We celebrate our 25th anniversary on Bistro V’s 11th anniversary.
By Jan Walsh
Timing is everything. After much consideration and conversation, of where to dine for our 25th Silver Anniversary, we choose Bistro V. Upon arrival we learn it is Bistro V’s 11th Anniversary. Partner and Executive Chef, Jeremy Downley comes out of the kitchen for greetings, anniversary wishes, and hugs. It is so wonderful to see his face again!
We start with a chocolate martini for Kev and a fresh strawberry cocktail for me. Kev’s creamy, chocolaty martini is the best he has ever had. And my strawberry sipper is fruity, delightful, and refreshing.
We also begin with two of tonight’s specials, Fried Crab Claws and Shrimp and Crab Gumbo. Over many years Chef Jeremy and I have tasted a lot of gumbo together as Gumbo Gala Judges. So, I had to order the gumbo because amateurs don’t make gumbo like Jeremy’s. His rue is chock full of Gulf shrimp, crab, Conecuh sausage, okra, and not too much rice. Culinary secrets of his Bayou Batre upbringing are whispered in every bite. The rich, thick gumbo is deeply layered with integrated flavors and textures. And our supersized portion of meaty crab claws are fried to a golden perfection and served with Chef’s divine house made cocktail sauce.
For entrees, Kev orders the Filet Mignon, and I opt for the Fish of the Evening, Grouper. Kev’s hand cut, filet mignon is generous in its eight-ounce plus portion. Fingerling potatoes, bacon, onions, mushrooms, and asparagus round out this dish. This tender steak’s beautiful bordelaise sauce enhances the taste and juiciness of the beef, without overpowering it. My fish is lovely and large. It golden on the surface and cuts to a moist, milky white inside. It floats on a hand-picked bed of spring succotash: field peas, carrots, and yellow corn, bursting with farm freshness.
We split the Strawberry Shortcake, which turns out to be the very best we have ever had… I seldom say anything is the “very best.” Yet I find strawberry shortcakes are best when they are simple with plenty of macerated strawberries. Often pastry chefs make a biscuit or crumbly cake for this dessert. But served later at room temp, these cakes can be… hard. So we tend to eat the berries and cream without much of the cake. Not only does partner, Emily Tuttle Shell bake the perfect shortcake, she serves it warm. Wow! This adds another dimension to the dish. As the cake melts the fresh cream onto the ripe, red berries, the dish synthesizes into a creamy, fruity, and cakey crème de la crème of strawberry shortcakes.
From start to finish and all in between, our anniversary dinner was perfection. Each dish and drink tonight are highly recommended.
Happy Anniversary, Bistro V!
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