News, Over The Bridge

Over The Bridge: Kitchen a Bistro

While Long Beach has delicious food aplenty, there is a whole world of fantastic food out there .  Which is why I have named this feature, “Over The Bridge”.  The first restaurant I will discuss is one I have long wanted to go to, but could never seem to find the right time to get to.  A co-worker told me about the Kitchen a Bistro (404 North Country Road, St. James,  New York 11780, 631.862.0151) last summer, and since I work as a waiter, the opportunity to get up to St. James were slim, especially considering their hours:

“Lunch
Monday through Friday
Noon until 2:00PM

Dinner
Monday through Thursday
5:00PM until 9:00PM

Friday through Sunday
Dinner Reservations Required

Reservations are required for Friday, Saturday and Sunday dinners only. All other services do not require reservations. For parties of 6 people or more reservations are available Monday through Thursday for lunch & dinner. We begin accepting reservations for the subsequent month on the first Wednesday of the month.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, we serve a three course, price fixed menu for $42 per person. Menu includes your choice of appetizer, main course and dessert. Tax and gratuity not included.”

So…anyway, between mine and my girlfriends respective schedules, the planets aligned correctly one day last month and we decided on a trip out to St. James.  This place is BYOB, meaning bring your own booze, so be sure to pack a bottle of wine or three.  We arrived for the lunch service, at about 2:45 (they serve from 12-3 lunch, 5-10 dinner) and were seated in a half full dining room.  It is a nice quaint place.  Our wine is quickly put on ice, menus given. Now one of the wonderful touches of this place is that the menu changes daily, yes daily. There is a chalkboard with that day’s appetizers and entrees listed as well as the printed menu. The ingredients are all local and fresh.  Out of a choice of 5 different appetizers, we decide on three: The filet mignon tartare, the braised pork belly and the freshly rolled gnocchi.  The pork belly had just the right amount crispiness, then fat and then meat. It was awesome. Also great was the tartare, which melted on the contrasting crusty bread it was served with (also available was a balsamic vinegar concoction to dip in).  Then there was the gnocchi.  It was, well…I haven’t had a gnocchi like that before or after this meal.  It was handmade, lightly dressed in a fresh red and golden tomato sauce with a bit of basil.  My girlfriend and I tried a little of each, telling ourselves we should save room for the main courses.  We ate it all nonetheless.

After another glass of wine each came the main course.  I had ordered the duck confit and my girlfriend ordered the trout.  The duck was truly confit, obviously cooking in its own fat for a long time as evidenced by the succulent flavors that surprised with each bite.  I have been to some places that claim confit when it is not.  The chef here knows what he is doing.  The trout was equally satisfying – lite and fresh in a simple sauce of white wine and herbs accompanied by fresh vegetables.   Our only regret was that we did not bring another bottle of wine.  Again, we ate everything in front of us.

Finally on to dessert.  We had a slice of made on the premises pine nut chocolate tart and a fresh plum tart to accompany our fresh coffee which was presented to us in an individual French Press.  As we relaxed with our coffees and deserts, we discussed the meal we just had and there was not one negative thing we could say about it at all. My girlfriend and I both love to eat out, we like to try different places and different things all the time.  And we both agreed that this 90 + minute lunch was the best meal either of us have had in our lives. One of the best things about this restaurant was the pace – it was slow and relaxed. There was time in between courses to relax and enjoy each others company, and we were never rushed.  You are almost encouraged to slow down and savor every moment in this simple, French Mediterranean restaurant.

And to anyone that would like to say that I am being too agreeable – please know that I took no notes on this meal and I am writing this SIX weeks later.  It still stands out that much.  It is uncertain what dishes will be offered when you visit,  but if you are looking for a tremendously satisfying meal, in a laid back, casual atmosphere, then this is one trip you will not regret making.

Kitchen a Bistro [Website]

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This post was written by:

- who has written 33 posts on LB Foodie.

I have lived in the West End of Long Beach for about 17 years now.

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