My boyfriend’s ongoing campaign to “never leave Northside” gained momentum on a recent Friday night when we finally got around to trying Bistro Grace.
The restaurant opened last fall in the space on Hamilton Avenue formerly occupied by Honey. They have transformed it into a comfortable, beautiful room. A series of paintings of scenes from around the Queen City decorate the walls, and they have a gorgeous bar. But I’m burying the lede here—the food is the real headline. The chefs at Bistro Grace serve up a little bit of heaven, one plate at a time. Their menu changes with the seasons, and they offer a variety of daily specials.
We started with drinks, of course. Bistro Grace serves six local beers on tap. My boyfriend tried one from Rhinegeist. I had a really nice Sauvignon Blanc, but I can’t wait to go back and try one of their craft cocktails. With an impressive line-up of appetizers, you can get anything from crab stuffed shrimp, to charcuterie, to beer cheese, to duck poutine.
My boyfriend had the salad with orange mint vinaigrette. When I saw this option on the menu, I was skeptical of such a combination, but I will admit I was wrong. It is phenomenal. I had the soup du jour—tomato shrimp bisque with crab. My only wish was that the bowl was bigger. They serve it with warm bread and oil & vinegar. I had to work hard not to make the rookie mistake of filling up on the bread. It’s so dang good. It’s attention to detail that makes the food at Bistro Grace so excellent—when you rave about the bread, you know you’re in a great restaurant.
Then came our entrées. My boyfriend had the Bahn Mi—a pulled pork sandwich with fresh-cut fries. Considering there was no evidence of said meal left on his plate, I'd say it was good. I had the scallops. They are served with pistachio risotto and Brussels sprouts, in brown butter hollandaise. Foodies know that what makes or breaks a scallop is how it’s cooked—overcooked, and it’s like rubber, undercooked, and you might break a tooth. These were perfect. Next time we go, I plan to try the braised lamb or the airline chicken breast.
Scallops served with pistachio risotto and brussels sprouts
Of course I had to have dessert. They have some really yummy options, including homemade ice cream, chocolate stout mousse, and a bread pudding with Jameson caramel sauce. You can also get a slice of BonBonerie’s opera cream cake. I chose the bread pudding. I mean, how could I not—bread, pudding, Jameson, caramel, ice cream? What’s not to love? Nothing. I only spared one bite for my boyfriend. Next time he will have to order his own.
Bistro Grace is located at 4034 Hamilton Avenue; open Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit the website: http://bistrograce.com/.