Well, folks, either way, your ship has definitely arrived.
Tonight, I had the exquisite pleasure of actually DINING at Bistro and Brew, located where the late Hot Skillets was the last to fail in that location.
I've opined more than once that the only way a restaurant would even survive - much less thrive - in that terrible location was if someone opened a restaurant that was so good that it became a destination restaurant rather than a spur of the moment place. These folks are that restaurant. Don't be surprised if they become such a destination that reservations might eventually be required.
I dropped $29.00 and a $5.00 tip in there tonight.
The iced tea was strong with a faint hint of a flavor which I think might have been jasmine. It was delicious.
The signature French onion soup was far-and-away the best I have EVER eaten. Unless you've been to Paris, my guess is you have never had French onion soup this good. Obviously homemade beef stock with just a hint of salt. No bouillion cubes there, I'll gaurontee. Thick, juicy onion slices - probably Vidalia. Good bread in soup. Cheese on top melted with a torch. Extraordinary.
The slab of filet of haddock was so large it had to be cut in half and stacked to fit plate.
It was delicately breaded in delicious be=read crumbs with just a hint of flavor from fresh Rosemary leaves mixed in. I believe it was pan fried in clarified butter until the bread crumbs were golden brown on both sides. It was cooked to perfection. Done but moist. It was so flavorful that to have used any of the provided tarter sauce would have been criminal.
It came with rice that was steamed to perfection then moistened a bit with some sort of a light, flavorful oil I was unable to identify. It was superb.
I added a side of fresh Brussels sprouts. They were prepared just the way my housekeeper does them. They were sautéed in bacon grease with bits of bacon until the natural sugars in the sprouts caramelized on the surface of the sprouts. You will agree that they are the best Brussel sprouts you have ever eaten - trust me.
For dessert, I had a huge piece of a fabulous cheesecake covered with a dark chocolate ganash and pecan pieces, served with a fresh, rich, dark roast coffee.
I fully intended eating about half of the slice and bringing the rest home. I just injected an extra 10 units of insulin to clear my head so I could write this.
Nothing hoity-toity about the place or the owner/ chef, Victoria, or her husband or her waitress or Chef John. You will think you are in just another ill-fated attempt at that location right up until you see the menu. That is your first clue. When your food arrives, you will be tempted to say, "Toto, I don't think were in Camden anymore."
Covites and unionist rednecks should feel equally at home. Albeit, the latter will be way more awed initially, but they will soon get used to really fine food.
Perfect for anniversaries, birthdays, put-on-the-dog-dates, etc. Get on over there. Casual dress.