanks Igor). He followed with the Pacific Scallop(s), Blue Shrimp, Grilled Smoked Duck Breast, Fava Beans, served in Cep Mushroom Nage with Tarragon....keep up with me here, folks...I still don't get the need to follow the Full Disclosure Act when describing menu items, but whadda I know...
Grand finale was the Upside Down Pineapple Gateau with a sauce, alas, surprising I can't recall it's name - definitely not akin to your grandma's version of the Duncan Hines creation. A simple disc of fresh sliced pineapple, broiled over a thin pastry circle tasting of vanilla, knapped by that caramel colored stuff- again, tasty.
All this creativity doesn't come without some investment of time by both the kitchen and diners. We were there over 2 hours. There appears to be only the chef Laurent Quenioux in the kitchen (of 7th Street Bistro years ago)...and only Igor and friend serving. But it was a very pleasant evening, we polished off the whole bottle of wine, which only served to improve my Zydeco dancing skills later in the evening.
S/E Corner Fremont and El Centro
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