One of the last restaurants we went to before I had the baby was the newest addition to Tremont, Bistro on Lincoln Park, for Metromix. Chef Pete Joyce and his wife purchased the former Sage space to open this Mediterranean restaurant.
Overall we really enjoyed it, both the food and atmosphere. Joyce, and his sous chef Cory Hess, shared a little of the restaurant’s future plans, including a happy hour menu and a special wine list featuring 20 wines under $20.
Joyce also discussed his approach to cooking and what people can expect from his restaurant(part of the article is below; for the rest click here):
At Bistro, everything on the menu is homemade—from the bread and desserts right down to the mustard and ketchup. Joyce says he takes pride in knowing nothing comes through the back door in a can and that whenever possible, local ingredients are used. The chef’s philosophy is simple: by starting with great ingredients, you will end with a great product.
Joyce and Hess use classical cooking techniques mixed with modern technology. The kitchen is equipped with a cryovac machine, which is basically a giant food saver that allows the chefs to utilize sous-vide cooking (sous vide is French for under vacuum and is nothing more than a hot water bath with an exact temperature control that allows for precise cooking and to maintain the integrity of ingredients). The chefs will then take foods that have been cryovaced and cook them in the immersion circulator.
The mix of classic and modern cooking techniques works. On a recent visit, we started with a bowl of the onion soup gratinee with venison broth and raclette cheese and the verts aux lardons salad with baby greens, house cured bacon, lavender-honey Dijon dressing, croutons and a poached egg nestled in the center. For dinner, we opted for the steak and frites and ratatouille ravioli with oven-dried tomato and caper butter.
The starters were each fantastic, including the risotto ball amuse bouche with gruyere and truffle oil. The soup had a rich and luxurious taste while the small salad featured generous amounts of the thick-sliced bacon and hearty croutons. The only slight disappointment was the dressing—it wasn’t as flavorful as expected, but the poached egg made up for it.
As for the entrées, the tender steak boasted good flavor but was almost overshadowed by the incredibly addicting fries. The fries, while not necessarily as good as the highly coveted and widely popular fries at Lola and Lolita, were definitely in the same league. As for the ravioli, the simple and aromatic dish was happily cooked slightly al dente and overall, incredibly fresh and flavorful, especially the chunks of tomatoes.
Other popular menu items include the grilled pork loin with Roquefort-celery emulsion, seared tuna with sweetbreads and golden raisin vinaigrette, chorizo blini, Spanish black bean cake and chocolate chip cookies with milk for dessert.
The menu, which features nothing over $23, will change seasonally.