Went to Bistro Bis on Saturday evening for an early dinner before a fabulous concert by Shirley Horn at the Library of Congress. It was our first time to BB and I wasn't particularly impressed.
Frisee salad, soupe de poisson and cheese course (split) for me and steak tartare, halibut special and cheese for the boyfriend. Everything was pleasant enough but nothing was particularly outstanding. The croutons in the salad seemed to be bought rather than homemade and the soup croutons were way too cheesy--it was like eating a pizza with all the cheese string. The cheese course was both wonderful and disappointing. The cheeses themselves were great--we chose a Sainte Maure, a brin d'amour and montbrison blue. I don't understand why, if a restaurant goes to the trouble of hiring a fromager they don't do more to dress up their cheese service. The bread was the same used for dinner and the cheese accompaniments were not exciting--a handful of toasted almonds, one date and a fig paste that had the texture of jerky. Its toughness did not at all suit the cheese.
There were also some service issues the biggest of which was that our waiter tried to serve the wrong vintage wine. What response is called for in this case? We accepted his substitution of 2002 for 2001 after he checked that the bin was out of 2001 but unless you carry around a vintage chart how do you know if you're getting ripped off or not?