Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Tuesdays with Market
Il Bistro is quintessential Market - dimly lit, hidden, and cheap at happy hour. We gorged ourselves in style at this classic Market haunt beneath the pig and steps from the gum wall. For a mere $50 (including tax and tip) you can get crostini with goat cheese and roasted garlic, crostini with sausage and peppers, seared calamari in a rich tomato broth, mixed antipasti (cheese, olives, salumi), mushroom ravioli, rigatoni with meat sauce, a couple of beers, two glasses of wine, and some bread to sop up the sauces and soak up your drinks. All of the food was better than good. Not amazing, but certainly tasty. The dry spice garnish used for the ravioli was slightly off-putting, but the cream sauce made up for it. The pasta was almost too al dente. I personally wouldn't be bold enough to serve it that way, for fear I would be accused of under-cooking, but we enjoyed it. And, Let's face it, you don't go to a candlelit Italian restaurant in an out-of-the-way corner of the Market for the food. You go there for the atmosphere. Il Bistro has atmosphere in spades. From its warm red glow, to its marble table tops, to its wood bar, this is someplace you bring a date. Plus, from 5-6:30 p.m., it's some place you can afford to bring a date, even during a recession. The are going to be at least a few more months of cold weather and bad economic news. Find yourself someone special, take the steps just past the pig, and indulge.