We Review Wild Rose Bistro
…A rose by any other name should smell as sweet, wrote William Shakespeare in ‘Romeo and Juliet’. The roses at this bistro are dormant in wintertime, but rest assured, Daniel and Lynn Flately’s passion for pleasing guests with their gustatory delights was in high season during Krab’s recent visit.
In my last review, my editor took me to task for omitting a detailed description of the café itself. After pondering his comments, I have drawn the conclusion that the overall dining experience is far more important than what is on the wall of the dining room. It is possible to dine in a relaxed environment and enjoy fine cuisine. I rate my dining experience on the impression I am left with after I walk out the door. Despite it’s funky décor and Daniel’s casual manner, make no mistake; the Wild Rose Bistro offers fine dining at its best.
The Wild Rose Bistro is located in old town Bandon about ½ block from the waterfront. The building is weathered but inviting. Once inside, the décor provides a hint of the eclectic sensibility which also characterizes the menu. Diners will note exterior siding on the back wall of the restaurant. Daniel and Lynn have adorned the walls with reproductions of fascinating magazine ads. Each print entices the diner to look closer to the caption that is describing the unique scene. The print at our table depicted a row of secretaries (1940’s era) blowing bubble gum: “one of the perks of the job” the caption reads. Only upon reading the fine print does one realize the secretaries work in a bubble gum factory. The booths are constructed of beautiful heavy wood reminiscent of an English pub. The curtains have been altered by the owner’s hand to grace each window to maximize privacy from outside while keeping the essence of elegance inside. Ornate wall lamps at each booth provided soft light for the tables.
A young couple owns the Bistro; Daniel Flatley waits tables and his spouse Lynn is the master chef. Daniel was very friendly and attentive to us the entire meal, explaining dishes, suggesting wine selections and even bringing out a sample of the cotton fabric that adorn the windows. The appetizer selection was enticing. The diner can expect to choose from a selection of seafood, cheeses and vegetables, but be sure to ask about the specials. We selected the current special, quail wrapped in pancetta. It was tasty, but a bit dry. There isn’t a lot to a quail, but they dress up nicely and make a fine presentation tableside. The wine list was very commendable and Daniel recommended we try the house chardonnay. I found it refreshing with no aftertaste. My boyfriend described it as an excellent palate cleanser, readying his appetite for the next course.
One thing that really impressed me was the freshness of the foods. As I was pulling up to the bistro, I noticed Daniel clipping herbs from the patio garden. Now that’s fresh! The salad was divine and included assorted greens and vegetables. The Gorgonzola dressing (made in-house) is spectacular! The boyfriend ordered clam chowder and I must say, it is the best chowder I have ever tasted, and I have tasted many!
I suppose that our appetizer and first course would have stifled our appetites for the evening, but Mongo’s edict in the previous column was clear: Try it all. And we did. I ordered the rack of lamb, which was a taste sensation. It was cooked perfectly and rubbed in those fresh herbs that Daniel had just picked. It is served over a complimentary demi-glace that explodes with flavor. I was so glad Daniel kept the bread coming, as I was inclined to soak up every drop! The boyfriend ordered the tri-seafood pasta dish. It too was well prepared, a wonderful marriage of flavors in a creamy sauce. Again, hail to the excellent bread to recover sauce that the fork could not.
We ended the evening with two desserts: I had the chocolate torte (OMG!) and the boyfriend ordered the cheesecake. The boyfriend commented that the cheesecake was the best he’d ever had. Not too sweet, and the texture was perfect. Both were presented with a huckleberry topping that in and of itself was a treat.
The experience at the Wild Rose Bistro was one that I hope to have again, and I hope anyone searching for fine dining and a welcoming atmosphere will give it a try. Normally open every day of the week, during the slow month of January, they are open Thursday through Sunday from 5 until 9 pm. Bottle of wine, appetizer, dinners and two desserts and gratuity: $147.00. Four happy MongoThumbs.
Reviewed by Krab January 2008
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