Posted on 02 April 2009
By Bob Schriner
We arrived at Bistro Garden in Studio City on a cold and windy night. The cozy interior of the restaurant helped to warm us quickly. The dining room is an indoor/outdoor garden and was adorned with lots of greenery and a glass ceiling. Our waiter knew the menu as if he’d written it. At this point a round of neat sparkling domain chandon’s seemed like the smartest thing we could do. I love a place that serves good bread. This is such a simple thing, but not everyone gets it right. A server dropped of a basket of assorted breads that were all delicious. I had to restrain myself from not doubling up on the bread.
With Prime New York steak being the obvious entrée choice my dinner partner, Raewynn Bailey and I both elected to go with seafood appetizers. I went with the seasonal shellfish platter and was glad I did. Served on ice, I believed that they had been flown in that day. The taste was so sweet that I left it free of all the accoutrements on the side. Raewynn opted for a dish of Maryland Lump Meat Crab Cake that made me a bit jealous that I only had a sample of it.
I must point out, by the time we were about to order entrees I was short on nerves. The table next to us was occupied by a Mickey Rooney-looking old man and his 40-something son arguing rather loudly about who had the worst divorce. Now I certainly cannot fault Bistro Garden for the failure of two bitter men to recognize their belligerence. Our main courses arrived and I hoped that the steaks would drown out the annoying din of the two men arguing. I had a hard time deciphering the many rich and wonderful flavors within the beautifully cut piece of meat. The steak was so tender that it almost melted in my mouth.
I had to pull myself away from the steak in order to get a few bites of the pomme frites and roasted tomato while they were still hot. I asked Raewynn if the same could be said of her Filet Mignon and she let out a slow nod of affirmation. She cut a piece for me and I could taste a faint bit of nutmeg on it, which struck me as odd. Everything we had up to that point was flawless and service was impeccable. Given the size of the portions, I certainly didn’t need dessert. I was far from hungry but I couldn’t resist a double chocolate mousse cake. I was confident that the mousse cake would send me to cloud 9. The chocolate mousse was good in the top 5 range; silky and rich. This was the ending I was looking for. Raewynn was inclined to try the Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Ice cream. Once again my instincts served me well and Bistro Garden was a good, comforting place to eat.