N and I wanted to go out for date night during our New York City vacation so we scheduled a nice night out for the two of us for Thursday night our last night of vacation. We wanted to go out to a nice dinner. This was a great opportunity as there are many fantastic kosher restaurant options in NYC. We decided on Mike’s Bistro since we heard great things about it and the menu options seemed more adventurous.
We arrived and were seated immediately thanks to a reservation we had placed the week before.
N and I were both feeling unwell still and we had very little appetite. So we decided to minimize our meal, we ordered two appetizers, a main and then a dessert and shared everything. We asked our waiter for recommendations and when we placed our order he entered it as separate courses.Our table was beautifully set and N ordered a glass of red wine sangria that we enjoyed with our bread as we awaited our meal.
Course 1 – Appetizer – Handmade Gnocchi with duck & chicken confit, roasted portobello mushrooms, fresh thyme, duck jus, white truffle oil and chives.
This dish was delectable. The gnocchi was so soft and smooth. The portobello mushrooms gave the dish a rich meaty flavor that contrasted beautifully with the delicate tastes of the duck and chicken. The fresh herbs gave the dish a brightness and added a fresh quality, and the truffle oil gave a lovely taste that permeated and brought together all of the other flavors.
Course 2 – Appetizer – Pulled Beef Taquitos charred salsa verde with pineapple, cilantro and scallion.
These taquitos were magnificent. N and I had never had taquitos before so we had nothing to compare them to but the taste was fantastic. The shells gave a lovely crunch and the beef filling was rich and flavorful. Then we scooped some of the salsa verde on top and the flavor really exploded. The salsa added a sweet, spicy and tangy element to the dish. Squeezing the lime on top added an extra element of tang and a freshness that really brought the dish together.
Course 3 – Main – Saffron Braised Chicken aromatic rice, baby carrots and trumpet royal mushrooms.
This was the only dish that we chose ourselves. The waiter who advised the fantastic first two dished had advised the Short Ribs as the best main but N and I thought it would be too much food so we ordered the Saffron Chicken. This was also the only dish that did not blow us away. We enjoyed it, but we found it to be a bit one note.
The chicken was cooked perfectly and was moist and flavorful. The rice was lovely and the vegetables were delicate and added a nice sweet element to the dish. However, N and I felt that the dish was missing a contrasting flavor and after eating the dish for a few bites we wanted something to add freshness or spice that was just not there. So we were happy with the dish but not thrilled especially after the two appetizers had blown us away.
Course 4 – Dessert – Warm Apple Annie with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Our dessert started with a cup of hot water with lemon. Then we once again trusted our waiter’s recommendation and ordered the Warm Apple Annie, which he described as a modern take on the apple pie. It was delicious! The apples were soft but firm, the topping added a lovely crunch and the raisins hidden inside added an extra burst of sweetness. The vanilla ice cream was such a great contrast and the rich caramel sauce added a further element of sweetness and a rich decadence to the dish.
Service – A+
The service was beyond reproach! Our cups never got past half full as the staff constantly stopped by to refill them. Our waiter was friendly and very informative. He was also very patient with us, deciding on our order took time, we asked a ton of questions, and at least twice asked him to repeat the specials. He gave fantastic recommendations and as I said, the one thing that we ordered that he had not recommended was the one thing that was less than perfect in our meal.
Food – A
As I said a couple of times now, all of our items were delicious. Only one was less than perfect and it only stood out because of the excellence of everything else.
Ambience – A
The ambience was really special. The lighting was dim but not dark so we could clearly and easily see each other and all of our food. Our only complaint (and it was slight since everything else was so great) was that it was rather loud. There was no music, so it was just a lot of people talking loudly. Other than that, we loved it.
Final Grade – A+
Overall we were thrilled with Mike’s Bistro and will definitely recommend it to others and keep it in mind for the next time we are in NY for a fancy dinner.