Archive for the ‘bistro’ Tag

A Night at the Bistro   Leave a comment

unionsign

A bistro is most often associated with Europe. It’s typically a small, neighborhood eatery emphasizing good food in a casual atmosphere. Except for the first part of the definition, Union An American Bistro in Castle Rock fits the bill, but the effort is strained – and it’s difficult to explain why. The service is great, the menu vast, and the beautiful wood floors and brick walls create a contemporary, albeit noisy, ambiance. Yet, Union lacks a sense of natural ease with itself. Maybe it’s the menu.

There’s Thai, Mexican, Italian; there’s blackened, sticky, grilled, roasted; there’s flatbread, salads, sandwiches, entrees. And, there’s too much cleverness: salmon tots, poke tuna nachos, jalapeno bratwurst burger. In the end, the more traditional fare is what we found appealing: a Bacon Cheeseburger, the Cobb Blackened Chicken Salad, Chicken Salad Club Sandwich and Salmon with Risotto.

Again, the service was exemplary: attentive and no trace of judgment in our request for substitutions or alterations to our decisions. Further, we never felt rushed to order or to eat even though there was a wait for tables.

The flakey salmon was the perfect vehicle for the velvety dill sauce augmented by fresh ground pepper. The risotto was creamy and the bits of smoked applewood bacon provide texture – and, well, you can’t go wrong with bacon.

I usually drive past Castle Rock to or from Denver. Although I may not return to Union, it made me realize the town offers more than the fast food places visible from the interstate.

Union An American Bistro
Three plates
3 Wilcox St.
Castle Rock, CO

Bon Appetit   Leave a comment

I was in the mood for something special – most likely inspired by the biography of Julia Child I’m reading. Whatever the reason, we landed at La Baguette French Bistro. I’ve written before about La Baguette, known for its French Onion Soup and crusty bread, but the Bistro, while sharing a similar name, is a different family altogether.

This comfortable, unpretentious restaurant has an impressive dinner menu. Yes, French Onion Soup is an available starter, but we opted to begin with the Tomate, Avocado, Mozzarella Salate. It’s an upgraded version of a Caprese Salad; thanks not only to the addition of the avocado, but also the orange-infused olive oil.

The evening special was Salmon Tips in a cream sauce served over quinoa with green beans almondine, which my husband ordered. It’s hard to go wrong with a cream sauce on anything, and the salmon was no disappointment. However, this was one meal where I did not suffer from entrée envy. I was unabashedly smug with my choice of Veal a la Normandie topped with a cream sauce made with applejack brandy, mushrooms and apples. The apples added just the right amount of texture to balance the earthy flavor of the mushrooms. This was a lick-your-plate-clean meal.

An inordinate amount of attention has been paid to the décor with a French village motif. Lighting is dim, the service considerate, but the owners really need to say au revoir to the canned classic rock and roll music coming through the speakers.

La Baguette French Bistro
Four Plates
4440 N. Chestnut St.
Colorado Springs, CO