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Jul 7, 2009 06:14 AM

Bistro At Red Bank, NJ

Not sure if it was a good choice to have sushi/sashimi in a “bistro” but that was what I did yesterday. I was in the area and figure to have a early lunch. There were about 5 or 6 tables filled when I walked in and I took a seat at the sushi bar since I was by myself.

The service was acceptable, I was given my menu and a glass of ice water when I was being seated but it took a little while for the sushi chef to take my order despite there were only 2 other people sitting at the sushi bar(their orders were taken when I first sat down). I ordered a California Roll and a New Wave Roll(basically it is spicy tuna inside the rice, and yellow tail, salmon and avocado forming the outside). The salmon and the yellow tail were both decent, I meant they are quite fresh but not as good as some other places. I did not enjoy the rice that much, they were kind of hard and to me that felt like left over. It just did not taste that good. The total came to $20.5 excluding the tips.

There are other choices on the menu, pizza and pasta…they may be better choices than what I had. The location of this place is not bad but I will not go back for sushi or sashimi.

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  1. A classic example of a place trying to do too many different things and not doing any of them particularly well...

    5 Replies
    1. re: equal_Mark

      I've been to the Bistro twice and had some pretty good meals. I need to get back there.

      1. re: Bob Martinez


        As I mentioned in my initial post that my choice to have Japanese in this place might not be too wise. You said that you had some good meals, please share with us what you had. The location is quite nice and if you had great experience with other items on the menu, I do not mind to go there again, but definitely not for the Japanese food...there are just many places around this area that serve better Japanese!

        1. re: HelenB

          It's been awhile. I had a lunch a couple of year ago that was very pleasant. Some type of panini? (I just took a look on their on line menu and I don't see it.) My last visit was in February 2008 and I also remember the food being pretty good. (Again, I don't see the dish I ordered on the on-line menu.)

          My overall impression of the place was positive so I've been meaning to go back. I noticed that their menu has lots of sushi options so I'm not surprised you tried one. Sorry that didn't work out.

          I realize I'm not exactly providing you with tons of convincing detail. As I said, I need to get back there.

          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Thanks Bob,

            As equal_Mark said, they might be trying too many different things...or I may have just picked the wrong selections. Anyway, if you ever go back and try something...let us know. On the other hand, I will definitely post something if I go there again.....

            1. re: HelenB

              I know I posted on this and did a search, but I'm darned if I can find it. It has been two years or so since our last visit, but we have had some really nice food here. We enjoyed penne vodka with prosciutto and sun dried tomatoes to start. That was my favorite meal there: My mate had a nice teriyaki-glazed chicken breast and I had a fresh mango-seared lamb steak, frites, wilted spinach, and a gorgonzola fritter with a horseradish sauce. There was a lot of stuff going on on the plate but it was very good. The lamb was perfectly cooked and the fritter was rich but just excellent.

              On another visit my guy started with roasted Thai chicken with watercress, crispy rice noodles, napa cabbage, sesame-soy dressing. It’s a dish we order regularly elsewhere and this held up pretty well in comparison. The serving was more than generous, would be a candidate for sharing. My Crackling calamari with spicy miso lime dressing was absolutely first rate (and shareable, if only your companion would eat calamari). We made a mental note to order apps as mains another time. Too much food.

              He very much enjoyed a pork loin with apples entrée, and took some home. I ordered grilled garlic shrimp, yellow & black fettuccini, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, red curry coconut cream sauce, and “dancing bonitos.” The dish was too busy by half and was way salty. The shrimp were well-cooked, but I just couldn’t eat more than 1-1/2. And the wiggling bonito flakes were pretty creepy. That dish was a miss. I was probably too full from my calamari to appreciate it, but I wouldn’t order it again.

              I don't know what is on the menu now, but I would like to get back there again soon. And, no, the sushi just doesn't seem the way to go there.

    2. they think very highly of themselves there, sometimes too highly IMO

      3 Replies
      1. re: aklein

        sorry you had a mediocre experience. I just wish the Bistro in Red Bank were closer to where I live. As the food is always good, most of the time great - and their service and sashimi are always excellent. We also enjoy many of their entrees and apps including the lobster pancakes ..!

        1. re: eatinman

          I've been there many times. I try not to judge a place by its attitude upon just one visit since you never know who will be manning the front, serving the food, pouring the wine, etc. In the case of the Bistro, I've seen a pattern. The LAST TIME being a Saturday late afternoon when my wife and I asked if they wouldn't mind if we sat at a sidewalk table just to have a glass of wine and be on our way. I know, asking a little much but it was quiet and thought it wouldn't hurt to ask. But wasn't that we could not unless we ordered dinner (it was about 5:15 and there were plenty of outside tables open), but the fact that one hostess at the front was afraid to answer and pointed out someone I took for a manager, who sharply said "No!" and walked away, leaving my wife and I standing in the front hall. Nice. I loudly thanked him for his honesty and promised that I would find another place in town... and tell all my friends about it. He didn't even fake it; "No, sorry, but maybe I could find an inside table near the open front." That would have been fine, or "Well, we'd like to reserve those for dinners only. The poor girl gave me an embarrassed smile and practically ran away.

          Besides, the food is okay, nothing to write home about, but the crazy range of food bothers me more. I'm sure on a given night a meal may not be bad and the hospitality decent, but more often than not, the only thing that impresses me is the ridiculous check. There is better sushi/sashimi, brick oven pizza and pasta in the area (it's makes me uneasy that they have ALL those choices, like a diner on trendy steriods).

          1. re: aklein

            "There is better sushi/sashimi, brick oven pizza and pasta in the area (it's makes me uneasy that they have ALL those choices, like a diner on trendy steriods)."

            I have to agree aklein.

            Sushi ,Pizza and Pasta are seemingly the easiest ( and possibly most profitable) items for a restaurant to produce,and yet are IMO some of the most difficult for a chef to master. Mediocrity and it's general acceptance allows these places to survive.I recently visited another Red Bank "Bistro" that had the Sushi / Pasta / Steak / disease,and should have gone with my gut instinct and stuck with a beer.

      2. Has anyone tried their new place in Little Silver?

        2 Replies
        1. re: equal_Mark

          You meant Zoe? I may try it in the near future since it is not too far from work! Will report!

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