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Creative American Cuisine Experience at Bistro B in Bridgeport, CT

November 22, 2013 2 comments

As soon as we finished our drinks at the Barnum Publick House, it was the time to walk for the whole 20 seconds to our dining destination – Bistro B in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The restaurant inside is definitely done in the modern, simple style – leather, woods, clean colors, clean lines, solid high chairs. If interested, you can even take a pick into the kitchen from outside, to admire all the stainless steel marvels and busy people.

As we already had cocktails, it was the time to chose the wine. Bistro B features quite an interesting wine list. It is somewhat short, but the important fact is that it is extremely reasonably priced. Absolute majority of wines are priced within $24 to $30 range, with few occasional splurges to $36, and one, the most expensive wine at $40 – you don’t see this type of wine prices in the restaurants all that often ( no, it doesn’t sport Yellow Tale, Sutter Home or Crane Lake, if you are wondering). At the same time, majority of the wines were either quite safe or completely unknown to me, so as a self-admitted wine snob I had some challenges deciding what to drink.

We started with 2011 Pieropan Soave from Italy – the wine had hint of white stone fruit on the nose, simple and dry on the palate, with good acidity, but somewhat single-dimensional. Probably the issue was with my expectations which were rather based on my prior experience with Pieropan wines during Vinitaly tastings earlier this year (the two wines we had there were outstanding). Drinkability: 7

From Pieropan we switched to 2012 Mohua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand – typical New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but pleasantly restraint – there is enough grapefruit and lemon notes both on the nose and the palate, but not overpowering, not smash-in-your-face-grapefruit type of wine. Vibrant acidity, good balance. Drinkability: 7+

It was hard for me to chose the red wine (I’m a snob, remember?) – most of the choices didn’t pique my interest. I settled for 2010 Carmen Petite Sirah Gran Reserva Maipo Valley, Chile – dark garnet color in theglass,good amount of dark fruit on the nose, ripe raspberries and dark chocolate on the palate, acidity in check, overall very balanced. Drinkability: 7+

And then there was food. We started with the selection of Small Plates (appetizers).

First up was House Cured Salmon (Star Anise Pickes, Horseradish Mustard Cream, Brown Bread) – the salmon itself was impeccable, perfect texture and flavor (I cure my own salmon myself, so I’m very particular about it). The horseradish cream had some unusual perfumy component (not my favorite), but overall this was quite a successful dish.

Next up were BLT Sliders (Braised Pork Belly, Roma Tomatoes, Iceberg, Maple Aioli) – the sliders were not bad, and you really have to like pork belly to order this type of dish – but definitely this dish has a point for the interesting twist on BLT concept.

Chicken “Lollipops” (House Made BBQ Glaze, Best Blue Cheese Dressing) definitely gets thumbs up for originality and creativity (just caught myself feeling that I’m watching way too much of the Iron Chef, and take it way too seriously – I promise to get over it) – I like the concept, understand the idea and never saw it done before – unfortunately, the “lollipops” were a bit dry, I think this dish can be improved a bit in terms of texture. At the same time, overall flavor profile was excellent.

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For our Garden Plates we had Lambs Lettuce (Crispy Artichokes, Roasted Garlic Hummus) – crispy artichokes were particularly tasty, but so was the salad as a whole – and I liked very much the colorful presentation.

Then the Large Plates came. Potato and Onion Encrusted Halibut (Forest Mushroom Ragout, Asparagus Tips, Truffle) was first – perfectly seasoned and cooked, delicious, flaky fish worked very well with mushrooms (spectacular flavor profile by itself) and asparagus. Definitely an excellent dish.

Next was Pork Schnitzel (Cucumber Salad, Mustard Honey Pan Roast) – this was my least favorite dish – the meat was too dry and too lemony for my taste. The side of cucumber salad was quite tasty.

Then the Roasted Hangar Steak (Pomme Frittes, Roasted Pears), which was served next, was, in a word, outstanding! Meat was perfectly done (medium-rare), and together with the sauce and that Carmen Petite Sirah it simply created a heavenly combination.

