Monday, February 15, 2010

Bistro 19

It's true that I don't like Valentine's Day but we sure do like excuses to go out to special dinners!!!!! I mentioned before that I had surgery at the end of January and we really weren't sure how I'd feel 2 weeks later, so we were a bit late on planning a Valentine's dinner. Choosing a place to eat was easy. Unfortunately, our delay in calling for a reservation resulted in a choice between 4:30 pm or 9 pm!! We chose 4:30 - a bit early, but not too bad.

Our restaurant choice: Bistro 19 in Mt. Lebanon. It's one of our favorite places. We last dined there in August 2009 (that blog post here).

It was a chilly walk from the parking garage to the restaurant, but it was warm and comfy inside. My chill quickly dissipated while we perused the wine list. I was sad to see that the Clay Station Viognier is no longer offered by the glass (I love that wine) so I chose a lovely Pomelo Sauvignon Blanc (Napa). SP chose Sycamore Lane Chardonnay. Both were very good and I would order them again. The chardonnay is on the left; the sauvignon blanc on the right.We could not decide on an appetizer because there were so many delicious sounding ones! Then our server described the daily appetizer feature. I don't remember the exact description, but it was shrimp with a risotto and champagne glaze. That further complicated the decision!

In the end we opted to split 2 appetizers: Black Truffle Flatbread and Lemon Pepper Calamari.
The flatbread was so good! It had wild mushrooms, ricotta, basil, and a cheese melted on top of all those ingredients. I could have devoured all 4 triangles myself, but, I forgot to ask about garlic and when I tasted a triangle, I tasted garlic. Since I didn't want to end up with an upset stomach, I just had a few bites and let SP eat the rest. It was tempting to save a triangle or two, bring them home, eat them at home, and then, if I got sick, I'd be at home and not out!We've had the calamari before and it is delicious. The breading is not too heavy. It's light. It is served with a citrus caper remoulade which is very tasty and a very nice departure from marinara or mustard sauce.

We ate all of the flatbread and calamari.SP ordered the Bistro salad. I had a few bites. It was very tasty. Mixed greens, not iceberg, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bread sticks, and a terrific balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Of course, balsamic is my favorite dressing.A small basket of bread arrived with the salad. There were two pieces of white and 2 pieces of brown bread. Both were very tasty. The herbed butter was delicious as well. I used some bread to mop up the balsamic dressing!As usual, for my entree I ordered the Black Tiger Shrimp. I love, love, love this dish. There are 4 huge shrimp stuffed with an artichoke-spinach mixture, nestled on top of roasted tomato parmesan cream, a delicious risotto is in the center of the plate, and also surrounding the risotto is wilted spinach. This dish is amazing. I ate all of it - I even spooned up all the sauce. SP ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. The crab cakes are drizzled with whole grain mustard aioli and served with whipped dill potatoes, and baby carrots. The crab cakes are delicious - they had very little, if any, filler and the breading was light and not greasy.

We were too stuffed for dessert even though one of the special desserts sounded really good: champagne sorbet surrounded by chocolate dipped strawberries. We didn't want to have a cold dessert on such a cold evening!!! We did, however, have some warming dessert drinks.I ordered an Irish Coffee. While not as tasty as the Irish coffee at the Buena Vista in San Francisco, it was still very good and thankfully did not have green stuff swirled like a shamrock on top of the cream!!SP ordered a decaf coffee and a glass of port. Or maybe it was sherry, I forget. It was one of those after dinner drinks that are too strong for me!We left around 6:30 and came home, our bellies full of delicious food, and we settled on the couch for cuddling and watching the Olympics. We also enjoyed some hot tea and each ate one of the chocolate-mascarpone strawberries. A very nice special date with my sweetie and best of all, I hardly noticed any annoying V-Day crap when we were out!!!


  1. Oh my that shrimp entree looks amazing! I wonder if I could recreate it. hmm.. So you are from Washington, PA?? I live in Bloomfield, right outside of the city.

    I love reading restaurant reviews of restaurants that are actually around here. Exciting!

  2. I love that shrimp dish! It made me fall in love with sauted spinach.

  3. The bread looks delish! Yum. I have been wanting to try Bistro 19 because I have passed it so many times!

    Annnnd I am definately craving a strawberry now. Sweet cheese. Oh so good!