Review of 'Downtown Bistro & Grill'

You could be forgiven for missing “Downtown Bistro & Grill” which is in a (former) small house on Elizabeth Street just up from lakeshore and a few blocks over from Brant Street. Cozy is the word with seating for perhaps 20 people inside. We were shown to a table at the back near the entrance to the kitchen which meant we had a lot of foot traffic throughout the evening.

The mixed-influence menu has a large number of appetizers ranging in price from $11 for the Bruschetta and $25 for the “Cheese & Charcuterie Plat”. The mains (entrees) range from $19 for the “Bistro Burger” to $42 for the “Canadian AAA Beef Tenderloin”. The menu also has “Salads”, “Soups and “Flatbreads” sections. Generally there are also daily fish, meat and vegetable daily specials.

We decided to forgo the starters and go directly to mains. My companion had the steak daily special ($44) which was served with (small) scallops, asparagus and a good chunk of broccoli along with a good amount of parsnip purée and a red wine jus. She was very happy indeed. The portion size was reasonable and made us happy we had not had starters.

Dinner Feature

I had the “Seafood & Chicken Jambalaya” (“creole seasoned rice medley, mushrooms, red peppers, smoked chicken, mussels, shrimp and Andouille sausage”; $27) which was quite tasty with the mussels very fresh and juicy as were the shrimp. After taking away all of the shells there the portion was not very large good for my appetite this evening. What I did miss was any amount of spices which you would normally expect in a Jambalaya and it was all a bit bland and disappointing.

Seafood Chicken Jambalaya

We were talked into sharing a dessert so we had the carrot cake ($8) which turned out to be one of the best dishes of the day, beautifully presented, moist and not overly sweet.

Carrot Cake

There was only a single server for the restaurant the whole evening who ended up being terribly busy when the restaurant filled for dinner. Despite this she did manage to continually come and check whether we were ready to order while we were in conversation with one another (we were dining with relatives we have not seen in years so were catching up). It did get a bit tense ordering in the end with our having to force ourselves away from each other to order because of the waitresses continuing visits to the table. When we left eventually at just after 9:30 pm the place was empty and she was obviously a lot more relaxed, taking a picture of our group standing in front of the bar.

At about $50 each (before tip but including drinks) it was a bit on the pricy side but the quality was certainly there. Unfortunately, the flavours in what we ordered (including a daily special) were generally a bit disappointing and the service was a bit rushed for our liking. I would be happy to return again to give it another go mind you…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2019-04-18

Cuisine: French

Address: 441 Elizabeth St, Burlington, Ontario L7R 2L8,Canada

Location: Burlington (Canada) - Downtown



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Telephone: +1 905-639-7577