Monday, February 6, 2012

M Bistro & Wine Bar

M Bistro and Wine Bar, 4821 Old Main Street, Richmond

Karisa: My name is Karisa, and I have a crab(cake) benedict problem. If there is a crab or crabcake benedict on a brunch menu, I will order it. Every time. Every. Time. I just can't help myself. Thankfully I didn't resist this time either. The eggs were slightly overcooked, but the hollendaise was wonderful (and plentiful!), the crab cake tasty, and the English muffins were perfectly toasted and ready to soak up the hollendaisy wonderfulness. Once again, not as amazing as my crab cake benedict life partner at Stella's, but an excellent substitute. My only complaint is that I got the fruit instead of the potatoes (based on the server's suggestion). If you suggest fruit, it should be fun and exotic, not melon and grapes. Ah well. I wonder if next week's locale will have crab benedict...I'm an addict I tell you.

AndreaI suggested M Bistro and Wine Bar because it's around the corner from my apartment and I had a LivingSocial voucher to use. Overall, we had a very enjoyable time and we were not initially unanimous with our decision this week (I feel like a judge on So You Think You Can Dance!). We decided to go with the lower rating because it just didn't measure up to the experience of Stella's and The Blue Goat. I ordered the "Elegant Eggs", a mix of eggs, cheese, and a delicious sauce of asparagus, mushrooms, and sherry. The sherry lent a sweetness that complemented the veggies quite well. The eggs were supposed to be served in a vol au vent shell (puff pastry) but the kitchen was out of puff pastry, so I had the eggs over biscuits instead. Very tasty, but I can't help but think that it could have been even better in the shell. We decided to forego the mimosa in lieu of a pomegranate sparkling beverage that was uber tasty. I will have to replicate this at home as soon as possible. Liked the overall decor, especially the bathroom (faucet was in the shape of a joystick - so cool), but misses on the bloody mary and coffee knocked this restaurant down a few notches on our brunch rating ladder.

Michelle: I walked into the restaurant and thought "Ooooh, I'm in for a fancy afternoon!" Our hostess sat me at a large booth in the big front window. As I waited for the other ladies to arrive, I looked through the brunch and cocktail menu. I love that restaurants are doing the fancy specialty cocktails now, and M Bistro has some tasty sounding ones on their menu. I stuck to the ush, though, and ordered a Bloody Mary. Unfortunately, my beautiful drink tasted like straight cocktail sauce. We had a nice conversation with our waiter about the broiled grapefruit, and I thought we placed an order for it as an appetizer. I decided on the shrimp and grits for my meal. I was a bit surprised when our dishes came out, there was no grapefruit to be seen. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. There was plenty of shrimp in the cheesy, saucy grits. The chunky tomato ragout was a wonderful addition to the plate. I ended up using some of Andrea's leftover potatoes to wipe the rest of the grits and sauce off of my plate, that's how delicious it was. Overall, our brunch wasn't quite as fancy of an experience as I anticipated when I walked in, but it was still a very pleasant and delicious meal.

Rating: 3
Food: Very Good. I won the award for best dish of the day (two weeks in a row - yay!!), but it was a close call. All were very tasty. Although the menu wasn't all that extensive, there was good variety and several options that sounded good to us.
Service: Good. Would have gotten a Very Good if our waiter hadn't forgotten our broiled grapefruit appetizer. He also incorrectly guessed that Karisa wanted fresh fruit as her brunch side. Nota bene for other brunch spots: Karisa *always* wants the potatoes. Extra points were given for attentiveness on the drink refills and general cheerfulness.
Ambiance: Good. We were a bit perplexed about the juxtaposition of modern decor and the Frankie Valle Pandora station they were playing, but it did make for a fun sing-a-long. I hope the guys at the table behind us liked our voices. We do sing like angels...
Coffee: Fair. I'm not going to blame the subpar experience on the Lamplighter coffee, but rather on the French press...perhaps they left it in the press too long? The flavor was a bit bitter, but we did like that the waiter came by several times to offer us refills to keep our java warm.
Mimosa: Not rated today. Karisa and I did enjoy a delicious pomegranate liquor/sparkling wine cocktail that we classified as Good. The flavor was Very Good but for $8, we both wanted more. A lot more.
Bloody MaryFair. It tasted like I was drinking a shrimp cocktail.

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1 comment:

  1. Totally agree about the fruit. It is my practice to ask if it's simply melons, grapes and the occasional strawberry. Such a let down--but everything else looks fantastic! I must visit Richmond to give one (or two) of these places a try!