Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A breath of fresh air at Mint Bistro in Manchester

We decided to venture out on a rainy midweek evening to dine at the Mint Bistro. Upon arriving in Manchester, the first order of business was to find a place to park which quickly turned into an adventure. The restaurant is located on Elm Street and of course (with my bad luck) there were no available on-street spaces. After driving around the same block a couple of times and with people watching probably getting a good laugh at my expense we ended up in a parking garage.

Checking in with the hostess we were seated at one of their booths in back as requested. Located in the former Baldwin's location, it's a relatively small space with a decent sized bar. Surprisingly they were very busy on a Wednesday night with few empty seats which speaks to the fact that Manchester has a decent night life and there was definitely a younger crowd on this night. 

Because this was our first visit to the restaurant, we took a little time to study the drink menu. Not one to shy away from the martini list, my wife started with their raspberry lemon martini. She enjoyed it so much she decided to order a second instead of switching to something else. I chose a glass of the Chateau St. Jean Merlot which was a full-bodied red wine.

They have a variety of food options depending on your mood including tapas, main entrees and sushi. We began our meal with tapas, first one of their crab cakes.

This was nicely prepared with plenty of crab. It was so good that we just wish there had been more!

Next were the Asian Short Rib "Nachos" and this is the best appetizer I have had in a long time. No surprise that this is one of their best sellers, it includes crispy wontons, cheddar cheese along with a huge mound of short ribs in the center. This is a large portion and I doubt that you will have any leftover.

On to bread which was served with an olive tapenade. This was a delicious alternative to the standard butter.

For the entree we both chose a filet. These were served with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus and were cooked tender and juicy. While it was a safe choice, we were very happy with our selection.

When it was time for dessert, we opted for the chocolate cake. Since my wife loves chocolate, I thought she would enjoy the selection. Instead, we both agreed that it wasn't very tasty. We are normally very picky about homemade desserts and we failed by not asking if the cake was made in house. A mistake that we won't make again.

Our waitress was very friendly and attentive. I did notice a few things that the wait staff might want to pay extra attention to - please remember to refill water glasses when they are empty and clean off the table in front of your guests if it is messy.

Overall the Mint Bistro left us full and making plans for a return visit when we hope to try their sushi.

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