Bistro19 is the place my family goes to celebrate.  It’s where my parents took me to celebrate my graduation from my Masters program.  It’s the place I wanted to go the day I passed my RD exam.  We went there last year for my parents’ wedding anniversary.  But the reason I always want to go back: the Chilean Sea Bass.

The cocktail and wine lists are extensive.  As far as appetizers, I love their hummus platter, but on this particular evening my mother ordered the Lump Crab Guacamole to start:

It was good, but I wasn’t blown away.  Probably because I was just too excited for my entree.

A lot of their menu changes seasonally, which I kind of hate – I had the world’s best soup there and never got to have it again – it was a combination of a white bean and black bean soup, served together (magically side by side in a soup bowl).  I always ask about their soups and hope to hear that they’re offering it again, but alas, it was a one time foodie experience.

On this evening, they were offering a roasted tomato soup – which the server said was incredibly creamy and savory yet dairy free.  I was curious…

It was delicious – thin but full of roasted vegetable flavor, with a hint of spice that didn’t overpower the tomatoes.  It would make a fantastic enchilada sauce.

One of the menu sections that doesn’t change too much is the salad selection – and it’s difficult to pass up the Pear and Roasted Beet salad – with walnuts, blue cheese, and walnut vinaigrette.  I didn’t order it during my most recent visit but my mother was nice enough to share hers with me.

Side note: I always subsitute goat cheese for the blue cheese.  Goat > blue any day of the week.

Finally, the reason for Bistro’s existance (in my opinion) Chilean Sea Bass: horseradish crust, rice wine marinade, oriental vinaigrette, macadamia basmati, Napa slaw. 

I know I am a terrible vegetarian (and person) for eating an endangered fish.  And it’s higher in Mercury than I’d like to admit.  But having this meal 2-3 times per year is totally worth every cent, gram of fat, and milligram of sodium.  The fish itself completely melts in your mouth – that expression is overused and not appropriate in most situations, but there’s no other way to describe the pillowy, decadent texture of this sea food.  The flavor is unlike any other white fish I’ve tasted, and due to the perfect crust.  I’m not even a fan of horseradish, but the preparation is phenomenal.  The combination of the vinaigrette and marinade that coat the slaw tastes perfectly sweet, savory, and tangy all at once.  I’m not even a fan of rice, but the rice in this dish has a hint of macadamia flavor and helps to make sure you don’t miss an ounce of the sauce from the fish or the slaw.

Okay, I’m done swooning now.  I’m classifying this as a “restaurant review”, but it’s honestly what I would choose to eat if I had to pick my last meal.

Bistro 19 on Urbanspoon

What would you choose if you had to pick your last meal?

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