I’m embarrassed to say that it took me so long to dine at The Bistol. I was foolish and I was missing out. Our meal there was outstanding. The food and atmosphere are fitting for a special occasion but the prices are affordable enough for a casual date night.
The Bristol is on a quiet stretch of Damen, it isn’t a restaurant you will stumble upon. So plan ahead, make a reservation, and go. You will not be disappointed.
We began our meal with an order of the warm monkey bread with a buttery doll dip.
Charles was unfamiliar with monkey bread but he loves it now. I am used to seeing sweet monkey bread, but the savory monkey bread was light and buttery and the dill dipping sauce was addictive. This is something you need to order if you dine here.
To drink, I had the poire elderflower cocktail. It was light, citrusy, and had just the right balance of sweet and sour. It was made with both lemon juice and white grape juice, a combination that worked surprisingly well together.
We also had the baba ghanoush which was smooth and almost creamy and served with warm pita bread.
The crispy toasted garlic on top was a special treat.
We loved the raviolo, a large single ravioli filled with spinach, ricotta, and a runny egg yolk and served in a pool of brown butter. It’s quite rich, and perfect for sharing.
This is a permanent fixture on the menu and it was spectacular.
The pork shank was Charles’s pick and I definitely ate half of it.
The portion is large, and the pork is perfectly roasted to the point of falling apart. It was served on top of sauerkraut with chunks of carrot and a caraway crème fraîche on the side. The contrasting flavors of the sauerkraut and crème fraîche made this a bold dish that really worked.
The kitchen also sent out the half amish chicken and it was just as exceptional as the pork. It was served on a bed of mustard dill spätzle in a pool of chicken jus and topped with a crunchy salad of apples and radishes. The chicken was so tender that you didn’t even need a knife to cut it. The spätzle soaked up the au jus in the most delightful way.
We ended our meal with the house made nutter butters with a chocolate & caramel crémeux on the side for dipping. It was a gourmet version of one of my favorite cookies from childhood.
One of the reasons that I am sure we will be returning to The Bristol again and again is that the prices are affordable – especially you when consider the high quality of the food. Our total bill came to $136 including one cocktail and two glasses of wine. And we definitely had enough food for three people. (The Bristol did generously comp the bill).
The Bristol‘s address is 2152 North Damen, and they do accept reservations. They serve dinner every night and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.