Pastiche Bistro and Wine Bar – Milwaukee

To celebrate the Fourth of July this year our whole family congregated in Milwaukee.  Our first reunion event was, of course, dinner.  Mom’s research brought us to Pastiche Bistro and Wine Bar, a “ten-table neighborhood restaurant” featuring traditional French dishes with locally-sourced ingredients.

IMG_2544

On the window sill outside the restaurant we found fresh herbs, flowers, and even strawberries!

The decor inside was cozy and exciting.  The tables themselves were quite formal with beautifully simple flower arrangements.  I especially loved this poster and the tattered and worn Julia Child cookbook up on the shelf.  I guess they also really like chickens. . . IMG_2545

We knew we wanted a Chardonnay, and our waitress recommended the William Fevre “Champs Royaux” from Chablis, France.
IMG_2549

The wine was wonderful.  Dry, crisp, and of course chilled nicely.  We even considered buying some bottles to take home with us for later.

On to the eating . . .

Dad ordered the Salad Lyonnaise: frisee lettuce in a light dressing with bacon, Roquefort, and a poached egg.  This photo was taken after the egg was popped, revealing an enticing gooey yellow interior, perfect for mixing with the salad leaves.
IMG_2552

Next, oysters on the half shell with a red horseradish sauce and a pickled onion sauce.  These were wonderful, and we all agreed we could have eaten at least another plate.IMG_2553

Then of course we ordered a cheese plate.  This plate featured goat cheese, cumin gouda, some type of cheese similar to a mild bleu cheese, and another cow’s milk cheese separated by some type of grape ash.  In addition to the cheese, there were fresh berries, crackers, honey, and bacon jam (ahhhh!!!!!!!).IMG_2555

The goat cheese was quite mild, and when eaten with the honey it was quite delicious.  Even Mom liked it (which was truly a surprise as everyone knows she does not prefer goat cheese).  The cumin gouda was profound and intriguing.  The bleu-type cheese paired wonderfully with the bacon jam, which itself tasted like the smoky crunchy parts of a strip of bacon. The cow’s milk cheese was also very enjoyable, although it was not as surprising as the others.

At a French restaurant, of course we ordered escargots.  These were more traditional than the ones I had in Albany, as they were cooked inside their shells stuffed with a garlic herb butter.  I had never tried lemon with escargots, but it surprisingly paired quite well.  The toasted French bread was to die for.
IMG_2557

For the first entree (even though we shared everything), we had Beef Entrecôte Steak au Poivre – a strip steak encrusted with a thick layer of black peppercorns, finished with a cognac and shallot demi glaze, and served with sautéed spinach and dauphinoise potatoes. IMG_2558

 I almost never order steak at a French restaurant (usually it’s the duck that does me in), so this was a nice change.  The steak was very tender and juicy, and I really enjoyed the peppercorn crust.  Christine had an end piece which she said was almost all peppercorns.  The spinach was solid – not oily or buttery – and the potatoes were really done well.

Next, we tried the quail daily special.  Served with green beans, roasted tomatoes, and a risotto with peas on the bottom, this was a wonderful dish to try.  A mix of interesting flavors and textures, and a beautiful presentation.IMG_2559

Speaking of beautiful presentations, check out these profiteroles!IMG_2560

We were quite full after our dinner, but we agreed we needed something to cleanse the palate.  These three profiteroles did the trick.  One with vanilla ice cream, one with chocolate ice cream, and one with strawberry balsamic ice cream – topped with chocolate sauce, fresh berries, and powdered sugar – this was the perfect end to a lovely traditional-style French dinner.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s