Feeling like a "nicer" dinner last night but wanting to stay close to home, I gave Pinot Bistro a call around 2:00pm. I usually pick this place on the spur of the moment and can always get a decent reservation the same day. Yesterday was no exception. I asked what time two of could dine and not be seated in the back room behind the bar. The hostess said 5:30 or 6:00, or 8:30 or later. Went for 8:30, arrived promptly and were given a nice table right away. All tables appeared to be full which is pretty good for a quiet holiday weekend, although the bar was absolutely empty.
I started with the manchego salad with dates, apples, walnuts, arugula and a dressing with pistachio oil. It was not as "compressed" as in prior visits but tasted just as good. I tend to get stuck on this salad because none of the other starters ever look as good as I know the salad is. Hubby had the Caesar which is always reliable. When at Pinot, it can be sensible to stick with the tried and true.
For mains, I had the cassoulet of the week which featured a nice duck confit leg...excellent choice. Hubby chose the special of bistro steak with frites. He said the steak was one of the tastiest he's had but I don't think it was hot enough although it was exactly medium rare as requested. The cabernet butter on top didn't melt. But hubby was very happy nonetheless.
For dessert, it's always the chocolate croissant bread pudding. However, I was not as impressed as I've been in the past. I think it was overdone. The custard was too firm, not nicely squishy and runny, and the top was overbrowned. We ate it all of course but it wasn't up to par.
We had a bottle of the Patina label Willamette Valley 2001 Pinot Noir (I think Broadley?) for $36, a nice bottle for the price. They were also selling this wine for $10.00 a glass. Total including tax and tip was around $130.
IHMO, Pinot Bistro continues to offer a reasonably consistent, not outrageously expensive, no attitude, pretty good food experience.