Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bistro 5: A Second Look

Last month, during Restaurant Week, I dined at Bistro 5 in Medford and enjoyed an excellent dinner. So I had to return there, to check out their usual menu and hopefully to enjoy another delicious meal. And I was not disappointed.

We began by ordering a bottle of 2006 Domaine Lorenzon Mercurey Burgundy ($39), a French wine with a screwcap. It was a light wine with a bit more of a modern style. It was flavorful, a bit spicy, easy drinking and did not overwhelm any of our food. I was pleased with our choice.

For food, you have several options. First, you could try their Farmer's Market Tasting Menu which comes in either three ($45) or five courses ($65), and with or without wine pairings. The tasting menu changes frequently, dependent on what is available, especially locally. For example, a couple of the courses available included Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms (stuffed with herb and goat cheese) and Berkshire Pork (with a smoked poblano and corn sauce).

The regular menu includes Appetizers ($9-14), Pasta/Risotto ($20-27) and Dinner entrees ($23-31). All of the Pasta/Risotto dishes can be ordered as appetizer size. Though the number of choices is somewhat limited, such as 4 Pasta/Risotto dishes and 5 Dinner Entrees, the choices themselves are diverse. For example, the dinner entrees include Salmon, Rabbit, Veal, Steak and Chicken. And each dish is far from ordinary, sometimes made with rather exotic combinations of ingredients. These are dishes intended to appeal to foodies.

We began our meal with the House Cured Duck Prosciutto ($14), which was accompanied by cured olive crostini, grilled peach/foie gras creme brulee and canteloupe sorbet. Certainly an intriguing combination. The Prosciutto was excellent, savory silky meat that nearly melts in your mouth. The creme brulee was also quite delicious, very smooth and flavorful with that crunchy glaze atop it. The whole dish worked well, the differing flavors meshing together harmoniously.

For entrees, we had the Mustard Seeds Crusted King Salmon ($26) and the Maine Lobster Ravioli ($24). The Salmon came atop arugala and with a strawberry-balsamic vinaigrette. The fish was good-sized, very tender and cooked just perfectly. Though you might hesitate about the strawberry flavor, it actually worked very well with the salmon, with just the right touch of sweetness to the fish. Overall, and excellent dish. The Ravioli were made with squid ink so they have a black color to them and were quite large. They were accompanied by pieces of Chorizo, pea tendrils, majoram, scallions and sat in a lemongrass-lobster reduction. I though the ravioli were absolutely delicious and the taste of chorizo made a nice counterpoint to the sweet lobster. Another successful dish.

For dessert, we split a Peach Phyllo Tart ($10). This was warmed (also a good thing) and was definitely large enough for two people. It was topped by an almond and saffron ice cream. The pastry and phyllo were flaky and there was plenty of sweet peach pieces in it. A delectable ending to our meal and one where we finished the entire dessert. I highly recommend this tart.

Our server was excellent, attentive and personable. The food was delicious, priced appropriately and they provide good portions. Restaurant Week was not just a fluke. I heartily recommend Bistro 5 as your next dining destination.

I should add as well that Bistro 5 has a special wine dinner planned for September 23 at 6:30pm. The wine dinner will highlight the wines of Castello Banfi and will be hosted by Luciano Castiello. It is a 5 course dinner, with five wines, and includes Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Zucchini Blossoms, Venison Confit and Goat Cheese Ravioli, Berkshire Pork Loin and Pumpkin Cheesecake. the cost is $90 per person and as seating is limited, you should call soon for reservations.

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

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