When a restaurant operates on a seasonal menu schedule, chances are the change of menu comes with a high level of anticipation and it is greeted with much enthusiasm. As a restaurant that believes in fresh, locally sourced ingredients, Bistro 7 Farm-to-Fork Restaurant is no exception.
With a change of seasons comes a few changes in the menu at Bistro 7, and for as much as the good folks at Bistro 7 would like to believe the change is beneficial only to them, it’s also actually a change that is not only good but great for their customers. When you can share in food this delicious and fresh, you can’t help but come up on the winning side of the plate.
A recent tasting of the new menu at Bistro 7 proved to be a testament to not only the dedication to freshness and better ingredients that owners Breno Donatti and Matt Criscuolo strive to maintain, but also a true barometer of the skills of the chef and everyone in the kitchen. Light hors d’oeurves, which included creamy smoked salmon spread served on both a crostini as well as an endive leaf, prosciutto wrapped shrimp and seared swordfish crostini topped with wasabi lime pesto—my favorite of the trio—kicked the evening off to a great start and primed our palates for the delightful tastings to come.
Never let it be said that every bowl of tomato soup has to be boring, at least not anywhere in the vicinity of Bistro 7. Their Homemade Style Tomato Soup put others to shame. With bits of heirloom tomato and the rather ingenious addition of bite-sized grilled cheese sandwich chunks—instead of the predictable croutons—throughout, it was one of the more memorable encounters with tomato soup that I’ve tried in recent memory.
Quinoa is an acquired taste, but it didn’t take long for me to warm up to the idea of this particular whole grain. Bistro 7’s take on a Marinated Beets and Quinoa Salad was a great interpretation with golden crisp beets, sliced apple and raisins. It was a surprisingly refreshing and light dish and the mélange of flavors and textures played well on the tongue.
The Pan Seared Scallop—a mollusk that is a perennial favorite of mine . . . when prepared properly—was by far the most stunning presentation. The rich, golden hue of the scallop against the backdrop of the vibrant colors of the accompanying sweet corn and bean succotash is one of the many reasons for the saying “we eat with our eyes first.” First I took in the dish visually, and then I allowed my palate to take over as I took the first bite. With each subsequent bite, I longed for more of that wonderful savory flavor that worked its way from the outermost edges of the scallop to the very center of the buttery soft meat. And still I long for more . . .
While I salivated over my scallop, my husband received a special non-shell fish plate of Stuffed Collards. While this may not have been their intention, I see this as Bistro 7’s successful ode to the Greek stuffed grape leaves with a noticeable nod in the direction of the south. Collards are typically tough, sturdy greens but they held their own with the addition of truffle risotto in this dish. Topped with a spicy marinara sauce that paired well with the stuffed collards, it was a dish whose ingredients complemented one another in a noticeably distinct way.
And who in the foodiesphere doesn’t love a good taco? I, for one, count this Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Taco as a major hit. Sure, sweet potatoes abound in this filling, as do organic bell peppers, squash, zucchini and beans. However, the real surprise was the addition of organic spicy tofu which added a decidedly piquant kick to the taco. Perhaps a little too spicy for some, but my taste buds certainly enjoyed it.
Vegetables are good, but meat is great! And unless you’re a vegetarian, it’s difficult to argue with the “Baby Come Back” Ribs at Bistro 7. These ribs will definitely make you want to come back again and again. Slow cooked, grilled and topped with a housemade BBQ sauce that will have you licking your fingers, the ribs were fall off the bone tender and succulent. And while I’m not a huge fan of cole slaw (in truth, I have really only cared for my mom’s recipe …) just as it does at a backyard barbeque in the South, this cole slaw (which, btw, was very good and not loaded with an overabundance of mayo) was the perfect pairing with the ribs.
However, for all of the accolades I’ve bestowed on all of the dishes of the evening, the crown of excellence has to go to the Crispy Branzino which left me wanting more (and I eventually walked out of the restaurant with two more orders to-go!). The flavor was not only in the crispy bits, but throughout this gorgeous white fish. Look, I won’t mince words: It’s sea bass, but this particular dish which was draped atop a medley of red onions, celery, kalamata olives, potatoes and scallions, was superbly divine. When it comes to ordering this fish off the menu again, it’s a no-brainer.
This special tasting menu was more than enough to satisfy my palate . . . and then some. However, Breno and Matt had something else in store for us: dessert. It was a triple threat of delights – each dessert vying to be my number one. The first in the triad was a crispy topped Warm Crème Brule, followed by a decadent Brownie topped with caramel sauce and toasted walnuts, and bringing up the rear was sinfully delicious Bread Pudding with a homemade berry sauce.
There’s no better way to end a delicious meal than with an equally enjoyable dessert. I had the opportunity to experience three, so life is looking pretty good.
If Bistro 7 isn’t on your culinary radar, take this opportunity to chart a path to Wilton and put this on your list of ‘must-visit’ places to dine. With a new seasonal menu, staff that treats you like a valued customer, and owners who have a firm belief that “a really good meal and a table full of friends and family will bring out the best” in them, allow them to show you exactly what they mean.
Bistro 7 is open seven days a week, Mon-Sat 11:30am – 10:30pm and Sun 10:00am – 10:30pm. And be sure to check out the mouthwatering Sunday brunch menu.