It wasn’t all that long ago that the farm-to-table concept burst upon the restaurant scene in Fairfield County and now it seems like every place you go claims to be just that. Unfortunately, most places are flat-out copycats and some are phonies and there are a few that can’t even execute it. But there is some light among the pretenders and one of those “real deal” places is Bistro 7.
Bistro 7 is owned by Breno Donatti (who has a real American Dream story) and Matt Criscuolo who Donatti once worked for at Crisuolo’s Jazzeria Italian Restaurants. Together, and with a passion for fresh, local ingredients with absolutely nothing to do with GMO’s, they opened Piccolo Gelato Bar and the spot we’re here to talk about, Bistro 7.
|Love the old movies playing on the back wall.|
|Did you know that Bistro 7 won best bisque at Chowdafest 2014? Their organic butternut squash bisque took top honors in the category.|
Bistro 7 was in my vocabulary as I heard about it from friends and blogger buddies. But, I’m guilty of getting stuck in a lower Fairfield County bubble (stop, some of you never leave your towns). Realistically, Bistro 7 is like 25 minutes away from me. My first visit came during a writer’s meetup for what I know is one of the best Happy Hours around; half priced wine and draft beers and half-off the bar menu!
After a pleasant first visit that included truffle fries, pork tacos, beer, and a personable experience with Breno, I knew I had to set up a second visit for a tasting menu of Bistro 7’s “farm-to-fork” concept or as I like to call it, “farm-to-my-mouth.”
|Family fun? You betcha! This sounds like a good time!|
The farm-to-fork menu at Bistro 7 is ever changing depending on what’s in season and uses local ingredients whenever possible. You will find gluten free options, a kid’s menu, burgers and sandwiches, small plates to share, plenty of meat choices (we love meat!) and yes, a portion of their menu is vegetarian friendly.
|My cocktail choice: Moon-Lit Tea; Wild Turkey Honey, Cape Moonshine, iced tea, muddled orange, thyme, fresh lemon juice.|
|Kate Johnson, one of Bistro 7’s bartenders, poses for a pic 🙂|
|Damion’s drink: La Vie De Rouge; organic gin, cointreau, rosemary, cranberry juice, frrsh lemon juice.|
Our tasting involved, well…the Bistro 7 staff trying to get us drunk! We began with specialty cocktails at the bar and a craft beer flight when we sat at a table. Trust me, there was more to come. It was almost like the staff really knew us or they scoped out our online dating profiles beforehand.
|I told you they tried to booze us up. We loved it though!|
|But the cheesy herb bread helped soak some of it up 😉|
|We’re normally not salad eatin’ dudes, but this was an exception to the rule! Excellent!|
The meal kicked off with a light, but refreshing spinach salad with caramelized apple balls, candied walnuts, sautéed onions, goat cheese and apple walnut dressing. Usually you wouldn’t catch us bragging about a salad but the sweet elements really paired nicely with the slight bitterness of the spinach and we went nuts for the texture provided by the walnuts and the creaminess from the goat cheese.
|This right here! Epic.|
Next up was one my favorite parts of the meal; a fried sausage risotto ball with homemade marinara sauce and shaved parmesan. This was comfort food and reminded me of a meatball. For me, anything crispy, creamy, and with meat is a winner. I even scraped up and ate every bit of sauce.
|Hearty. Tender. Delicious.|
Just when I thought the meal couldn’t get any better, out came a braised short rib dish with mashed cauliflower and sweet roasted carrots. This down-home dish had me moaning when I touched the short rib with my fork and it just fell apart. The hearty braising liquid served two purposes, for putting flavor into the meat and as a sauce for the cauliflower. Meat lovers need to order this. You won’t even need a knife.
|A happy ending 🙂|
The last of the four courses ended with a gooey house made brownie with vanilla ice cream and a rich cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and Bananas Foster on top.
|Ice cold and refreshing!|
The “getting us drunk” theme kept going after the tasting when a IPA Float (Saranac White IPA, rye whiskey, agave syrup) made its way over with a shot of homemade limoncello for a duo of after dinner drinks.
Miraculously, we were still able to stand up afterwards.
All drunk jokes aside and what’s even more important to us than just great food was the hospitality of the owners and staff. If you spend a little time with Breno or Matt, you feel like you’ve known them for a while. I think both owners know this but they have a staff in place that knows the menu and knows about food and drinks and they are very willing to talk to you about it.
The next time you’re on your way up Route 7 and are going through North Wilton, it would be a good idea to slow down on Danbury Road and stop in Bistro 7 for a truly remarkable farm-to-table experience and friendly service.
Bistro 7 Restaurant + Bar
991 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
*Bistro 7 is now closed*