Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Bistro 33 - Back at It?
After a short hiatus due to renovations and a new sushi-focused offshoot called Side Door Sushi, Bistro 33 is open for business again. Eager to check it out after the revamps, Dan and I corralled friends, Moses and Sonya to come along for dinner. Overall, a satisfactory experience but unfortunately not the stellar time we remember here in the past. Most of this was due to the service, which needs a lot of TLC.
Here's what we ordered:
Shrimp and Grits - This was my choice, as I never pass up an opportunity to have something comforting and cheesy. I loved how colorful this dish looked, and the flavors reflected this visual vibrancy as well. There was smokiness from andouille sausage, earthiness from the asparagus, tanginess from the shredded cheese and of course a velvety creaminess from the grits. The only thing I was underwhelmed by were the shrimp, which were a tad undercooked. Nothing tragic to complain about, but still noticeable.
Roasted Chicken - As you all probably know by now, Dan is on a super health kick, so he made sure to order light. Not to say that this dish delivered that, because as you see, it had a huge tower of fried onion strings piled on top, but he made sure to donate those to me. The chicken was absolutely delicious - juicy and flavorful with golden brown skin to die for. Dan enjoyed it very much and praised it highly.
Roasted Duck - This is what Moses got, and it looked and tasted scrumptious. I'm a pretty harsh connoisseur when it comes to duck, but this one had a wonderful texture and an incredibly delicate flavor that didn't go unnoticed. The broth that surrounded it was light and slightly sweet, with some nice looking squash wedges to brighten the plate visually and to also bring in fresh flavor.
Cheeseburger - Sonya's burger was quite disappointing unfortunately, and you can tell just by looking at the above picture. The bun was sadly disfigured, which was a bummer - especially considering all the gorgeous burgers (with fluffy buns) that came out beforehand. Another let down was that the cheese (costing an extra $2.50!) was dried up and shriveled. I really wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but this just didn't look appetizing. Sonya and Moses both confirmed that the fries were really good though!
Gingerbread Parfait - Despite an inconsistent meal, the dessert was fantastic. Consisting of soft pieces of gingerbread cake, pure vanilla ice cream and tiny little wild blueberries with blueberry sauce to boot, this dessert was addicting and awesome. The cake was slightly spicy and the blueberry sauce a little tart, providing a gorgeous juxtaposition. At only $6 for a large portion, I think there couldnt've been a better way to go.
Service and Cost:
As I mentioned, the service was spotty and at times frustrating. From the beginning, upon being seated at a makeshift foursome table outside that wobbled, to receiving our entrees 45 minutes after ordering, the service was highly disappointing. Even after our food came, we were never approached by our server again to see how we were doing, and couldn't help but feel unimportant and forgotten. What a drag!
Costs are moderate, and for the above mentioned meal with 2 drinks, we paid about $25/person including tax and tip.
Bistro 33 - 19-33 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY 11105
N/Q Train to Ditmars Blvd (last stop)