Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bishop's still the ace choice

Bishop's on UrbanspoonMy relapsed-vegetarian friend who had already gone to all the veggie hotspots in town had her birthday recently, and all I could think of for a safe place to take her was Bishops. It has no vegetarian mains, but the kitchen had done very well previously with an impromptu vegetarian and vegan dinner.

As it turned out, my friend was back to a sort-of-omnivorous diet which allowed fish and poultry, so we did fine with the regular menu. Plating is beautiful, and the food isn't anything really fancy. It's just very well done, with some surprisingly good:

Virgin Cocktail ($5.50)
  • Even if you are non-drinker, look through the drink menu for the virgin drinks tucked in there. I didn't even think to do so, and was fortunately introduced to it by our server when I asked for any unusual non-alcoholic beverages. The intriguing item recommended to me had some sort of Vietnamese vinegar in it. It looked like water with ice and one ground-up chili (red skin and seeds and all). It was reminiscent of not-too-sweet lemonade with some gingery bite to it. Not much of a lingering after-taste. Try it, it's good.
Organic Tomato Appetizer ($16)
  • This was one of the specials of the day, limited by the tomatoes they had.
  • It looked like someone had just chopped up tomatoes and put it on a plate for me with a generous helping of basil leaves. But the vinaigrette on it made all the difference and magically transformed "just tomatoes" into a pretty darned tasty appetizer.
Other items we had were the beet appetizer ($15), arranged into a little forest with the trailing root standing straight up; duck ($37) served with odd scalpel-like steak knifes; wild salmon ($36); stone fruit dessert ($14), composed of fruits and candy similar to almond brittle; and a fresh ricotta cheese dessert ($14) that was a limited special of the day.
They still offer bread at the table and they don't push special sparkling water or whatever on you -- which has always struck me as a rather gauche way of embarrassing you into paying for water. And an amuse bouche of the day, of course.

Service is ace for a rather busy restaurant. Our reservation was for 8pm and the restaurant was still buzzing-busy when we left. We had a very unhurried time, with plenty of space to talk and enjoy our food. Staff was courteous and when we departed, staff were on hand to wish us well at the front desk, and someone was already holding the door open for us.

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