Bistro Basque - Milford, CT review (long)
My wife and I went to Bistro Basque (http://www.bistrobasqueusa.com/) for dinner last night and had a fantastic experience. We took advantage of the nice weather and dined outdoors on their back patio area, which was very nice, albeit a bit cramped. Which would probably be my only complaint on the evening as a whole, as I was bumped/brushed several times by servers walking past. Not so much that it annoyed me at all, but figured I’d share that feedback. It’s a very pleasant area to dine, but definitely tight quarters. On to the food.
We are both fans of sharing multiple small plates, so tapas were the way to go. We started with one of the night’s specials, White Asparagus Gratin with manchego, Serrano ham and a piquillo pepper sauce. This was my wife’s favorite dish of the evening and was very good. Five tender, perfectly prepared asparagus spears with just the right amount (not too much) of cheesy and salty pork product accompaniment. Next we had White Beans and Manila Clams in a white wine and garlic sauce. This was good, but not perfect. I had three clams that were gritty (hard to control that unfortunately) and the sauce was a bit over-salted. Neither problem ruined the dish, but kept it from being one of our favorites.
Following that, we moved on to the Lomo – soft white toast points topped with marinated pork tenderloin, tetilla cheese, piquillo pepper and black olives. I thought this was superb. The pork was extremely tender and full of flavor from the spice rub marinade. The whole thing was highlighted by a vibrant piquillo pepper sauce that I loved. Next was the Tapas Cazera – a napoleon of shiitake mushroom atop red cabbage, spinach and duck confit. I could have eaten this whole dish myself. Easily my favorite, this dish had a great balance of flavors, with the sauce (I neglected to ask exactly what it was) offering a wonderful acid counter-note (via some balsamic perhaps?).
We finished up with another special – Lobster “Risotto” with calamari, scallops and clams. This was interesting in that the seafood elements weren’t incorporated into the risotto rice. The rice was presented as a circle mold in the middle of the dish. It was then surrounded by a deep, rich lobster stock, lobster meat and the rest of the seafood. The stock was fantastic and the various meats perfectly tender. Somehow we still had room for dessert. For my wife, the Rice Pudding with raspberry coulis. It was good, but far overshadowed by my choice – a special of Bread Pudding served with a strawberry-balsamic glace and topped with a goat cheese “foam”. Spectacular! The goat cheese worked perfectly with the tangy sweetness of the strawberry-balsamic sauce to elevate the dense richness of the bread pudding.
Service was excellent (with the previously noted exception of the occasional “bump”) and very friendly. Our total bill for the evening (including two glasses of wine and a cappuccino) came to just over $100. We will definitely be returning again in the near future, so I would not hesitate to recommend it to others as well.
Thanks for the review! Bistro Basque is definitely me and my husbands favorite restaurant in the area. We feel BB is far and above any restaurant in Ffld county in food quality and value. Unfortunately we don't get there as often as we'd like as we now live in Newtown. We do plan on dining there in a couple of weeks for our 5th anniversary. thanks for making me hungry (I've been dreaming about the lomo). Next time you go back please try the Boudin Noir it is my husbands favorite.
Had dinner there with the girls the other night - wonderful! The service was attentive but not overbearing, the food inventive and delicious, portions were ample. Nice wine choices. Cool downtown location, the owner stopped by our table and chatted with us and sent us a complimentary drink after dinner. I love it and will go back again and would recommend highly.
It's nice to see more nice words for Bistro Basque. It's been a favorite of ours since it opened and we are never disappointed with either the food or the service. David Fernandez, the owner, is a wonderful host and Leonardo, the matre'd, never fails to greet us warmly and well cared for. While certainly not inexpensive, the "bang for the buck" is certainly significant.
BTW....new Zagat food rating is 26 - highest in New Haven County!