Hyde Street Bistro

An older review, with no pictures, but still of interest…

For $30, this is a very, very good establishment. I was fortunate to share the meal with a friend who is great at eating half a plate and switching so for starters, we shared a salmon salad with fennel and sumac. This was very nice and quite summery; a platter of smoked Pine Loch Duart Salmon topped with a shredded fennel salad, studded with sumac and a citrus dressing. The salmon was not overly smoked and of great quality. Cool and refreshing, served with a Rhone white blend, this was the preferred starter. The second was a foie flan, served warm with apples and and a port glaze. While good, it seemed out of place at this time of year. I would have adored it in October or November, but for summer fare, I think it should have been more indicative of its season; cool and enticing instead of warm and comforting.

Our second set of shared courses started with “Crispy Monterey Calamari Sundried Pesto, Parmesan Risotto, Green Sechwan Foam.” I’m not entirely what sechwan (schezwan?) is, but this was very interesting risotto with a bit too many flavors. The calamari themselves were absolutely perfect when they could have been incredibly rubbery. And the risotto, again, was absolutely flawlessly prepared — not too al dente or too soupy. But with such distinguishsed rice and fish, and very good sundried pesto, why add the foam? Or, why add the pesto? Either flavor would have been just fine, but both together seemed too convoluted. My friend ordered and drank all of his Cotes du Rhone with this dish and I only had a quick sip so I have no comment.

The other entrée was “Pulled Lamb, Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper Coulis, Pesto.” This was served on a smaller plate and while a smaller portion, did not pull punches on flavor or quality. Tender and rich, the pulled lamb was piled into a large meatball-sized offering of rich meat with slices of thin eggplant and the two rich sauces; the red pepper coulis and the pesto. In this case, the two sauces worked well with the rich meat but like the foie, would seem a better dish served in the fall. It was very nice and homey, but slightly ill-conceived for the season. I ordered a du Pape with the lamb and with a freshly opened bottle, needed some breathing room to open.

Two desserts came out and we gave the waiter/Maitre’d carte blanche to serve us some dessert wine. The first dessert we finished easily was a “Vanilla panna cotta, Strawberry pepper coulis, candy almond” served with a glass of Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont. A very well-made panna cotta, it was the combination of fruit and cruncy bits that brought the dessert together. Or maybe it was the Sainte-Croix-Du-Mont, a slight botrytris cinera wine with beautiful brightness to juxtapose the fruit and nut. The other dessert was ‘chocolate moelleux, ”Mint creme Anglaise”‘. I’m sorry I didn’t make a note of the cognac-based dessert wine we had; very clear and light, there was just enough spunk to complement the rich, molten chocolate and hint of mint from the Anglaise. I was a little concerned; usually Banyuls or port works well with chocolate, EXCEPT when mint is introduced as a flavor element. All three offerings were just lovely and a great ending.

But we didn’t finish there. As we finished up the meal, we were each brought a half-glass of sparkling rosé, a perfect after dinner aperitif that was unexpected and quite thoughtful. The meal with drinks was in the $125 range before tip. And while the major detractor was that the dishes were served a little off-season, this is a delightful unexpected French bistro that should have been busier than they were.
Hyde Street Bistro on Urbanspoon

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply