and with that it's heartening in my reporting that the Belford Bistro remains a wonderful restaurant in our own backyard. That it keeps getting better (to a positive experience/rememberance via my last visit of at least 3 years ago) is a testament to Kurt and his right hand man and staff knowing and doing all of the little things in continuing to provide their clientele with a wonderful dining experience - one that you'll be hard pressed to find in RB or AP. It appears to be even getting better as there's indeed a passion that emanates out of that kitchen.
Chefs nite out (as I was with two friends who are chefs with a 3rd having to bail due to illness). And blessings that I was able to dine out as I did last nite as these events are far and few between for me of late.
And as I rake over the coals over last nite's meal, it shouldn't have to be such a long hiatus when one realizes how especially good this restaurant is. Ordered a round of appys' for all to share. Kale & Bibb salads were constructed beautifully with GREAT taste - smoked applewood bacon, high quality gorgonzola, made for a Bibb salad that tasted like it was August with everything sourced locally - fresh, amazing flavors. Same with the Kale Salad and it's matchstick veggies. To impart this much flavor in a salad mid December with what's available was a harbinger of what was to come as we all shared our appys: which also included Mussels with Fennel & I think pineapple chunks in a light coconut milk & who's broth was sopped up with the nice slabs of toasted garlic bread. The mushroom ravioli (a pasta dish that we had as an appy) was simple and outstanding (my favorite). Their onion soup with melted Jarslburg was even a treat.
Entrees were a garganelle pasta with white truffle oil (off their regular menu), another order of the mushroom ravioli (for a late arrival to take our table to a foursome) along with ordered specials of rack of lamb over a manchego cheese polenta and baby brussel sprouts, as well as pan seared monkfish over a mushroom pea risotto. All of these dishes were the seriously well executed. Damn were they good.
Desserts were robustly ample and continued with the flavor explosion. A bread pudding with vanilla gelatto topped with caramel in a rum drench was delicious. A peanut butter mousse with chocolate ganache also a winner along with their cheesecake and a trio of gelattos (vanilla,coffee & hazelnut). Most all appeared to have been made in house. Without a liquor license, that's how one keep one's hard earned money in your pocket and are able to survive in what is a tough business environment. The less brought in, the better. And we're all 'richer' gastronomically for it as nothing beats fresh and home made when there's real creative folks putting together what they love to do. We ended the evening visiting the chef and ass'tant (at their open kitchen) to thank him and provide him with some Sierra Nevada Celebration beer in an ice bucket once his night came to a close and they could rest out back, say it was a good nite for them. For us, an outstanding one.