« Big Apple Bagels Xpress | Main | Madison Restaurant Week "pathfinder," Summer 2012 »

Bistro 101

Bistro 101In a word: Needs to get back to the basics.

The specs: #00792  
101 E. Main St., Mount Horeb, 53572
Details at Bistro 101 on Urbanspoon
Official web site

Latest Bistro 101 news and reviews

JM ate the filet mignon with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the whitefish with an iced tea.
The bill was $68, or $34/person, plus tip.
Bistro 101 gave JM a C; Bistro 101 gave Nichole a C+ (see the grading rubric).

Bistro 101 is in downtown Mount Horeb. It has all the makings of a fine dining establishment. The customers in attendance varied from singles drinking wine at the bar to younger couples to families.

But things got off to a somewhat rocky start when the lemonade turned out to be bad.  Not just 'a little too sour', but genuinely bitter and tasting of bug bomb.  JM did not take Bistro 101 up on its offer of a refill.  Seriously, it was deleterious.

The steak had potential. It was a thick cut of filet, a steak JM considers the origami of meat - he gets it because it's delicate and flavorful. This piece was topped with horseradish butter. There was a flavor that permeated from the nicely seared outside through the rare, almost blue, center. We think it was a soy and garlic marinade. But this flavor overwhelmed the steak as if the steak said the salty flavor "beat me up and took my lunch money."  If Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter wants to sign a SALT treaty with Bistro 101, our national health may be improved. 

Filet mignonWhitefish

In contrast, the panko-crusted Door County whitefish was very good. The flesh was light and flaky, not greasy. All the sides were good: cilantro-citrus rice, cheesy mashed potatoes, and sauteed julienned carrots. There might have been some shortcuts taken - the carrots were not thoroughly peeled (not worth a complaint) and the produce sticker was still on the lemon wedge (worth a complaint). 

We missed several opportunities for extra credit. For instance, there were some starters that we didn't study, including salmon with "wasabi roe," an escargot special, a warm cucumber and potato soup. Our biggest loss of points was not getting a cheese plate or a salad (Caesar, wedge or tossed - we saw one leave the kitchen and it was huge). The desserts offered were apple crisp, lemon cheesecake and flourless chocolate cake. There was also an extensive wine list that was far beyond our reading comprehension.

This meal at Bistro 101 was like the 3rd Xerox copy of a meal we'd like to have. 



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I went there for the first time a couple weeks and had a great experience. Excellent and friendly service and our meats were cooked perfectly (I had lamb chops and husband had steak). We thought the setting was kind of unique and enjoyed sitting in the bar area near the fireplace. Sorry to hear your experience was not as good as ours.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design