Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bistro 5 New Years' Eve Dinner

With the snow storm on New Year's Eve, I was glad that I had reservations at Bistro 5, a local restaurant not far from my home. I have enjoyed my prior meals at Bistro 5 so was anticipating another excellent meal for New Year's Eve too. I was also pleased that our server was Angus, an exceptional server who I have also written about before.

We were seated at a cozy corner table, enhancing our privacy and also making a more romantic evening. I began by perusing the wine list and decided on a the 1998 Gran Clos, a Spanish wine from the Priorat region. Unfortunately, that wine was no longer available. Angus made some recommendations, offering a couple of more expensive wines at the same price as the Gran Clos. I then decided on the 2005 J.L. Chave Saint Joseph"Offerus", a French Rhone wine made of 100% Syrah. This was a rich wine with intense plum and blackberry flavors but was not overly tannic. It actually was rather smooth with some minerality and hints of earthiness. It would end up pairing well with our meal and I was very happy with the choice.

Our dinner began with an Amuse Bouche, which included a glass of Prosecco and a Crispy Wild Shrimp. The large shrimp was covered in a nest of filo and was accompanied by a tangy and flavorful seafood sauce. The Prosecco was crisp, light and had some nice citrus notes. A good beginning to our meal.

For appetizers, we chose the Calamares en su Tinta and Lobster Crepe. The crispy calamari, tender and not rubbery, came with an intriguing and tasty seafood infused heirloom tomato sauce. The Crepe, tied at both ends like a bag, had herbed butter, smoked chorizo and lobster jus. There was lots of lobster pieces inside the crepe and it was quite delicious. The ends of the crepe were crispy and added a nice textural element to the dish.

The entrees were equally as good. The Maine Sea Scallops came with a black truffle coulis, polenta, baby vegetables and tarragon sauce. Each large scallop was cooked just perfectly, with a crispy exterior and tender interior. All of the flavors in this dish complemented each other, each item cooked just right. The Filet Mignon came with foie gras butter, a cabernet demi-glace, potato galette and asparagus. The filet was as tender as expected, with a flavorful sauce. The potato galette was delicious, like a side of excellent hashed browns.

For the finale, two exceptiona desserts, including a Chocolate Mousse and Goat Cheesecake. The first dessert was not just a dish of mousse. Instead, the creamy mousse was atop a light chiffon cake and topped by a fresh berry compote. A fine combination of flavors and textures that made for an excellent dessert. The cheesecake was made with about 80% goat cheese and 20% cream cheese. It came with an amaretti crust, mostarda and ginger caramel gelato. I generally am not a fan of cheesecake but I very much enjoyed the taste. There was a noticeable taste of goat cheese, which I do like, and it went well with the other flavors. Our desserts were accompanied by three glasses of dessert wines, including a Moscato and Brachetto. All three were quite good, each with their own merits.

Service was exceptional and Angus is a pure delight. He really knows his wines, is quite personable, and very accomodating. Chef Vittorio Ettore even made an appearance in the dining room, stopping to chat briefly with some of the diners, including ourselves. Overall, this was another superb dining experience at Bistro 5, and I continue to give it a strong recommendation.

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

No comments: