We finally made it to Restaurant Week for the first time in the…10 (Mike) and 9 (me) years we’ve been in Fredericksburg!
We went to Bistro Bethem, which is a great restaurant on the main street here. We’ve been a few times before, but not for about two years. They have a mostly seasonal (there was one time they served a super heavy mac’n’cheese in the summer, but other than that) menu that changes regularly and alway offers a nice variety.
I had a glass of Malbec, which might be the first time I’ve ever ordered red wine in a restaurant! I was determined to be a grown-up and order red wine for the red meat entree.
We added a starter of Potato Gnocchi in a three cheese sauce. The dough was light and pillowy and the warm dish was perfect for a cold night. Then we did the tasting menu. I have no problem admitting I am a VERY picky eater, so of course nothing listed on the appetizer options appealed to me. So Mike got two: an oyster duet and clams in a spicy, garlicky broth. Mike preferred the clams to the oysters, which were served as one Rockefeller and a couple fried. They had a heavy hand with seasoning on the Rockefeller, and the fried oyster was mostly fried, not enough oyster.
Second course: Mike opted for the soup de jour, which was a tomato bisque with creme freche, and I chose the Caesar salad. The third option was a beet salad. The soup was good, but I found the caesar salad to have an unusual taste – possibly too much anchovy? or some sort of smoky taste?
Third course: Sadly, they didn’t have Pork Belly on the menu. Mike ordered Sea Bass instead, and I had a duet of beef – braised flank steak and a lightly charred Kobe steak. Mike liked his sea bass and accompanying potato dumpling things. He’s still cranky I declined a taste of the dumplings, but really…they would have been contaminated by the fish. duh. My beef came with sauteed shitakes and potatoes gratin, both of which were delish. The flank was very tender, but the Kobe was a bit tough. I preferred the actual flavor of the Kobe though. Char. Yum!
Afterwards, we met a great friend at F.W. Sullivan’s slightly up the road. This is apparently the new hot spot in town, in a location that’s been through many bar/restaurant experiments in the last few years. The bar was fairly crowded, and the large warehouse-like space was chilly. We had a couple drinks, then headed over to Brock’s. This was an unusual move. We don’t do Brock’s in the winter, but it’s a mainstay for warm weather, happy hour on the porch and dancing or cornhole games. It was great, though! We ordered wings and fries (diet? what’s that?) and had a few drinks and just caught up.
And I put a fry in her purse. Two fries. That’s a story for another time, though!