Friday, August 22, 2008

Bistro 5: Restaurant Week

One of my choices for Restaurant Week was Bistro 5 in Medford. Their menu choices looked very interesting, one of the better ones I saw, and I only live about six miles from the restaurant. Yet I had never been there before. After my dinner there the other night, I will be making many more trips to Bistro 5.

Bistro 5 is an Italian restaurant owned by Chef Vittorio Ettore. It actually is a spacious restaurant, though divided into a few different rooms. It has a casual ambiance with an interesting decor that seems to provide a more intimate atmosphere as well. For a Wednesday night, even during Restaurant Week, the restaurant was very busy, nearly full. That usually bodes well.

Our server turned out to be someone I knew, Angus, who also works for Vineyard Road, a fine wine distributor. I had recently met Angus at the Scholium Project wine tasting. He was an excellent server, personable, knowledgeable and attentive. I watched him handling his other tables and he evidenced all those qualities to everyone. And he certainly knows his wines.

Before our food started to arrive, we were brought a basket of warm, fresh bread with some oil and a chickpea spread. As I have said repeatedly, I love warm bread and think it is such a good way to start off a meal. This bread was delicious!

We chose to get the wine pairings with our meals, and it only cost $22 extra for three glasses of wine, one for each course. They have an interesting wine list and we even able to make some changes if you desired. For example, our server offered an Italian red wine rather than the white wine that went with the Rabbit Ravioli course, a change I much appreciated. We had some excellent wines with dinner and were very glad we chose the wine pairings as it allowed us to try several different wines.

We began our first course with the Calamari and Peach Risotto selections. The Calamari was semolina-coated fried squid with a sweet and spicy chutney of cherry tomatoes, ginger, champagne vinegar and a touch of honey. My wife really liked the squid and the chutney was very tasty with a mice melange of flavors. The Peach Risotto had Gorgonzola, Prosciutto di Parma & mint oil. I was intrigued by the description of this dish but a bit wary how the peach would be with a risotto. But the dish was superb! Every flavor melded together beautifully and I greedily devoured it. There were good-sized pieces of peach in the risotto but their sweetness just complemented the creamy rice. My wife and I were impressed with the first course.

For the second course, we chose the Veal Milanese and the Rabbit Ravioli. The Veal was breaded with pistachio crumbs and parmigiano served over sage-garlic mashed potatoes, escarole, shallots and a porcini demi-glace. An excellent dish with tender and flavorful veal. It was topped with crisp carrot slices which were quite intriguing and delicious. The potatoes were quite delicious too. A top notch dish that continued to impress. The Rabbit Ravioli came with shaved Pecorino Toscano, golden cherry tomatoes & Tuscan kale. The Ravioli was superb! Such a savory taste, with buttery flavors, some creaminess and fresh pasta. Each bite was decadently delicious.

For dessert, we had a Chocolate Pot de Creme and the Duet of Sorbets. The Chocolate was a creamy, rich chocolate blend that would be sure to please any chocolate lover. The Sorbet included a peach sorbet and a berry one. Both were very fruity and flavorful, the scoops sandwiched between light, crispy cookies and with a fruity sauce on the side. An excellent ending.

Bistro 5 very much impressed me, especially for Restaurant Week. The food is absolutely delicious and the chef has created some intriguing dishes. I will be back very soon to try out their regular menu and I highly recommend you check out the restaurant as well. They have three and five course tasting menus which would be a good way to see the range of the chef. And much of what was on the Restaurant Week menu is on their regular menu too. Mmm..maybe I will be back there next week.

Bistro 5
5 Playstead Road
Medford, MA
Phone: 781-395-7464

Bistro 5 on Urbanspoon

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