Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bistro 27

Bistro 27, 27 West Broad Street

Karisa: It's been weeks since I've had a crab benedict - weeks! Truly a tragedy. I was determined to rectify my benedict deficit this weekend. Fortunately, Bistro 27 has abounding  benedict varieties to choose from. Naturally I ordered the crab meat version, and was immensely pleased with this back to basics version. There was nothing fancy about this crab benedict, but there doesn't need to be when basics are executed so well. With a soft and toasted English muffin, lumpy and abundant crab, runny poached eggs and rich hollandaise- how can you go wrong? You can't. Combine this tasty old friend with the appetizer of sweet potato fries we had to start the meal and the lovely mimosa(s) I had,  and Bistro 27 gets two thumbs up from this brunching gal.

Andrea: Brunch at Bistro 27 was a joy. I've decided that I'd like to begin every Sunday with their blood orange sparkly beverage. A few things on the menu caught my eye; I was leaning toward the french toast that had Nutella (mmmm...Nutella...) but made a game-time decision to make my own frittata because I felt like the french toast would have been too heavy considering that I had more eating to do that afternoon at another function. My frittata featured feta, bacon, onions, and mushrooms. I liked that I could choose up to four toppings and the combo I selected was a winner. What I didn't like, however, were the hash browns. The shredded potatoes were cold and barely cooked. The accompanying fruit was good (I'm a sucker for pineapple) and our sweet potato appetizer (just a regular side of their sweet taters) were yummy. Overall, the ambiance of the place was very inviting - high ceilings, cool art on the walls, lots of windows that brightened the space - even on a rainy day like last Sunday. Despite the cool temperature, the air conditioning was on and I swear it was blowing directly on me. My only other complaint about the meal was that the coffee got cold really quickly (probably related to all the air blowing on me). However, the service was good, and I was excited to see a Cosmo in the ladies restroom. Were it not for a few small missteps, Bistro 27 would have earned a solid 5. This was one week where I wish we did half points. I'll definitely be back to try the french toast - perhaps when my parents are back in town.

Michelle: I've been to Bistro 27 once before for a wedding rehearsal dinner, and I remember enjoying my meal thoroughly. I imagine that Bistro 27 would be a great place for brunch on a sunny day. You could sit by one of the huge windows and sip coffee and people watch. Unfortunately we picked a very dreary day for brunch here. All we could manage was to sip coffee and snuggle down.

My Bloody Mary this week was quite exciting. It was garnished with a cucumber foam and a gherkin! The menu tried to be fancy and French by calling it a cornichon, but who are you kidding, Bistro 27? It is a gherkin and we all know it. The drink itself was quite tasty. I liked the seasoning, and the cucumber flavor was very nice and refreshing. The coffee was alright, but it got cold very quickly. We got an order of sweet potato fries as an appetizer. Whenever I've had sweet potato fries in the past, they've been seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon, and sometime sugar. Bistro 27 salts their sweet potato fries, and I really liked them! It was a nice savory/sweet combination going on there. For my meal I chose the pork and duck hash. The hash came served with two eggs over easy on top. I was not disappointed. The hash had peppers and onions cooked in along with the two different meats. The eggs were cooked perfectly to my taste.

The atmosphere at Bistro 27 is lovely. I've already mentioned the huge windows. The decor is very European. We had different servers taking our orders, serving drinks, and serving food. It felt very fancy! I will certainly keep Bistro 27 in mind for special occasions.

Marin: I would recommend Bistro 27 for your brunching pleasure, especially if you're looking for a (perhaps atypically?) sophisticated venue with an inviting ambiance and pleasantly affordable prices. We began with the sweet potato fries, which were deliciously soft with a piquant sweetness. Endearingly, they came served with ketchup. The complimentary rolls were sufficiently tasty that I was not impatient for my brunch to arrive, but not so tasty that I nibbled at mine with any particular greed or reached surreptitiously for a second. For my main course I ordered the Huevos Rancheros, which, at Bistro 27, consists of a black bean "stew" topped with "guacamole" (read: chunks of avocado - not that I'm complaining!), green salsa, and two eggs, served over grits and flanked by four sizeable housemade tortilla chips. Individually, each ingredient was basically flawless. Black bean stew, good. Avocado, (obviously) good. Green salsa, good. Eggs, (a tiny bit overcooked but otherwise) good. Grits, good. Tortilla chips, very good. But overall the combination was missing something. Two things. Both a bit of color and a bit of flavor. I must say, while I certainly wasn't terribly disappointed, this was my first meal out in a very long time after which I hadn't either joined the Clean Plate Club or happily requested a takeout container. That said, I'll heap some of the blame on myself: Perhaps it was my error in selecting the dish that would most please me at that particular time and on that particular day, because my forkfuls of Karisa, Michele, and Andrea's brunches were simply delightful! One ambiance caveat to note: The air conditioning unit seemed to be attempting to exact a bewildering vengeance on our table.

Rating: 4
Food - Very Good. Executed basic things really well with some interesting twists (like grits under Marin's huevos rancheros). Some neat variety on the menu, which wasn't extensive but had several options that each of us were excited about.
Service - Good. The drinks were slow to come out initially, but the coffee service was great and the server was friendly.
Atmosphere - Very Good. Rotating art on the walls, great lighting, big open windows. Unlike some of the cramped places in the Fan, the space was open and not stuffy.
Coffee - Good. Nice flavor and it was nice that the waitress came around repeatedly to fill our cups, but they got cold oh so quickly.
Mimosa - Very Good. Kinda pricey, but super flavorful. Enjoyed both the classic (served non-Richmond style) and blood orange varieties of sparkly goodness.
Bloody Mary - Good. I liked the cucumber foam and gherkin garnishes! Nice flavors and coarse ground pepper were a plus.

Bistro 27 on Urbanspoon

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