Back in October of 2011 Breno Donatti followed our blog and encouraged us to try out his, and his partner Matt Criscuolo’s, Piccolo Gelato Bar & Cafe in Ridgefield. Well, turns out Breno and Matt were up to more than just slinging gelato, they were also opening up the brand new Bistro 7 in Wilton!
So when Breno invited us to come out to Bistro 7 for a special blogger preview dinner, we had to oblige! Before even getting there we were excited for the food. With Chef Kris Grossman‘s focus on fresh ingredients from local sources, his love of organic food, and making food from scratch, could we really go wrong?
Well, we couldn’t and we didn’t. Starting things off, we were greeted by our nervous server, Carolina. Not nervous because OmNomCT is scary, but just because she wanted things to be great and just right. She did a great job all night, checking in on us and making sure that we were enjoying everything. Carolina also serves triple duty here, also tending bar and creating desserts as the pastry chef.
When our orders for drinks and food were in, we had a chance to talk with Breno and got a taste of what it was like to run a farm to table restaurant. Starting off, Chef Grossman has to be very flexible in terms of the menu and ingredients. Sometimes you just can’t find the right items locally or they are out of season. Also, because they won’t freeze or store large amounts of food (potentially wasted), they could run out of ingredients much faster than other restaurants that usually fall back on frozen ingredients. So, they solve these challenges by creating new dishes all the time and keeping the menu quite large.
Well, let’s dig in and give you some snapshots of Bistro 7:
Creative Drink List
We tried out the jalapeno margarita with muddled jalapeno, lime juice, tequila, Grand Marnier, and agave nectar. The flavor was right on, it had a slight kick from the jalapeno, but we wish it was stronger. For a second drink, we had the Brazilian Mojito. The mint didn’t overpower at all and there was just the right amount of cachaça. A perfectly refreshing drink.
Cooked perfectly with great grill marks and great flavor. The crispy chorizo added a nice saltiness to the dish that took it over the edge.
Smoked pork belly with beluga lentils, balsamic cherries, and chili spiced kroepoek
Kind of tasted like Easter in one bite – DELISH. The lentils were huge– you could easily confuse them with beans. The cherries added a nice tartness to the pork belly and gave the dish a nice “glaze” flavor. Love that balance of sweet, tart and savory. Mmmm.
Fresh, delicious, just the right amount of dressing to set off the tomatoes and arugula with the richness of the goat cheese.
Grilled skirt steak with herb salsa verde and braised white bean ragout
The steak was cooked perfectly at medium rare. On top was a chimichurri-like sauce that had mint, garlic, cilantro, savory, and olive oil. The beans were earthy and full of flavor, while the tomatoes added a nice acidity.
Om nom nom. Just the right amount of cheese to pasta ratio. Gooey, but not too gooey. Baked, hot, and crispy on top with breadcrumbs. A favorite mac & cheese of ours for sure! Wow.
Chocolate doughnuts with panna cotta and tarragon cherry compote
While the panna cotta was a bit too jelly-like (not fans), the chocolate doughnuts were unique and tasty, especially with the cherries. They definitely aren’t what you’d expect when you hear doughnuts, they are much smaller and condensed but still good.
Although you’d swear the crust would be thick and very heavy, when you take a bite you discover that it’s oh so light. Think of a similar consistency of a shortcake. The filling was just a bit tart and was perfectly sweet.
You hear the crunch when you tap the top of the crust…perfect. The crème brûlée was warm (the way it’s supposed to be), creamy, and had real specks of vanilla inside. Our strategy: take bites of crème brûlée with the fruit that comes with the dish. A GREAT dessert!
Bistro 7 is a great little unsuspecting spot that puts a really relaxed, approachable spin on farm to table food. And, the location, right off of 7, is convenient to get to from lots of places. Whenever we’re around that area (or on our way to/from the Berkshires for some snowboarding in the winter) we’ll definitely need to check out Bistro 7 again.
Address: 991 Danbury Road
Phone: (203) 587-1287
Hours: Kitchen: 11:30 am – 10:30 pm / Bar: 11:30 am – 1 am / Brunch: Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 2 pm