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Bar Bistro 608

In a word: Light Dinner & a Movie.

The specs: #0303
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Cap Times, 77 Square; chatter at TDPF; bio of chef; official web site.

JM ate the BBQ bacon and cheddar chicken breast burger with pommes frites.
Nichole ate the wilted spinach salad and a cup of ginger chicken vegetable soup.
The bill was $23, or $11.50/person, plus tip.
JM and Nichole gave Bar Bistro 608 an A- (see our grading rubric).

Latest Bar Bistro 608 news and reviews

Bread basketThis was our second meal at Sundance 608 (see our Caffe 608 post for a full explanation). We weren't too sad to come back; as it turned out the two places are different enough. The Bar Bistro's menu is mostly small plates, with some sandwiches and frou-frou pizzas (e.g. pear and gorgonzola) as well as salads. The dining room was as dark as you'd expect from a movie theatre, making for a quiet, intimate setting.  This was only heightened by the fact that half of the restaurant was not being used this Sunday evening.

Our server was warm and friendly, and brought out a bread basket right away. It contained a few tender rounds of white bread with poppy, sesame and caraway seeds in the crust, and a sweet little flower of butter.

Chicken sandwich and pommes fritesJM's chicken breast "burger" was full of interesting flavors. The sauce nicely underscored the chicken's marinade (no dry meat here) and both worked together to make the veggies really pop.  However, like every part of the 608 experience, he was a little underwhelmed by the size of the sandwich, and concluded that you can get a better deal at the Caffe downstairs.

SoupThe ginger chicken vegetable soup was truly excellent. Imagine a good rich chicken soup, but with a wake-up call of clean ginger flavor that subsides into the fullness of "umami". Nibble-sized chunks of white meat, carrots and celery (no noodles - nice!) made Nichole wish the cup was bottomless.

Spinach saladThe salad, by contrast, was quite sharp-tasting. It was good to alternate bites of soup and salad, lest the combo of vinegar, oxalic acid from the spinach, and the squeaky raw mushrooms set Nichole's teeth totally on edge. Judicious consumption of the chunks of bleu cheese and bits of Nueske's bacon helped here too. As with everything at Sundance 608, the presentation was meticulous; tomatoes framed the piled-up salad, and it was all about symmetry. The presentation, in fact, is almost all that distinguished this meal from any number of salads Nichole's made at home. Still, it was a satisfying and totally guilt-free meal.

According to our server, the Caffe and Bar Bistro swap some recipes, but are mostly independent. In our experience, both are high on style and decent on substance.


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