Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bis on Main

Restaurant Name: Bis on Main
Location: 10213 Main St. Bellevue, WA 98004

Here we are at what appears to have been a Bellevue fixture for 10 or so years now, that we have somehow completely missed. I have to admit I wasn't expecting much despite the relatively decent 24 Zagat food rating. We pulled in to the "free" valet parking lot, which didn't really need to be valet, to see Jaguars, Mercedes, Hummers, BMW's, and Audi's. Obviously this restaurant was for the well-heeled that Bellevue tends to cater to. The question was, is the food any good?

The menu looked a bit pedestrian unfortunately. A lot of standard dishes you see at many restaurants, nothing too incredible but certainly a respectable selection. What I did notice was that prices seemed a bit high for what was on the menu, but given the cars I saw in the parking lot, and the amazing, truly beautiful decor, this was unsurprising.

Probably the best part of Bis on Main was the wines. The wine list is terrific, and even if you are ordering by the glass you are sure to get something that is quite yummy by anyone's standards. They were a bit on the higher priced side, but that was again, expected for the area and clientele, and they were actually worth the price. More than I can say for the food unfortunately.

I started my meal with what I thought was an easy hit, a caesar salad. I took the first bite and was amazed at the amount of garlic they were able to cram into the dressing. My throat quite literally was burning from the amount of garlic in the dressing by the time I was halfway through the salad. I have had LOTS of caesar salads so it's not that I'm just not accustomed to them. This doesn't even mention the nearly invisible tiny croutons. So the salad course was not all-together inspiring for me, although for a garlic lover perhaps it would be the best caesar they have ever had. Maybe the main course would be better?

My main course was a double pork chop entree. This was huge! Not just the double chop, but everything else on the plate as well. There was a little too much of everything as it all could have been half the size and been plenty of food. The pork itself was very good. Excellently cooked, not dry, and the sauce was quite awesome as well. Subtle flavors that all mingled well and really complimented the pork. I just needed about half the quantity.

For dessert my wife and I shared the chocolate souffle. It was decent, but the ice cream on top was pretty good. So the dessert was really, just OK. Nothing inspired, but good.

There is something of a disturbing theme so far in my reviewing of restaurants on the East side of Seattle. It seems like all of the restaurants are expecting you to order an entree and leave. Therefore the entrees are humongous portions, and typically pretty decent. Unfortunately the salads, appetizers, and desserts all suffer greatly as a result of this. So when one comes in thinking 3 course meal, one ends up stuffed to the gills. In sum total, Bis on Main garners a "good, but not inspired" rating from me. If you go and just get an entree and leave, that might up it to a "very good, but not inspired." You can go and get a decent meal, but it likely won't be too memorable.

Bis on Main on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you should try us again. I understand your comments and do not disregard them, but I think we set a high standard of food quality and service. The insperation in what we serve is in getting it right consistently, and exploring tastes and textures within an approachable framework, that appeals to almost all and mystifies no one. The foods that you found uninspired are the staples of American cuisine. They are what Americans eat, and why? Because we like them and we eat them all the time. As for our prices being higher than most, that may be true to some extent. It can be expensive to eat at Bis on Main, but we are also serving portions (as you pointed out), that are quite significant and as such we need to charge more for our meals. This is our decision, we want people to get a generous portion, if that is what they want. In the end, we are actually a value restaurant. For example, when you compare our 7 ounce portion of all natural Sea Scallops at $31 to a 5 ounce plate of Scallops that may not share the same pedigree from one of the chain restaurants for $26, we come in as a much better deal.