Westend Bistro is the epitome of chic, with dim lighting, warm colors and spacious booths that give way to privacy. This is a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy an appetizing meal. Located in the Ritz-Carlton, this establishment lives up to the standard. The first thing that catches the eye is the outdoor seating located to the direct right as soon as you enter Westend Bistro. The carefully positioned greenery that surrounds the patio area allows diners to enjoy the outdoor dining experience without feeling distracted by the city foot traffic.
Chef de Cuisine; Adam Barnett came by the table and chatted for a bit. His easy going personality and transparency of his experience made it even better when it came to eating his and his teams’ food. Attributing the consistent deliciousness from the kitchen to his team, Chef Barnett says his team is always excited and eager to grow in knowledge. One of the winning skills the culinary team possess is using the proper searing technique. Describing his cooking style as more feminine than masculine in the culinary world, Chef Barnett explains that he cooks the way he wants to eat, acknowledging that dining out should be an entire experience.
Making several things in house from gnocchi, ice cream, to even utilizing a speed smoker used to smoke both meats and fruits, Chef Barnett explains that he likes to subtly change the menu several times a year by tweaking or replacing two or three dishes. Making sure to never be culinary complacent, Chef Bennett admits to be known to even throw a short rib on top of the mac and cheese every now and again.
With a Coravin System, a wine access system that allows you to enjoy wine by the glass by poking a tiny needle into the cork and allowing the pouring mechanism controlled by a trigger to slowly release the amount of wine desired. Because the needle goes through the wood grain of the cork, once removed, the cork closes back up which allows the preservation of the remaining wine.
Service: Knowledge and attention was something that every employee showcased. It was not unusual for a waiter to help a fellow waiter clear a table, or carry dishes to the kitchen. Communication seemed to flow steadily as management made themselves available to all.
Food/Drink: Every dish was cooked deliciously. It was apparent that each dish was made intentionally based on the primary ingredient.
Crab & Compressed Watermelon Salad: This summer salad was absolutely delicious. The flavor was light and fresh and the combination of the mild crab and sweet watermelon mixed with ginger tarragon dressing could not be beat. This salad is a wonderful seasonal change and a great precursor to any meal.
Westend Baby Iceberg Wedge: Simple changes make this otherwise traditional salad memorable. Homemade ranch dressing accompanies smoky blue cheese, candied bacon, and Banylus marinated cherry tomatoes to make up this stellar salad.
Vaudouvon Curried Skate Wing: This fish is part of the Ray family and has a mild flavor like crab. This fish melted in your mouth upon first bite. Seasoned to perfection with caramelized artichokes, grilled celery and a delicious fennel emulsion, this fish can easily become a fast favorite.
Smoked New York Strip Steak: Tender and juicy is the perfect way to describe this dish. Accompanied by grilled carrots, shiitake mushrooms, and potato confit, this dish left the stomach satisfied without having that weighed down and sluggish feeling afterwards.
Spinach Marbled Potato Gnocchi: Homemade gnocchi with sweet corn, braised leeks, and a brown butter emulsion made this delicious vegetarian dish so delicious that it will satisfy even the most carnivorous diners.
Sweet Corn & Summer Bean Succotash: This side was fresh and the sweet corn mixed with green beans made it a perfect side to any entrée.
Mac & Cheese: Creamy and cheesy made this mac and cheese perfect. The breadcrumb topping added a nice consistency to the dish and made it hard to not devour in one bite!
Piña Colada Dome: Paired with delicious coffee, dessert was a delicious end to this savory meal. A culinary rendition of the Piña Colada with homemade Piña Colada ice cream, lemon meringue, and pistachios sprinkled on top, made this dessert well rounded with flavor. Great for the diner who doesn’t have a heavy sweet tooth.
Atmosphere: The dim lighting added to the warmth of the bistro and the soft music was a perfect canvas to the soft mumbles of the diners. This is a perfect place to unwind, enjoy a fresh meal and take in the city sights, especially if you sit on the right side of the bistro where the wall is a large window, perfect for people watching!
Overall Experience: Dining at Westend Bistro is a great way to leave any stresses of the day behind and be present at a delightful meal. The calm atmosphere almost makes relaxing and unwinding mandatory, which is something that is needed. From the service to the enjoyable fare that considers every palette, this is the place to dine!
If it’s an after work dinner, or maybe a desire to dine in the city, Westend Bistro has all of the elements to make it a meal to remember!