Pips Bistro , Centerbrook,Ct - 7/20 update
well it was rainy and grey , so we decided to go to one of our favorite spots - Pips Bistro at the Copper Beech Inn.
I knew Tyler Anderson had left in the Spring , but had not seen any news about the replacement chef - now I know why. (Tyler left to open his own place up in Simsbury this summer)
The CBI mgmt has not replaced Tyler with a permanent chef - but have engaged a company to "run" the kitchen - and it shows.
Not to say the food was inedible or poor - it was simply: Uninspired,
and too pricey for the menu presented, and honestly the "vibe" to this gem was gone.
Having said all that - the staff was friendly, responsive and the food was prepared adequately- presentation was also uninspired
Gone was the colorful descriptions on the menu , the enticements describing all the lovely fresh oysters, the after dinner cheese selections.
The menu was solid, but uninspired as I said before.
the cocktail menu was also "just ok"
We ordered a plate of olives to nibble on - ok -but not worth the $5
Gone is the freshly prepared baguettes.
One order was a rib eye , mine was moules frites.
Rib eye was prepared perfectly and tasty - again the presentation was just acceptable
Moules was a bit of a disappointment - first, while it is hard to "present" Moules creatively - what I can say is that these were dumped into too small a bowl, with too little broth - they were served with tiny little pieces of linguica, which was fine for me - as I was not ordering them for the linguica, but had you been looking for the opportunity to also enjoy linguica - it would be hard to find in the dish I got.
Again, having said all that - the Moules were prepared correctly,the broth that was there was tasty - but not enough to enjoy that end of the bowl dunking of a piece of fresh french bread into. The "frites" were to be served with an aioli. Well - it was closer to a mayonnaise than an aioli - and the frites themselves were kind of limp and without any real texture or taste to them.
The dessert menu can be described simply: BORING, I have a sweet tooth and NOT A SINGLE ITEM interested me.
So for the time being - I would say your money would be better spent elsewhere exploring other spots until CBI management selects a new chef, gets its menu in shape and re-establishes its voice in the foodie market.
I am so sad to report this and do look forward to hearing about CBI getting a real chef in there again with their own vision and menu so I can go back.
Very sad...this was one of our favorite restaurants especially for special occasions. I thought there was a chance Tyler was going to consult or have a role in selecting the new chef but apparently either he was unable to reach agreement with CBI ownership or he is too busy getting the Simsbury place (the old Hop Brook location) off the ground. I will give it a chance at some point but given few's report, I know it's just not going to be the same.
That is truly a shame. Always loved the prep on the "frites" fried in duck fat. And the charcuterie was always great as they made their own sausages. The porch was a lovely venue overlooking the gardens. They started increasing prices when they coverted both sides of the restaurant into the PIps format.
For a super great bistro experience go to Bar Buchee in Madison. Was there again this week and had skate that was fantastic.