After my dinner at Beach Bisto, I can now identify a clear winner in "The Best Meal I've Ever Eaten in Florida" category. The jaw-droppingly stunning dining room coupled with a spectacular Gulf-front sunset view, service that was impeccable while refraining from being aloof or pretentious and FABULOUS cusine beautifully converged to make this an unforgettable dining experience. Helpful hint for the guys: This place has the potential to make your date's clothes practically fly off on their own accord. I'm just sayin'.
I started with a frothy, frosty pineapple martini that was so good I ordered a second one for dessert.
The bread presentation alone was a work of art and its tiny sidecar of creamy tomato soup with Maytag bleu cheese was exquisite.
UD and I decided to forego entrees and sample several small plates, all of which were delicious and gorgeously presented. We started with “Love Me Tender, Love Me Blue … a little sweet tomato too” (slices of American prime tenderloin, with demi-glace and Maytag blue cheese on comfort mashed). This was our least favorite offering of the evening, but it could hardly be called a "low point"...our only complaint being that we like our tenderloin rare and this was presented cooked through (no one inquired as to our preference of preparation, so maybe this is just the way it's done). None of it was left on the plate, regardless.
Beach Bistro transported me to foie gras heaven with the sinfully rich and buttery Seared Hudson Valley Foie Gras on savory brioche bread pudding. Garnished with a vanilla bean and sauternes reduction, nutmeg anglaise and aged balsamic, this may have been the best thing I've ever eaten. Report me to PETA...I don't care. I can wield a can of spray paint with the best of them. Besides, what's so horrible about being force-fed? The chef here is welcome to do it to me any day.
YAY...more foie gras came out shortly in the form of the Bistro "White Castle" Slider. Foie gras and prime tenderloin were served on a butter grilled sweet bun with demi-glace and béarnaise. It was a remarkable combination and I generously split it with Underdog since he had wisely kept his fork out of my foie gras and bread pudding (positive reinforcement is a very important aspect of husband-rearing).
Next up, the spousal unit's Colorado lamb chops served with more of the marvelous bread pudding. The lamb was incredibly flavorful and cooked to perfection. We both agreed that they were best lamb chops either of us had ever tasted, and Underdog orders them wherever they are served. I was really glad I had shared the slider so I felt entitled to take one.
Before I forget, we also ordered a carby side dish to mitigate our protein overload. The Duck Fat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes were creamy on the inside, and pleasingly crispy and caramelized on the outside. They so spoiled me that I may never eat a French fry again.
The final small plate (because duck is similar to foie gras in that I can seldom pass it up when it's on the menu) was an Asian inspired Duck Confit with Duckling Fried Rice. The leg was moist and meaty with delightful golden-brown skin and the RICE...well, I could've eaten a plate of that by itself.
By this time, I couldn't have shoehorned a dessert into myself if my life depended on it, but the hubster forged ahead with the Praline Alexandra. French vanilla ice cream was encrusted with house-made praline and drizzled with Frangelico...OMG it was a beautiful thing!
I have to apologize for such a redundant blog post, but there just aren't enough superlative adjectives in my vocabulary to describe this experience. Everything was simply exquisite. The efficient and charming maitre d' even presented me with a beautiful, long-stemmed red rose as we were leaving...the final of many thoughtful touches imparted by both staff and cuisine alike over the course of the evening. Beach Bistro is a "Big Night Out" (all of this plus a bottle of wine, two martinis and a glass of port set us back around $250) but what a fantastic evening of gastronomic decadence it was...and one that we will be talking about for a long time to come!
Gastropup was somewhat bummed. "WTH??? What do you mean 'There's no doggy bag tonight'??? Did you perhaps forget that I have very sharp teeth?"