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Sep 8, 2012 03:38 AM

Bistro Mediterranean and Tapas Bar

As we drove down Main Street, East Haven, I was not anticipating finding an oasis of fine dining. We parked in the lot in the back which was only one-third filled at 6:30PM last (Friday) night. The restaurant is quite large with white table clothed tables spread between 2 good size rooms plus seating at the attractive bard and a patio located out front.
We were immediately greeted and shown a table for 2, provided menus and asked for our drink (iced tap water) orders. Like most of the other diners this evening, we were planning on ordering off the tapas section of the menu though the full plate (Platos Principales) section looked very interesting as well.

We received an amuse bouche of olives along with some bread to sop up the delicious olive oil, garlic and assorted spices while we perused the menu. On entering I had noticed a table with mussels and French fries in the bar area so we made Mejillones al Vino Blanco our first order. These are PEI mussels cooked with slivers of garlic, small pieces of tomato, parsley in a light white wine sauce. The taste was truly excellent though the bellies were on the small size.
As the night progressed, tables rapidly filled all around us, but the service staff never skipped a beat, continuing to be both attentive and uniformly friendly. For a second order we chose the house salad with mixed greens and large piece of gorgonzola cheese with a light dressing plus crab cake Mediterranean. This pair of cakes served with a red pepper coulee and some torn greens were delicious.

Neither of us was hungry at this point, but we forced ourselves to look at the dessert menu finally opting for a Crema Catalina that by any other name, namely Crème Brulee, would have been so beautifully plated and equally as delicious.
Shortly after receiving the bill, we received a small muscatel aperitif. In yet another gesture of friendliness by the staff, two different members shook my hand and thanked us for our patronage as we exited.

Overall, we were highly impressed by the quality of the food, friendly pricing and the service provided this evening. .

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    1. Bistro has rapidly become our favorite restaurant in Ct after just 2 visits. On our recent recent visit the food was excellent, the pricing friendly and the service way above average. My wife and I started off by ordering 2 tapas, piquillos rellenos de cordero and berengena rellena de vegetables.
      The former are Spanish peppers stuffed with lamb and a port Shallot reduction while the latter is a single baby eggplant stuffed with a mixture of vegetables. Both were delicious. We also ordered paella Valencia which contained 2 good sized shrimp, several small mussels, chicken, chorizo and calamari in a delicious seafood broth. Though this dish was not prepared in the classic manner and had too much broth, it was also delicious “as is” and a bargain at only $16. We closed out the meal with a beautifully plated and perfect slice of flan and a complimentary glass of Muscadet. As mentioned by other diners, the staff is very professional yet friendly.

      2 Replies
      1. re: westie

        I'm so glad you posted this. I was recently chatting with a friend about this place as I've been wondering how it would be for a business dinner venue for about 20-25 people. I had a really impressive conversation with the owner one time on the phone and would like to try it for a work dinner since many if our employees live on the shoreline and I figured it would be an easy commute from new haven and beats having to find parking at a downtown location. What do you think? Does it look like they could accommodate a large table off to the side?

        1. re: cheereeo

          There is a large room between the entrance from the parking lot and the main dining room that looks like it could be closed off. Even if it cannot be closed off, it looks like it would still provide a good degree of privacy. I haven't been seated in that room, but it appears it could easily accommodate 25 people.