“OMG.” Front Street Bistro Rocks.
Posted by whforums on July 13, 2008
We hit the new Front Street Bistro (formerly Front Street Sweets – the owners expanded by moving into the old Sit-n-Knit location on Lasalle Road) for lunch recently. When we arrived (mid to late afternoon) the outside seating at the restaurant was packed with people having a late lunch or enjoying dessert. Despite the beautiful weather we decided to have lunch indoors, and the interior of the restaurant, with its deep red walls, black molding, funky accent lighting and casually elegant table linen created a comfortable and intimate atmosphere. While so many restaurants try so hard to be “trendy” with their interior design, Front Street Bistro just is what it is — simple, beautiful and classically contemporary.
When the look of a restaurant is so careful and complete, you expect the same attention to detail in the food, and Front Street Bistro didn’t let us down. The corned beef on a pretzel roll (I’d never had a pretzel roll, and it tastes just like a pretzel in roll form … pretty great compliment to the beef) was salty but not overpowering and the slaw that topped the beef added just enough crunch to make three deliciously distinct textures (roll, slaw, beef) with each bite. The lightly herbed oven fries, fresh and oven hot, were a wonderful combination of crisp and firm. My wife raved about her West Hartford Dog (with mustard, pickles and all kinds of other goodies), and it was good enough to rival Woody’s or Rosco’s (though I wouldn’t complain if either of those eateries decided to open shop in West Hartford Center, too). The mint-ginger lemonade was also excellent; it was subtle and just puckery enough to keep you sipping (read: you should go just for the lemonade – it’ll give you a taste of what you’re missing).
Most of the lunch dishes ran between 10 and 15 dollars, which is a pretty good value when you consider the quality of the meal, décor and service. Front Street Bistro also fills a niche in the Center; it provides high quality food in a chilled out atmosphere at a reasonable price (in context). This is especially welcome in an area full of equally wonderful – but generally more expensive (and thus more exclusive)– restaurants.
I wasn’t able to get a look at their dinner menu, but this reviewer raves by association about the Mac and Cheese. The Bistro is also open for breakfast (another niche market for a West Hartford Center restaurant) and Sunday Brunch. You can visit their website, which isn’t yet updated to reflect their new digs and identity, at:
In short – we loved the restaurant, and we’ll go back to try their dinner menu soon. But let me register one complaint – why serve Seattle’s Best coffee, especially when Starbucks (the same company) is right next door? Once Front Street Bistro starts working with of a good local roaster – like Omar Coffees (who I love) or Independent Coffee Roasters, they’ll leave me with nothing to complain about.