Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Bristol

A couple weeks back, Adam and I headed to The Bristol w/ our friends Wendy and Bart. The Bristol has been around for a couple years but for some reason, I still hadn't made my way over to this cute and comfortable spot in Bucktown. The webpage describes the food as "locally-sourced and seasonal menu w/ Mediterranean roots". I agree w/ the first 2 adjectives, but am not sure I felt the intended Mediterranean vibe. But I love the focus on local (check out their local partners) .

I started w/ a nice glass of Sauv Blanc at the super cute bar, then we moved on to bottles of red at the table. We had 2 really great bottles- one was a syrah and I can't remember the other- hmm..wonder why? :)

The place is really cute. With their focus on beer (in addition to wine) and a "gastro-pub" atmosphere I was worried both the space and the food was going to be dark and heavy. But I was pleasantly surprised to find a room w/ tons of natural lighting (the whole front wall is windows) and lots of light wood. Very cute. Tables were a bit close together for me, but it's a great place to bring friends or family. Wouldn't go on a date, unless the goal is casual and comfortable rather then romantic.
We basically ordered a zillion things off the menu and shared. Some of what we had includes:

spiced olives -- olives are olives. Oh, maybe this was the "Mediterraean" twist??

monkey bread pull apart, dill butter, sea salt (see right)- soo yummy, worth the caloric splurge

octopus -- Adam said this was some of the best octopus he's had. I'm not a big octopus person so I can't say.

pork rillette

bruchetta (see below right)- I usually don't order bruchetta because I've never been wowed by it, but this was really good- maybe my favorite app of the bunch!

fettucinne carbonara w/ fennel -- this was the best pasta I've had in months. They handmake the pastas on sight and it was DELICIOUS! If I go back, I'll probably order this again.

hanger steak, bulgar wheat, grapes, pine nuts, yogurt

spicy ramp chorizio

The rillette, hanger steak and chorizio were all very good. I only ate a bite or so of each so I don't have much to say about them.

I think The Bristol does right what Leopold does wrong. Maybe it's not fair to compare them, but they both focus on beer and food (of course wine too) and locally sourced, seasonal food so are somewhat similar. The Bristol's menu lacks uber exotic offerings like sweetbreads and steak tartare but is much more well rounded w/ plenty of lighter veggies and pasta to balance out the requisite gastro-pub sausage fest.

I liked The Bristol. I'd go back. Especially for the fettuccine. Tell me when and I'll meet you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment