Night at the Oscars: Julie & Julia and Boeuf Bourguignon

This week, Bistro 185 takes a slight turn in its tribute to the Academy Awards to honor (and remember) a film near and dear to our hearts, which has secured a 2009 Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for Meryl Streep. Yes, we’re revisiting our Julia Project Monday through Wednesday by once again offering one of the most popular specials from that project, Boeuf Bourguignon with Pearl Onions and Lardons.

This is Boeuf Bourguignon Julia’s way…a little different from our usual nightly specials recipe Boeuf Bourguignon. So stop by and re-enjoy the same dish you loved last summer, or try it for the first time. Bon Appétit!

UPDATE: HELD OVER!! Yes, our Boeuf Bourguignon is too good to limit to three days only, so we’re keeping it on as our “Night at the Oscars” special for the rest of this week. If you haven’t enjoyed it yet, what are you waiting for?

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Night at the Oscars: Platoon and Pho

Our “Night at the Oscars” featured special for Thursday through Saturday this week takes us back to the 1986 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Platoon. No, we’re not serving Army rations. Instead, we pay tribute to the native cuisine of Vietnam with a Vietnamese Pho composed of halibut, shrimp, shrimp dumplings, julienne of carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, baby bok choy, and rice noodles in a lime leaf, lemongrass, and star anise-infused broth. We think you’ll like it.

Passport to Romance Wine Dinner

Enjoy the latest video from Bistro 185, our Passport to Romance Wine Dinner Monday night:

Hi! The Tenant is back again, to tell you the Passport to Romance Wine Dinner was a great opportunity for me to fall in love…with a variety of very special wines, all while being romanced by Chef Ruth’s wonderful cuisine. All who attended would likely agree with me that it was a match made in heaven!

We started out with a Seared Day Boat Scallop with Citrus Beurre Blanc surrounded by a Brunoise of Tropical Fruit. If you know how perfectly Ruth cooks scallops, I don’t need to tell you how delicious this was, but it was really special with the unusual and sweet tropical fruit treatment. The wine was Concerto Moscato D’Asti, a sparkling, delightfully fruity Italian wine that seemed tailored perfectly to the dish.

The second course, smoked duck breast atop a potato pancake and glazed with cherry sauce, was richer and the Robert Oatley Shiraz that accompanied it was a deep, full-bodied Australian red that stood up to the dish without overpowering it. Its black licorice notes beautifully echoed the anise flavoring in the cherry sauce.

Course three was a frisee and arugula salad topped by a corn-crusted fried oyster and dressed in a citrus vinaigrette. This light course, highlighted by the contrast between the crispy exterior and silky interior of the oyster, was just right for the Freixenet Elyssia Cava Brut, a dry sparkling Spanish white.

The fourth course was a return to more robust flavor: beef filet with tomato confit and sautéed spinach on grilled garlic bruschetta. I cannot overstate the tenderness of this beef with its light, slightly sweet tomato sauce. The John Robert Eppler Napa Cabernet Sauvignon was the ideal “beef course” red wine, exuding a heady rich perfume that meets the nose long before its taste meets the tongue.

Ruth’s fifth course was a sweet little lobster pot pie in a tiny ramekin, in a rich cream sauce topped by phyllo pastry. The Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2008 served as a great palate cleanser and appetite stimulator following the richness of the beef course, and was a fine complement to the creamy sauce. (Wine lovers may be surprised to learn that this New Zealand selection is sealed with a screw cap. Don’t let that fool you — it’s a high-quality wine and the cap ensures its freshness.)

At last came the dessert course, a magnificent orange crème brulée and assorted other desserts. The crème brulée was served in cups made from scooped-out orange halves, and it was so delicious it made me wish you could grow trees from which you could pick oranges and peel them to find a crème brulée filling inside! My other desserts included a chocolate truffle and a tasty kind of cake made with pears. The wine served with dessert was Château Tertre du Lys d’Or Sauternes, a sweet Bordeaux wine full of fruity and spicy flavor. Our wine experts for the evening, Scott Turman and Steve Tyree, assured us that this kind of wine truly gets better with age — you can keep it for decades and it will only become richer and more flavorful. “When you drink this,” they said, “you are drinking history.”

This was a truly rewarding evening for every lover of good food and wine. Kudos to Scott, Steve, Ruth and the entire terrific Bistro 185 staff for creating another magical dining experience!

For Lent, make friends with our fish!

It’s Ash Wednesday, and for some of our friends that means a lot of fish in your future. Happily, Bistro 185 makes it easy to find an appealing fish dish, whether you select one from our list of constantly changing specials or our regular menu. Whatever dish you choose, you can be assured your fish will be fresh and excellently prepared.

Above, you can see one example: our Red Snapper topped with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, with a tropical salsa of mango, black beans and corn, and some delicious bacon corn fritters alongside. This is just one of the specials that has appeared recently on our menu. We’ve also offered wild-caught fish like pan-roasted Canadian Halibut, Chilean Sea Bass, and Bay of Fundy Salmon; pan-seared, sesame-crusted Ahi Tuna; Canadian Walleye; Mahi Mahi; and a Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew. Each fish dish is accompanied by the perfect sauces (from hollandaise to wasabi aioli to lemon, herbs and butter) and sides (from ratatouille, risotto and ravioli to mashers, tempura vegetables, sesame noodles and corn pudding) selected to provide just the right combination of textures and flavors.

Looking for something a little more traditional? We’ve got that too — just try our fish fry. Our lunch menu, for example, offers a delicious tempura-battered halibut, crispy fresh-fried chips, cole slaw and tartar sauce:

And, in the evening, the Bistro 185 Fish Fry combines day boat scallops, shrimp and cod breaded in a cornmeal batter with remoulade sauce and sweet potato fries.

There’s enough variety in fish here that you need never get bored. So, for a great meal during Lent, drop in to Bistro 185 and take your pick: a traditional fish fry, or one of our nightly specials? Either way, you get just what you wish in fish.

Night at the Oscars: The Godfather and Chicken Cacciatore

Monday through Wednesday this week, Bistro 185 pays tribute to the 1972 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, The Godfather, with our “Night at the Oscars” special Chicken Cacciatore with Angel Hair Pasta. Come in and try this Italian classic prepared our way. With tender, juicy chicken, sauce full of tomatoes, onions and peppers, and buttery-lemony pasta, it’s an offer you can’t refuse!

Night at the Oscars: The Last Emperor and Asian Short Ribs

Our “Night at the Oscars” featured special for Thursday through Saturday pays tribute to the 1987 Academy Award Best Picture, The Last Emperor. Enjoy our rendition of Chinese cuisine in the form of Asian Short Ribs with Brown Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables. You’ll dine like royalty!

Join us tonight for the kickoff of our Vegan Dinner Series!

You asked for it — you got it! Bistro 185 kicks off its monthly Vegan Dinner Series tonight with Chef Jakub Mejstrik’s presentation of Massaman Curry with Vegetables, Tofu, and Organic Brown Jasmine Rice. This is sure to be a taste treat for all our vegan fans. Our Massaman Curry is also available with a choice of chicken, shrimp or Bay of Fundy salmon instead of tofu, if you prefer. Don’t let that snow scare you — come on in and “Thai” one on tonight!

Night at the Oscars: Lawrence of Arabia and Middle Eastern Lamb

This week, Monday through Wednesday, come along with us on a culinary adventure through the desert as we pay tribute to the 1962 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Lawrence of Arabia. Our featured dish will be a lamb shank prepared Middle Eastern style, with apricots and cinnamon, accompanied by Moroccan couscous studded with raisins and pine nuts.  It’s a sweeter treatment of lamb that really brings out its depth of flavor and makes for a refreshing change of pace. Taste it and feel that desert breeze melting the chill in your winter soul!

It’s party time!

No, we’re not talking about tomorrow’s football game. We’re talking about tonight! It’s Bistro 185’s fourth anniversary — and as you can see, we’re ready to celebrate in style.

We never could have made it this far without you, our patrons who have so enjoyed themselves here and have returned again and again to tell us so. Please join us for dinner tonight and help us celebrate by enjoying a complimentary glass of champagne and taking home a slice of our anniversary cake!

As always, we’ve got fantastic specials to tempt your tastebuds. Such as our Argentina Style Beef Tenderloin Filet with Chimichurri Sauce, Cilantro and Lime-Marinated Shrimp with an Arepa and Sweet Potato Tostone and Yellow Rice; our Bistro 185 Fish Fry, starring day boat scallops, shrimp and cod in a cornmeal batter with remoulade sauce and sweet potato fries; our Rack of Lamb with Roasted Red Pepper Orzo Risotto; and our 12-ounce Long Bone Veal Chop with Shiitake Mushroom-Marsala Sauce and Wild Mushroom Tortellini. Or go with a classic or an old favorite; we’ve still got dishes you know and love, from the Four Cheese Mac & Cheese with Smoked Chicken to the Chicken Schnitzel to the Lobster Ravioli to our own Boeuf Bourguignon. Whatever you choose, it’ll make for a happy celebration!

So stop on by, wish us a Happy Anniversary and join in the champagne toast. With the support of you, our friends, we hope to enjoy many more years of serving exciting, creative and delicious bistro cuisine.

Night at the Oscars: Doctor Zhivago and Chicken Kiev

Tonight’s salute to our favorite movies to celebrate Academy Awards season features the 1965 winner for Best Picture, Doctor Zhivago. Relive the romance of this classic film tonight by dining on our featured special: Chicken Kiev, stuffed with Brie cheese and basil with potato gnocchi toppped with a creamy vodka-tomato sauce and sautéed spinach. We’ll be featuring this special for the rest of the week (we had originally planned to salute three films per week, but we’re going to feature two per week instead to give everyone a few more days’ opportunity to experience each dish).

We’re also featuring some other wonderful specials to warm your heart this time of year. If you haven’t yet tried our Green Pasta — penne pasta with pesto, asparagus, haricots verts, pea pods and scallions — it’ll provide a welcome spot of color in your cold gray winter. You can add shrimp, filet of Bay of Fundy salmon or chicken breast to this dish as well.

Looking for something completely new? How about our Italian Meatloaf — a combination of veal, sausage, ground beef and pork topped with marinara sauce, served with mashed potatoes and steamed green beans? That’s real wintertime comfort food. Or maybe you’d rather take a mini-vacation in the tropics with Sautéed Wild Caught Caribbean Lane Red Snapper served with a red-pepper aioli, black bean, corn and mango salsa and some bacon corn fritters on the side.

If the bacon corn fritters alone sound wonderful to you, you can get a small plate of them for $5 at the bar during our Happy Hour — along with many other delightful mini-dishes, from sliders to crab cakes, and a nice $5 glass of wine to join them.

Don’t forget, this Saturday is our Fourth Anniversary Party, and we’re going to have even more special things planned, plus a complimentary glass of champagne and a slice of cake for everyone who helps us celebrate!

This time of year, it’s easy to allow cabin fever to get the best of you — but Bistro 185 is your cure. Come on in and say hello. You’ll find we’re just what the doctor ordered!