Sunday, March 7, 2010

Genuine Bistro & Lounge

I am sure glad we went here recently, Genuine Bistro & Lounge has very good food and very good service in a nice, friendly atmosphere. My first attempt to eat here found a full restaurant with a 45 minute wait unless you wanted to sit outside on a cold Florida evening. So when my friend Tommy and I came back another time, we were pleasantly surprise to find no wait. In retrospect, it probably would have been worth the wait!

We were promptly greeted and shown to a table, and given a choice of a table--that was nice. They were not crowded but as the evening progressed, they had a steady flow of patrons. After a short wait, Adam, our server, took our drink order. When the drinks came back, we were ready to order appetizers, and we did.

We started off with two appetizers. The first was Zucchini Planks--bias-sliced "planks" of fresh zucchini had been hand-battered in a tempura and then deep-fried. They were served with a horseradish sauce. This was a hit, for sure. Of course, taking something moderately healthy like zucchini and deep-frying it mitigates the health benefts, but on the "good eats" side of things, this was very good. When it came to the table it was fresh out of the fryer and very hot. Very hot! It could have used a slight sprinkle of salt before being served, but we managed. The horseradish dipping sauce was creamy and not overly hot--very good, actually. So good that we had to ask for more, which promptly appeared.

Our second appetizer was the Atomic Shrimp. Five rather large gulf shrimp had been battered (again, in a tempura) and deep-fried, then tossed in a creamy garlic sauce. They were served on top of a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce. The plate was "decorated with several stripes of sriracha sauce--very hot and very good. The sriracha is what I thought gave the shrimp an "atomic" taste, not the creamy  garlic sauce. The tempura was just a slight bit doughy, but overall this was a very good dish. I loved the zing that the sriracha gave this dish, and the presentation was excellent, assuredly.

We ordered our main dishes and salads before the appetizers arrived. Our salads appeared shortly after we finished the appetizers. The salads were very good--a mix of various greens was accompanied by some shredded carrots, some nicely sliced cucumbers and some tomato wedges. The dressing was served on the side, something I always like to see. I had the balsamic viniagrette, dressing, it was very good. 

Once we finished our salads, we had a bit of a wait for our entrees. There was another large party of about a dozen nearby, and their food came out first, so my guess is that was the reason for the slightly long pause. No matter, it was worth waiting for.

My friend Tommy ordered the Crispy Slow Roast Chicken. It was an excellent choice! A half chicken had been marinated in aged balsamic vinegar and citrus, then roasted. It was served with tempura (again!) asparagus spears and mashed baby red potatoes. The chicken was excellent. It had a great flavor, picking up a hint of the citrus and balsamic vinegar. The skin was very crispy, the meat juicy and flavorful. The tempura asparagus spears were good, though I thought the tempura slightly overpowered the flavor of the young and tender asparagus. And who can't love mashed red potatoes with their flecks of red skin, sligth lumpiness, and garlic, butter and creamy goodness? This was a very good choice, and very good food.

My dish was equally good. I had the Genuine Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon Filet. The smokiness was very subltle, but the salmon was juicy and tender. It was served with a warm horseradish beurre blanc, not overpowering and a perfect compliment for the salmon. The dish was served on top of some baby gulf shrimp, baby french beans, yukon gold potato strips, red peppers, and spinach. The menu claimed this had tomato and shallots, though I did not see any evidence of tomatoes, I'm sure it was red peppers. No matter, it was very, very good. Every element of this dish seemed to go together. The crispiness of the baby green beens, the starchy and not overcooked potatoes, the mushiness of the spinach, the tenderness of the flaky salmon--all were very, very good. This was a very good dish and i managed to finish it all.

We were stuffed, but not done--we wanted to try dessert. Tommy ordered the Genuine Key Lime Pie. This was good, solid key lime pie. The presentation was, again, very good. A nice slice of key lime pie had a graham cracker type crust and was served with strawberry and chantilly cream. It was good, very good, but was just key lime pie. A good key lime pie, however, a good key lime pie, better than most I've had.

Of course, to my mind, dessert calls for coffee, and we also ordered and had coffee with our meal. The coffee was very good, nice and strong, but not overpowering. Good coffee and it served as a nice counterpoint for the sweet desserts.

For dessert I ordered the Tiramisu. The first thing that struck me was that it was a huge piece! OMG! Ladyfingers had been dipped in white chocolate cappucino and layered with mascarpone cheese. It was topped with a cocoa/cappucino powder and garnished with a strawberry and chantilly cream. This was very, very good. It was not overly sweet which was great. But the portion was huge, and I did not finish it. Fortunately, there is some leftover for another time.

Our waiter, Adam, was very attentive as was the other staff. When finished with a plate, it promptly was whisked off. When we asked for something, it promptly appeared. Admittedly, we spared no expense, starting off with a glass of wine and a bottle of beer, and ending up with coffee. Still our bill of about $78 with tax but not including a generous tip did not seem out of line for what we had--a very good meal. I was surprise that this place was not very large inside, but they have a large outdoor patio. On a nice spring, summer, or fall evening, this would be a nice place to relax and have dinner as well. I'm sorry we didn't wait the first time we were here, the food is very good. We will be back, I'm sure. I recommend you try this place, it's great!
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