Friday, September 2, 2011

How to enjoy an expensive dinner out

Pinot Noir Summit 2010Image by travelwitheric via Flickr
A bottle of smooth pinot noir, like those above, made a pricey meal easier to swallow.

If you go for dinner at Khloe Bistrot in Fort Lee, take a nice bottle of wine and relax. The food is terrific, but you are going to pay a lot for your meal.

Lean back in your upholstered armchair, look around and review the one-page menu at this French-flavored BYO. ("Bistrot" is the French spelling of bistro.) 

The stylish dining room is filled with good but mismatched furniture, and outside, there are  tables under black umbrellas where you can really appreciate the traffic fumes.

Salads start at $9. If you want fish, you're entree will cost nearly $30, and that's for a fillet.

There are lamb and beef burgers, a crab-cake sandwich and a roasted half chicken on the menu, too. Side dishes include sauteed spinach that comes in a small cast-iron pan for $8.

I arrived first on Thursday a little after 5 p.m. and chatted with one of the owners, Felix Anguyo, while I waited for two friends.

When I asked for tap water, Anguyo said the hurricane affected Fort Lee water, and offered me bottled water. 

That didn't sound right, but I agreed to a bottle of Acqua Panna, which I shared with my friends and which set me back $7. Next time, I'll insist on glasses of Eau du Fort Lee.

We started sipping the New Zealand pinot noir I brought with me and ordered: Sauteed spinach for my friends to share, a Maison Salade for me.

One friend ordered the Amish Roasted Chicken ($25), the other chose a crab-cake sandwich with salad ($14) and I went with the Corsica Red Snapper, listed on the menu with sauteeed spinach ($29).

My $9 salad had beautiful greens, cucumber slices and cherry tomato halves, and just enough dressing to highlight them.

My wild-caught fish was served over a generous bed of lentils, not with spinach. The flesh was moist and the skin was crisp. Just perfect for this seafood lover.

My friend's roasted chicken rested on a bed of scrumptious, diced sweet potato and mushroom, probably cooked in a lot of butter. The crab-cake sandwich also got high marks.

My friends took a look at the dessert menu, but all the selections were priced at $10 or more, and they declined. Service was casual, and the wine helped us weather the short waits for food.

We spent $113.44, including tax and tip. I had asked for a separate check to include the water. Instead, we got a single check that declared, "Merci beaucoup."

The restaurant serves a $13 prix-fixe lunch Mondays to Fridays.

The owners transformed a former pizzeria named Jerry's, and the ceiling was raised to add a spacious feel. 

Khloe Bistrot is on an island of retail businesses bordered by two busy streets with parking meters, and isn't easy to find. It's opposite the shuttered Borders book emporium, a good place to park.

Khloe Bistrot, 1643 Schlosser St., Fort Lee; 201-461-9700. BYO. 

Web site: Sensual food, sensual women

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  1. Sounds like you fell for the ol' every time it rains the tap water isn't fit for humans scam. Let's just hope he filled up that $7 bottle of water from the kitchen sink and not the restroom before serving it to you. Mind you, you could have cut down on the cost of the meal by bringing a bottle of Ripple instead of that Pinot Noir, I'll bet that set you back five bucks. Or better still, a quart of wild turkey -- that's gotta be naturally fermented, since the turkeys are wild caught. Either way, a few glasses of that and after your meal, both you and the bill can be staggering. Northern and Southern hemispheres, eh? What next!

  2. Still have a couple of hemispheres to go.


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