Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Rundles Restaurant - Sophisto-Bistro

Rundles is one of my favourite restaurants in Stratford.  The service, the decor, the food!  It is, to quote my sister, "Rundleful".

Unfortunately, our budget of late hasn't had room for lovely dinners at lovely restaurants (we're working to fix that....).  So I was thrilled to hear that they were starting something new this year - Sophisto-Bistro - a bistro room within the restaurant.

We took our friend Fiona there last night to celebrate her birthday.  And, people, it was amazing!

The bistro is tucked into a small room behind the main dining room.  A bit of colour creeps in to the all-white scheme.  Banquettes sprout from the walls.  And voila!  A bistro in Rundles!


The room overlooks the small, enclosed garden at the side of the building.  An intimate view for an intimate room.

The service is as attentive as in the main dining room, unlike the cheerful neglect you can find in a traditional bistro.  Our server, Andrew, kept our drinks topped up all evening and others popped in to take care of us as well.

And how's the food, you ask?  Fantastic!

For appetizers, we chose the Charcuterie Plate, the Mackerel in Citrus Escabeche and the Grilled Octopus.   And it was all just perfect.  A blend of wonder flavours and textures and goodness on a plate.

Charcuterie Mackerel Octopus!!!

My octupus came with a salad of savoy cabbage and shredded carrot, the crunchiness of the salad playing off against the rich chewiness of the octopus.

We were kept well-supplied with bread, so mopping up the last of the sauce wasn't a problem.


The main courses, delivered covered, were Braised Veal Cheeks, Grilled Breasts of Quail and Hanger Steak.  On the count of three, our servers lifted the covers and we dug in.

Veal Cheeks Grilled Quail Hanger Steak

My veal cheeks were rich and meltingly soft.  I had a taste of Alan's quail and tried to hijack his plate.  He wouldn't let me.  Fiona's hanger steak was served with a mushroom and black bean salsa and quacamole.  I never would have thought to put steak and quacamole together, but the combination works.

Wine accompanied every course.

And they kept the bread coming right through the main course, which never happens in the bistros in France.

Cheese! Creme Brulee

We finished with a couple of cheese plates and Alan ordered the creme brulee.  All exquisite, of course.  I kept the table entertained with my tales of how Toscano (included in the cheese plate) is made.  It's kind of fun to eat a cheese that you have such a thorough knowledge of!

As the evening wound down, we started thinking... Our own birthdays are coming up in a couple of months.  I think they'll be a great excuse for a return trip.  If we can wait that long....



9 Cobourg Street, Stratford
Ontario, Canada, N5A 3E4
Phone 519.271.6442 Fax 519.271.3279

Saturday, Sunday 11:30 to 1:15

Tuesday and Sunday 5:00 to 7:00

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday 5:00 to 8:30


2008 PRICING Dinner $77.50  Lunch $29.50
WINE PACKAGE $46.50 and $56.50

OWNER James Morris

RESERVATIONS 519.271.6442



Anonymous said...

How's the pricing in the bistro? More affordable?

Barb McMahon said...

Yes, definitely!

Anonymous said...

So would you say Rundles bistro or Westover? We frequently go to Westover and wondered how you would compare???

Good luck with your move, I don't envy you the work.
Betty N.

Barb McMahon said...

Rundles Bistro, definitely.

And thanks for the good wishes!