Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lunch at Bistro 19

SP's last day at his old job was yesterday. He's now 'unemployed' until Monday, when he starts his new job. So he's at home during the mornings and afternoons - yikes! I'm not used to company during the day!!

This afternoon, we decided to brave the cold and went out to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants: Bistro 19 in Mt. Lebanon. We've eaten dinner at Bistro 19 several times, but never lunch. There's also a Sunday brunch. We parked at a nearby parking garage (Bistro 19 does not validate parking; it cost us $3.50 for 2 hours, so not too much; there's also parking along Washington Road) and walked about 1 block in the freezing cold - brrr! Fortunately, it was nice & toasty warm inside Bistro 19. We were seated right away.

I rarely take photos of the interior of the places we dine, but today I got a little adventurous and tried to discreetly take some photos. This means I hid my camera in my lap/under the table and aimed it at something, hoping to get a photo!Bistro 19 is very sedate inside. No bright colors, just soothing browns and creams. The large windows in the photo above look out onto Washington Road. In warmer months, they can be opened and it feels like you're dining outside. In past visits, we sat at the tables along those large windows and I always sat looking out at the road. Today we were in the center of the restaurant and I really got to 'gawk' at the interior, including the ceiling, which for some reason I found very interesting.It's silver-gray. I kept trying to decide if they preserved some old decorative ceiling and painted it, or if it was created to look like this. I spent quite some time examining the decorative designs.And then I aimed the camera at the back wall, a wavy cream colored wall, and photographed some unsuspecting diners.We ordered iced teas and munched on some warm bread while perusing the menu. There was delicious crusty white bread, moist and tasty on the interior, along with chive butter:And some brown bread, which SP enjoyed:We both decided to try the $9.99 January 2011 Lunch Prix Fixe. We also couldn't resist ordering the Lemon-Pepper Calamari for an appetizer. We've had it before and really enjoyed it.It's a nice, light breading. Cheese is sprinkled on top. The dipping sauce is a citrus caper remoulade. It's delicious! Much tastier than the usual marinara sauce. Here's a closer view of the calamari and sauce:Next up was the first course of our prix fixe lunch, a choice of soup, salad, or hummus & pita. SP chose the soup of the day, a vegetable-tortilla soup:There was corn, black beans, tomatoes, and tortilla strips. It was spicier than he expected but that's a good thing for him. I chose the Bistro Salad:Mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, red onion in a balsamic dressing with a breadstick. This is a tasty salad, and the dressing has a wonderful balsamic kick.

For the second course, there were 3 options: chicken salad sandwich, vegetable wrap, or ravioli. SP chose the Ratatouille & Cheese Ravioli:There was a pile of spinach in the center. I didn't take a photo of the interior of the ravioli, but there were ratatouille veggies and ricotta inside. He said they were quite tasty and even though there were only 3, they were quite filling.

I opted for the Chicken Salad Croissant:The chicken salad contained sun-dried tomato, bacon, pecans, and currants. I tried to get a close up photo of the chicken salad:The croissant was toasted. It was very good -- and very flaky. Much like at Eleven brunch last Sunday, I managed to get flaked bits of croissant on the table and myself! The chicken salad was very good, not too mayonnaisey, and very flavorful. The pasta salad was simply farfalle with basil, roasted red pepper, and a bit of olive oil. Tasty, but not overly exciting.

The third course is a dessert, your choice of French Vanilla Ice Cream, Wildberry Sorbet, or Chocolate Mousse. SP opted for the Wildberry Sorbet:We both liked the sorbet. A nice, strong berry flavor. I didn't want a cold dessert, so I chose the Chocolate Mousse:A tasty mousse with chocolate cookie crumbles and a dollop of whipped cream. Just the right size dessert for after a filling lunch.

This seems like a good deal to us - a 3 course lunch for $9.99. The portions aren't huge, but I don't usually like to have a huge lunch. Of course, drinks are extra, and we ordered an appetizer, which was extra, but still the bill was quite reasonable for the quantity and quality of the food we enjoyed. Even if we hadn't eaten the calamari appetizer, we would have had enough food to fill our bellies. Both the hostess and our server were very friendly. We were not rushed at all - that might be a problem if you were there during the work day and had to get back to the office, but for us, it meant a lovely, leisurely lunch date. Bistro 19 is still one of our favorite restaurants - we were surprised when we realized that the last time we dined there was last February, 11 months ago! Definitely worth coming here more often.

Bistro 19 on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I really need to give Bistro 19 a try. I'm always passing it by, but your very delicious-seeming(and relatively inexpensive) lunch has persuaded me to give it the try that it deserves.