Petit Robert Bistro

I’ve visited Petit Robert years ago in the Kenmore location but this was my first trip to the Brighton Bistro, which was recently changed from Jacky’s Table (same owner/chef Jacky Robert). Other Petit Robert’s can be found on Columbus Ave in Boston, in Cambridge’s Central Square, and Needham.

Bread: Three large pieces were served in a basket with a round of butter. Crispy on the outside and surprisingly warm on the inside which I always prefer.

bread

bread

Menu: Soups & Salad, Hors D’oeuvres, Entrees, and Side Dishes. I had a hard time deciding on an entrée – a lot of items looked good but nothing was screaming my name. Rebecca & I eventually, after MUCH deliberation, decided on a soup each and an app and entrée to split.

Food/Presentation:
Carrot & Parsnip Soup: peas, carrots, potato
The waiter did mention that it was cream based but I was still expecting a pureed soup, which this was not. It was served extremely hot (maybe too hot) and wasn’t bad, but also wasn’t my favorite.

carrot & parsnip soup

carrot & parsnip soup

Tuna Tartar Tartines and Frisée Salad
The tuna tartar was prepared on 3 slices of crostini with a side salad that was essentially inedible, only because I think frisee salad should only be used as a garnish.

tuna tartar

tuna tartar

Beef Short Rib Bourguignon
This stew entrée was served in a large bowl with ½ of a small potato and greens beans, carrots & onions. Thankfully we were splitting this dish because the portion was more than I expected. The beef was good, tender, fell right apart, but I didn’t love sauce. It wasn’t bad – perhaps beef bourguignon isn’t for me.

beef bourguignon

beef bourguignon

Bathroom: The restroom is a one stall/one room adorned with some French pictures/paintings. I was extremely pleased to see that they offered 3 types of scented soaps and lotion – finally a bathroom that has lotion!! That’s all I’ve ever asked for…

bathroom

bathroom

 

lotion & soaps

lotion & soaps

Service: Our waiter was a bit shaky and nervous at first. We ordered the carafe of house wine for $16 but he came back to tell us they were out of the house wine, and unfortunately they wouldn’t serve any other wine for that price in a carafe. Hmm, ok. So we each ordered separates reds but come to find out they’re also out of the Merlot that Rebecca ordered. Sheesh! Shouldn’t he have mentioned this before presenting the wine list? Ah well, no harm done. He later mentioned that it was his first night and it definitely showed. He was nice and friendly but just needed to relax a bit and study up on the menu.

Overall: This dining experience wasn’t bad. Each course was good, but didn’t blow me away. The waiter started off rough but for his first night did a pretty good job. There were a few other entrees we were eyeing (Spiced Marinated Pork Chop, Grilled Colorado Lamb Chop, Grilled Skirt Steak Frites), so I would try Petit Robert again but it’s not necessarily on the top of my list.

The Perfect Bite: A piece of the crunchy bread dipped into the carrot & parsnip soup.

http://www.petitrobertbistro.com/

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Cityside

Cityside’s dining balcony has been calling my name for months now, but I never had a reason to go. Friday night I had dinner plans with a friend & my boyfriend – we were pondering where we could grab a drink in a fun atmosphere and have a good but cheap meal. After using my iPhone instead of my brain, my “Urban Spoon” app came across Cityside. iPhone, you are BRILLIANT! Located in Brighton’s Cleveland Circle, the open windows and balcony seating provide a view of the busy but not so scenic area. Whether I’m looking at Boston’s cityscape or the Green Line, I don’t really care. As long as I’m outside enjoying the warm weather, I’m happy.

Bread: I honestly can’t for the life of me remember if we received bread. We were all pretty hungry and had our eyes on the prize with the nachos that we ordered.

Menu: I had a very hard time choosing my meal – Pistachio Encrusted Tuna Salad? Build Your Own Burger?? An app & a bowl of Spicy Chili? Decisions, decisions. After I ordered the Tuna Avocado Wrap I realized splitting the Buffalo Chicken Pizza would have been a great idea. Maybe next time…

Presentation: We ordered the Buffalo Chicken Nachos to start – they were piled high and could have easily fed 5 people. Every visible inch was covered in cheese, which was perfect because it provided leftover cheese for the bare chips underneath. One of the best nacho dishes I’ve had in a while, especially with the surprise of shredded carrots and corn! My Tuna Avocado Wrap came halved, with a large pile of sweet potato fries. The wrap was good, but had too much mayo and it was quite drippy. A wet sandwich is definitely a downside. The fries weren’t as crispy as I like, but I enjoyed the few I dipped in ketchup.

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

Bathroom: Clean and had a nice cloth lined basket for the paper towels. The power hand dryer definitely added some points.

Wait Staff: She was nice and present, despite the busy balcony scene. Although, she did forget the lemon for my water. An annoying request I know (and I called myself out for it), but still, I really wanted that lemon. I also want to note that I called ahead and put our name on the list for the balcony seating. When we got there the hostess mentioned that our name wasn’t on the list at all. When she went outside to speak to ‘someone’ I checked the list and not only were we not on it, but it was at least 7 parties long. I already had my speech prepared for when she told us we’ve have to wait to be seated, but she came back and sat us right away.

Overall: I’m excited to go back and try one of their salads… or pizza… or chili! I’m also curious about their weekend brunch. I had a great time on the balcony and the first level seemed like a great place to grab a drink or watch a game. The windows are all open in the summer (a la Brighton Beer Garden) which is perfect for a nice warm night.

The Perfect Bite: Tortilla chip, cheddar cheese, buffalo chicken, shredded carrots. Cheesy, different, and delicious!

http://www.citysidebar.com/