And when I thought nothing can beat that steak, the “Chicken Fried Chicken” (Crispy Amish Chicken Breast, Black Pepper Gravy, Cinnamon Spiced Baby Carrots) arrived, and the whole table had gone silent, and then very loud again – inexcitement. The chicken was spectacular –moist, flavorful, perfect crust on outside – and was absolutely delicious with the sauce. This dish definitely finished our main portion of the dinner on the high note.

Do you think we left restaurant without having the dessert? Think again – of course this is not possible. First, we had absolutely delicious coffee, maid in French Press right at the table – yay! Our dessert consisted of Butterscotch Pudding and Flourless Chocolate Cake – both were very tasty, but this is about all I can tell you at this point – hopefully the pictures give you an idea.

That concludes our great experience with the Creative American Cuisine, and as usual, I would like to finish this post by thanking Chef and Owner Jason Milanese and Chef Joe Italiano for the wonderful meal. Until the next time – cheers!

Disclaimer: I attended the restaurant as a guest of management. All opinions are my own.

Bistro B
1006 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
E: info@bistrob.net
P: 203-908-4224
W: http://www.bistrob.net/

Bistro B on Urbanspoon

Bar Experience at Barnum Publick House in Bridgeport

November 18, 2013 9 comments

DSC_0754I’m the wine guy, as you know. Well, with a lot of affinity towards Scotch, Whiskey, Tequila… Beer too. Okay, you got the point – and it seems that I’m drifting away from what I’m trying actually to say here. Okay, let me try to get back on track. The point I’m trying to make is that cocktail is not generally something I’m going for. Part of the reason is that I’m actually (shh, it’s a secret, don’t tell anyone) intimidated by the cocktails. I don’t know the names, have only a weigh idea of the ingredients, and have a hard time making anything decent myself,  even following the recipe precisely.

But the point of the matter is that this is changing lately. After tasting all the wonderful concoctions during our recent restaurant visits (Nola Oyster’s Bar, Mama’s Boy, Bailey’s Backyard) I’m very much inclined to start the evening with the cocktail, as it is quite amazing what the passionate bartender can create for you.

The place I want to talk about in this post is the Barnum Publick House in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our dinner destination was Bistro B (the subject of next post), located within the same block as the Barnum Publick House, but before going to the dinner we had an opportunity to get some cocktails at Barnum Publick House – and I’m glad we did.

Once you walk in, you are greeted by the sophisticated decor, and the bar, which is definitely a centerpiece.

DSC_0757The list of cocktails is all creative and unique:

Cocktail menu at Barnum Publick House

Cocktail menu at Barnum Publick House

I had The Bridgeporter (Willett Pot Still Reserve Bourbon,Vermouth, IPA Foam)  – was definitely sold at the “IPA Foam”. Here it is in the making:

And here is the final result – very restrained, somewhat bitter, perfect to start the evening:

The Bridgeporter

The Bridgeporter

Here are few other cocktails ordered by the people in our group:

So the bar requires bar food, right? And the bar food we got! Three different dishes, all perfectly executed.

Stonington  Calamari (Spicy Flour, Sweet Chili Sauce) had just right amount of breading, served with tangy, somewhat sweet and spicy sauce:

Stonington Calamari

Stonington Calamari

Lump Crab Cakes (Warm Corn Relish, Lemon Tartar Sauce) – perfect texture, big lumps of crab meat, nicely seared on outside, very tasty:

Last but no least was Nachos. Hmm, I’m sure you got picture in your mind right? Corn chips, yellow cheese (I always wonder if that is really a cheese), droplets of ground beef and sprinkles of salsa. Well, get that picture out of your head – and take a look below, this is how Nachos should always look like – Short Rib Nachos (Jalapeno, Tomato, Cheese Sauce, Sour Cream, House Potato Chips) – potato chips, slow cooked short rib meat, perfectly layered and outright delicious in every bite.

That concludes our quick visit to Barnum Publick House – it was definitely fun. If you are up for the great time at the bar, with good cocktails and good food, the place is definitely recommended. Cheers!

Disclaimer: I visited Barnum Publick House as a guest of the management. All opinions are my own.

Barnum Publick House
1020 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 690-1044
http://www.barnumpublickhouse.com/
Barnum Publick House on Urbanspoon

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