After the close of the barrel-tasting event in Sonoma County, we beat it over to Windsor’s Bistro M for happy hour before 5pm. I’d had a quick lunch here last year and was happy to return to check out the happy hour deals.
Tuesday through Friday, 4pm to 6pm, the bar offers a $1 off specialty cocktails and for eats, fried frog legs, $1 oysters (raw, barbecued or Rockefeller), and steak tartar. The full menu is also available.
I’d noticed what looked like a homemade infusion steeping behind the bar. It turned out to be Perigord truffles in vodka. The price was too rich for my blood, and instead I turned to the Bloody Mary check-off menu to get my electolytes rebalanced. My choices for the build-your-own-cocktail were Hanger One Buddha vodka, oyster, fresh horseradish, and olives. The resulting drink, shown here, was a terrific kick-off to happy hour.
We tried all three oyster preps. Somehow I missed trying the barbecue ones slathered in sauce. However, I can give a strong recommendation to the raw and Rockefeller style. The raw oysters on the half shell were accompanied by wedges of lemon, cocktail sauce, and a highly seasoned mignonette. Well-shucked and tiny, the oysters were fresh as can be on Friday. I don’t recall the type but from somewhere on the Pacific. The cooked oysters used larger sizes. The oysters Rockefeller were topped with mostly spinach, barely cooked and still custardy, and not weighed down with too much cheese. With a dash of Tabasco, they were a hit even among non-lovers of oysters in our group.
I also tried the Steak tartar. Served at happy hour, the seasoned, raw beef is spread on a long slice of toast, accompanied by a panko-crusted deep-fried liquid yolk egg, some lightly dressed greens, and a dab of mustard. Unfortunately, the bread turned soggy fast presented this way. I probably would not order this again.
As much as I enjoyed the bevy of oysters, the fried frog legs were the most memorable. Six large legs were lightly dusted and expertly fried and served with a thin, brightly acidic tartar sauce for dunking. Very meaty and so juicy, these were more succulent than any frog I’ve had before.
The bartender and one server, as well as the kitchen, seemed a bit stretched to serve the nine of us, plus three other customers at the bar. This is a small bar and might not be accustomed to a group of this size dropping in for drinks. The delays weren’t a problem for us but others might feel differently. That said, this is a terrific happy hour deal with high quality offerings at discounted prices. We’ll be back soon.
610 McClelland Dr, Windsor, CA 95492
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