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Restaurants & Bars 6

Beef Wellie @ Bistro Gardens

WLA | Mar 14, 200510:35 AM

Due to circumstances I missed taking my wife out for her birthday back in November. She finally asked a couple of weeks ago if I planned on making up for that gaffe or if I just planned on being celibate for the remainder of my years with her. (g)

She loves Beef Wellington and I had read somewhere, (here probably) that the Bistro Gardens in Studio City, (Ventura Blvd. just west of Coldwater) featured it fairly frequently as a special. They were not having it as a menu item when I called about Sat. night, but they arranged to make it for us.

I had not been to the BG for years but it looked the same with the same cast of regular characters. This place made me feel young again. Not that there weren't young folks, but there were a lot of more senior folks here who were obviously well known to the staff.

We each had a starter off the menu to begin. The Caesar for my wife and she seemed to like it fine as she cleaned her plate. I tried the crab cakes with a pasilla chile sauce. Never again. There was enough filler in the "crab" cakes to turn them into potato dumplings with nary a hint of crab taste and a sauce that was so bland as to be good only for color contrast.

We waited awhile for the Wellie, which I expected. They kept replenishing the bread, (sour dough rolls or nice pieces of French bread) and they give you a crock of chicken liver pate and butter to start. The service was quite good and the waiter and busser, (especially the bus guy) were attentive and on the spot with water refills or bringing me another Kamikaze or whatever all night.

Finally the Wellie arrived. They had baked one and then split it down the middle. We had asked for rare but it came more med. rare. There was no sending this puppy back so we dug in. All in all I give them a C+ or maybe a B- for the Wellie. The pastry crust was just too thick and therefore a bit dry and hard in places. The quality of the meat was okay but not wonderful. The plate had some nice asparagus spears and piped mashed potatoes and pureed beets and they bring you a nice silver gravy boat with bordelaise sauce which was quite good.

With two starters, three before dinner drinks, plus a glass of red wine a chocolate souffle, (really not that good and something I would skip in the future) and one coffee and an ice tea the tab came to $152 plus tip.

Still looking for a great Beef Wellie if you have any suggestions.

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