Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bite Bistro

Lately we've been making an effort to try some restaurants on our "Try" list. Last Saturday evening, we tried another new place, one that has been on our radar for a while (thanks to Food Collage, who really likes it) and that was just reviewed in the City Paper: Bite Bistro in Bellvue. We arrived a bit past 6 pm after securing a parking space on the street. There were a few tables filled and we were seated right away. Reservations are accepted (we were asked if we had reservations) but I suppose not necessary. It's dimly lit and comfortable inside. Wood topped tables, some exposed brick wall, a bright turquoise wall. And the menu written on a chalkboard:
I apologize for the blurry photos. As you know, dimly lit = blurry photos since I won't use a flash inside a restaurant! I like the chalkboard idea, and yet I don't like it. I could see my parents being annoyed by it - they would not like craning their heads to see the menu. I have to admit, I was a little annoyed by having to twist around to study a menu and I had to ask SP to read a few options to me since a hanging light was blocking my view.  I don't think I'd like to be seated under the board because everyone looking my way would make me uncomfortable!! And yet while one side of me kind of dislikes the chalkboard approach, the other side likes it because it's a bit different and, as SP pointed out, they can frequently change the menu and not be worried about printing up new menus/the cost of that.

Bite Bistro is a BYOB place. We did not BYOB. Other tables did. One table even had a little cooler on the floor between their chairs, presumably filled with more of the beer they were enjoying. Bite Bistro offers non-alcoholic beverages as well as 'mixers' that can be enjoyed alone (ginger ale, coke, a fizzy cucumber soda) or with an alcohol provided by the customer. We ordered iced tea:
Look at those cute beverage glasses! I kind of wanted to steal one but I didn't have my big purse with me!!! The iced tea was really tasty. I asked the hostess what kind of tea they used because it tasted a bit like a chai, but she said it was just Lipton although she, too, had noticed that this batch tasted like something other than Lipton. Whatever it was, it was very good iced tea, not weak like some teas.

As usual there were many yummy sounding food options and we had trouble narrowing it down. We ordered three 'small bites.' One was 'mushrooms, polenta, walnut oil:'
A nice crispy rectangle of polenta. Lots of mushrooms. SP really, really liked this. Me? Not so much. BUT. It's me, not the dish. SP pointed out to me that in the past several months, whenever I've ordered a mushroom dish like this, with a truffle oil or walnut oil, I've not enjoyed it. I thought he was wrong until I thought about it, and to my surprise, he was right. I was shocked. I love mushrooms. But I think it's the oil. Whatever it is, it made me not want too much of this small bite, and SP was more than happy to eat more than his half.

I really enjoyed our second 'small bite' which was 'panzanella salad, prosciutto:'
Can anything with prosciutto taste bad? I think not. Add in some delicious, juicy, cherry tomatoes and seasoned, moist bread cubes and you have me making happy food noises.

Our third 'small bite' was the 'macaroni & cheese, green beans, prosciutto, basil:'
I thought that SP wouldn't be so into this dish, but he was more than happy to inhale his half. To be fair, he did offer me an extra bite, but I let him have it. We both really liked this. The green beans were a nice treat, something a little different. Pasta and cheese, two of my favorite things. More prosciutto and my favorite herb, basil - yum! I even took another photo to try and show how glorious this 'small bite' is:
There are several sandwich options and several 'big bite' options. Since we shared three 'small bites,' we both ordered sandwiches. SP chose 'BLT crab, sriracha ailoi:'
He chose cole slaw as his side. He said it was a delicious crab salad with a hint of spice from the sriracha. Bacon - nice and thick and crispy. He even liked the bun and the lettuce & tomato were excellent. He would 'order this again in a heartbeat' he says. I didn't try any since I don't like sriracha.

This was my sandwich:
Looks like plain old sloppy joes, right? Why would I get that? I'll tell you why - it was lamb! 'Sloppy Lamb' with molasses, chipotle, and onion. I chose frites as my side.

The Sloppy Lamb was delicious. I could definitely taste the chipotle, and it left a slight bit of heat in my mouth and throat, but it was not over-powering or too hot for me, the spice wimp. I could smell the smokiness if it, too. The bun? Delicious. The frites? Oh my. A cross between a regular french fry and a potato chip. As the City Paper said, in the shape of a wide egg noodle. So good! The green sauce drizzled on top is an aioli and the hostess told me they make a basic aioli and toss in whatever fresh herbs they have on hand that day. It was so good! I can't believe we ate as many frites with sauce as we ate since usually neither of us much enjoys frites/french fries.

On to dessert. We had just enough room to try some. I knew SP would want to try the Maple-Bacon Gelato:
It was good. It tasted like breakfast! SP says it was very unusual and different but also very tasty.

He correctly guessed that I'd order the Pot de Creme with Salted Caramel:
Oh my goodness. This was so thick and rich and dense. So tasty, but I could only eat about a third of it before asking to have the rest boxed up.

We both really enjoyed Bite Bistro. The food was tasty. The hostess/servers were very friendly. When I asked questions about the iced tea & frites dip, they were happy to answer and asked if I had any other questions. Our iced teas were kept filled and never too filled with ice cubes so as to dilute the tea. It was relaxing. Just a really nice meal. We will go back -- I'm not sure when since our list of places to go to again now rivals our list of places to try!! Bite Bistro is definitely worth a trip to Bellevue.

Also, they have special events. Saturday evening there was a poetry reading and there were many people arriving for that. SP told me that the restrooms are down a half flight of stairs and then down another half flight is a room where the poetry event was. There are other events - you can check out their scheduled events here.
Bite Bistro on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. this sounds like my kind of place! definitely need to check it out.