Friday, May 17, 2013

Review: Bistro 7 in Wilton

Bistro 7 in Wilton hosted a special tasting event in celebration of it's new menu. And, you know when a farm-to-fork restaurant invites me to a tasting event I'm not going to turn it down.

This restaurant has been on our "need to visit" list for a while now. We'd heard such good things but just never got down there - like driving 15 minutes is so hard. Well, this special event was just the push we needed.

Background
The restaurant is owned by Breno Donatti and Matt Criscuolo. It is part of the Jazzeria restaurant group which also includes Toozy Patza (in the same plaza), Piccolo Pizza & Pasta Jazzeria in Ridgefield and Wilton Pizza & Jazzeria. What makes B7 stand out is that it is farm-to-fork with a seasonally changing menu. During the peak local growing season, Breno said about 80% of their produce comes from local farms and, of course, during the off-season its about 30%. There is an obvious passion for quality with all the ingredients even if they aren't available locally. I was really excited to learn from Breno that this year they are putting in a restaurant garden for things like herbs, lettuces and tomatoes. They are a member of Slow Food.


Atmosphere
The vibe of B7 is warm and very inviting. It's dimly light with exposed brick walls and lots of wood. The walls are dotted with large black and white photos and classic black and white movies (sans sound) are projected against the back wall.


Menu
B7 is open for lunch and dinner. The menu is broken down into Burgers and more, Big Plates, Smaller Plates, Salads and Sides. I loved that where appropriate they include notes such as V for vegan, GF for gluten free and VT for vegetarian. At lunch there's also a prix-frixe option. Oh, and there's a bar menu too.

Drinks
There is a full bar with all the classics. They offer a small but top-notch selection of beers on tap, a variety of beer in bottles as well as a great selection of wines. Then, there are the B7 originals. We were treated a drink called Sage Advice featuring organic vodka, sage infused simple syrup, blackberry chambord glaze and fresh squeezed lemon. So. Good. The drink was well balanced (aka not too sweet). I think it's perfect for brunch, which they have on Sundays.

On To The Tasting

Hors d'Oeuvres
As guests arrived we were treated to a trio of hors d'oeuvres. The first was a smoked salmon cream cheese toast with red pepper, dill and chives. It was creamy, crunchy and fresh. Not fishy at all. A second round of the salmon was served in a Belgian endive leaf. I actually enjoyed it even more with the crispy lettuce.

The second item to come around was a thin slice of seared swordfish topped with sauteed veggies and wasabi mayo served on a crostini. Usually, I'm not a big swordfish fan. This little bite might change my mind. Surprisingly, this was my favorite hors d'oeuvre of the night. The wasabi mayo pulled all the flavors together and again, it wasn't fishy at all.

The third nosh was crispy prosciutto wrapped shrimp topped with a rosemary honey mustard served in an endive leaf. While all the ingredients in this were things we love, but it wasn't our favorite. But make no mistake we did enjoy it. We were big fans of the combination of bitter lettuce, sweet sauce and salty prosciutto.


1st Course: Homestyle Tomato Soup made with organic, heirloom tomatoes and topped with grilled cheese croutons. It was like marinara sauce in a bowl - herby, chunky and so good. And really, how can you go wrong with grilled cheese croutons? They melted in your mouth. I could eat a big bowl of this and be happy.


2nd Course: Quinoa Salad with carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, and raisins dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette. The words fresh and crisp immediately came to mind with the first bite. The hint of sweet from the raisins paired so well with the tart apple and earthy quinoa. This would be a great salad to order on a hot summer evening. Refreshing!


3rd Course: Pan Seared Scallops with tarragon pesto, mushrooms, bacon and succotash featuring red beans, corn and snap peas. The crisp veggies were a nice compliment to the scallop which just melted in your mouth. The tarragon pesto, for lack of a better word, was effervescent. We seriously fell in love with this pesto.


4th Course: Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Tacos with organic spicy tofu, black beans, organic bell peppers and zucchini. OMG! Everything this evening was delicious, but we decided this dish was our absolute, runaway favorite. We easily could have put away an entire dish of these bad boys. We love spicy and these were perfect. Killer. We need more.


5th Course: "Baby Come Back" Rib with cole slaw. The meat was slow cooked for three hours then grilled. It was just the right amount of done - a gentle pull and the meat easily came off the bone. The homemade BBQ sauce was lightly sweet. I'm picky when it comes to cole slaw and not a fan of the typical goopy, overly mayo stuff. This was not that. It was crispy and you could actually taste the cabbage. The fresh slaw was a nice compliment to the savory, sticky rib.


6th Course: Crispy Branzino with red onions, celery, peppers and kalamata olives. The fish was amazingly light, flaky and oh, so crispy. Loved the crispiness. Here is where my opinion departs from my lovely husband. I'm not a fan at all of black olives. I always find their taste overwhelming. For me, as usual, the olive flavor in this dish was too strong. I know, it's my own weird hang-up. On the other hand, Renato loved the flavor they added to the dish and didn't think they were strong at all.

7th Course: Dessert Medley of creme brulee, fudgy brownie topped with toasted walnut and caramel sauce, and white chocolate bread pudding. The flavor of the creme brulee custard was spot on. The bread pudding had a lovely, gentle vanilla and spice vibe. Our favorite was the brownie. We really loved the deep chocolate taste combined with the crunchy walnut and sweet caramel. It went down awfully easy.

Special nod to our server Robert. He was fantastic, always making sure the pacing of the dinner was to our liking and frequently checking on us. He suggested a fantastic Sauv Blanc from France to pair with the Branzino dish. He even let us sample another Sauv Blanc from Chile just to compare flavors. We're not fancy folks, but we do love attention to detail. Sometimes it's all about the little things. So when my fork was cleared with one of the courses, he immediately was there with a clean one. I didn't have to say a word. Yeah, I like that.

Thank you to Breno, Matt and everyone for a wonderful evening. Thumbs up. In a nutshell yes, we'll be back for more.

Bistro 7
Farm-To-Fork Restaurant + Bar
991 Danbury Road (Route 7) . Wilton, CT
203.587.1287
www.bistro7wilton.com
Twitter: @bistro7wilton

Open daily 11:30am - 10:30pm
Sunday Brunch at 10am

Bistro 7 - Farm to Fork Restaurant+Bar on Urbanspoon

iPhone Photos by Renato Ghio

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