b Bistro in Bolton Hill: Review (1.30.2009)

b Bistro is nestled in the Bolton Hill area of Baltimore which I feel is a hidden gem. The homes are huge, beautiful, and classy and I would live in any of them.

We arrived right at 8pm for our reservation and were told it would be a few minutes while one of the tables finished up. The place was packed. The one downside is that it is tight quarters - there wasn't anywhere for us to stand, but the host told us to come towards the back where we could stand by the wall of wine bottles, overlooking the kitchen.

The host immediately took our coats and then offered us a drink. He handed us a wine list and also went over the wines available by the glass, explaining the flavors in each one. We chose a Chianti-type red and our glasses were poured in stemless glasses (my fav). We had the best time checking out all the dishes coming out of the kitchen.
We ended up having to wait about 20 mins for our table, but the host informed us that the wine was on him since we had such a long wait. :)

Once we were seated, I realized that we were very close to the other two tables on either side of us and was nervous about taking pictures of each dish. I apologize in advance for some of the blurry photos...I was trying to be quick.

Our server brought over a ciabatta type bread with a cute little olive oil container. The olive oil was so buttery and delicious that Kevin asked what type they use. The server went and asked the chef, who wrote the name down on a piece of paper for us. Antica Italia. She said we may be able to find it at this great italian market nearby.

She went on to tell us that Trinacria was an amazing Italian market/deli. We had never heard of it!! I think we may be heading there this weekend.

Sorry for my long-windedness. I just get really excited about this kind of stuff.

Let's talk about the food!

I decided on the Roasted Beet Salad w/ Toasted Walnuts, Chevre and Mache as my First Course. It was the perfect combination of flavors and I didn't want the plate to end.

Kevin went with the Fried OystersCaper Aioli, Arugula and Fennel Salad. (He had already started to dig in.)I love raw oysters, but have never been a big fan of them fried. My mind has changed. The bite I had was incredible.

Since I went lighter on the appetizer, I decided to go all out on the Second Course. Gnocchi w/ Shrimp: Potato Dumplings with Jumbo Shrimp, Zucchini & Saffron Cream. These were the best gnocchi I have ever tasted. SO light and fluffy - they literally melted in my mouth.

Kevin chose the Slow Roasted Lamb Ragout over Fettuccine. He loved it and I thought it was very flavorful.
My dessert was the star of this show. Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter Gianduja, Crispy Feulletine, Blood Orange Gelee and Banana Custard. The bottom layer was the Crispy Feulletine, which was chocolaty crispy crepes. I think this layer MADE the dish.Oh man - I was stuffed, but still managed to finish every bite of this.

Kevin ordered the b Bread Pudding which was good, but not his favorite of all-time. I took a bite, but don't remember what it tasted like because I was still mesmerized by my dessert.
I truly believe that every restaurant out there could learn a few things about service from the people working at b Bistro. I was seriously impressed.

At one point during our meal, Kevin said that this could be the best restaurant he has EVER been too. Now that is a big statement, but I think I am in agreement. Service, Food, Atmosphere - it was all impeccable in my book.

I would highly recommend a trip to this restaurant for anyone in the area or visiting. Baltimore Restaurant Week was extended for another week (through Feb 8th), so get in there for a 3 course meal at a great price!

Food coma was in full effect last night and I am really looking forward to my run tonight to burn some of my big dinner off. Key Run Workout #2 this week calls for 6 miles. (2 miles easy, 3 miles short-tempo, 1 mile easy)

Unfortunately, the Superbowl Trail Race I was planning to do this Sunday has been cancelled. The trails are not going to be in good shape after all the ice we had recently. The good news is that my dad has already planned a replacement 10 miler out on country roads near their house.

Hope everyone has a great weekend planned!

B, Bolton Hill Bistro on Urbanspoon


Erica January 30, 2009 at 12:09 PM  

oh my gosh! It all looks so good and sounds like a fabulous experience! I am so glad you got the gnocchi- looks ammmmaaazing! Hope you have a nice weekend- bummer about the race.

ksgoodeats January 30, 2009 at 12:26 PM  

That sounds absolutely divine! I love stemless glasses too and what a nice host! Everything looks gorgeous!

sweetandfit January 30, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

the food looks even better than i thought (its hard to picture what something looks like by reading it off a menu)... also pretty nice of the hostess to offer you some free wine =)

dailygoods January 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM  

wow! this review was amazing, i'm going to try and get a reservation for this weekend bc my boyfriend is ocming into town and this looks grreatt!!!

tfh January 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

I am so impressed. In the past I've heard mixed reviews of service/food during restaurant week, but clearly this was NOT the case for you. I'm going to see if my husband is up for a trip to Baltimore!

Bridget January 30, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

That restaurant looks so amazing!!! There is seriously NOTHING like an incredible gnocchi dish...so melty!!! Mmmmm!!!

Plus that dessert is out of this world, I totally would of ordered it!

VeggieGirl January 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM  


Enjoy your weekend, Lauren!!

HangryPants January 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM  

Good choices! Everything looks delicious. I think I would love that bread pudding.

EL January 30, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

DiPasquales, http://www.dipasquales.com, is another awesome Italian deli/store.

Meghann January 30, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

You ordered two out of three of the coiced I would of had. Great eats. They looks as good as their descriptions on the menu :)

Deirdre (highwaystohealth) January 30, 2009 at 4:03 PM  

This truly sounded like an amazing restaurant. I am a firm believer that the people that work at a restaurant should be as good as the food. And I LOVE restaurant weeks. We have them in NYC. I love getting expensive food at cheap prices.

apluseating January 30, 2009 at 4:12 PM  

wow. all of your courses look amazing! glad you enjoyed it!

lauren January 30, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

dailygoods/I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

tfh/you definitely should - worth the drive!

EL/yes! that place is great...we have been there a few times for lunch. It is overwhelming trying to decide what to get.

lauren January 30, 2009 at 4:19 PM  

deidre/ I am SO with you on that one.

HeatherBakes January 30, 2009 at 4:31 PM  

Sounds like a great restaurant! The food looks amazing and it sounds like the service was just as good as the food (so important!).

Mmmm... gnocchi...

ashley (sweetandnatural) January 30, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

I am also in love with stemless wine glasses. And chocolate peanut butter desserts!

Sarah (lovINmytummy) January 30, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

Beautiful, and it seems like you were happy with all of your choices!

Jessica January 30, 2009 at 7:02 PM  

I know if feels to have everyone stare at you when you take a picture. We went out tonight and went early because we had a million things to do and we were the only ones in there so I couldn't bring myself to take the camera out of my purse!

Frank H Greenlee January 31, 2009 at 11:01 AM  

Looked great, the peanut butter dessert, and everything else sounded amazing.

Erin of Care to Eat January 31, 2009 at 3:54 PM  

Sorry about the cancellation! Boo!
You always eat at the best restaurants :)

Lori January 31, 2009 at 5:41 PM  

What great choices! The gnocchi looks amazing. So glad you had a good time. Hope the running goes well this weekend.

Ali January 31, 2009 at 6:07 PM  

I was virtually ordering from that menu and really wanted to try the gnocchi ... it looks fantastic.

Bummer about the race.

Anonymous February 1, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

Hope all that good food "powers" you thru the 10-Miler today!

Fitnessista February 1, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

dinner looks FABULOUS! the salad looks perfect-- i might need to try and re-create that over here
hope the rest your weekend is wonderful!

Anonymous February 1, 2009 at 9:44 AM  

Wow, this was the best restaurant experience I've had in years. Can't wait to return.

Juliet February 1, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

Yum! Wow!!! That looks great. Thank you for sharing.

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