Optimistically Cautious

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just Like Earls: Dante's Bistro

As we would be in the area anyway, I figured it'd be a good time to try Dante's Bistro (17328 Stony Plan Road). Mack was surprised I hadn't been to this restaurant before, but considering it isn't readily accessible by public transit, it shouldn't have been too difficult to believe.

The dining room (or "bistro," as it is named on the website) is built with an incredibly high ceiling, giving it a grand feeling, trumping most other casual upscale locales. At the same time, I wasn't too sure I liked the painted faux-fresco walls - like slightly off designer replicas, I felt it devalued the overall decor. I would have much preferred plain, one-color columns to emulate the classy, sophisticated feeling created by the heightened ceiling.

As for the menu, Mack was spot on when he compared it to (boo) Earls - pastas, fusion dishes, and grilled meats. In contrast with the chain, however, there were actually a few dishes that I would choose to eat. In this case, I chose the Pineapple & Prosciutto Pizza, while Mack selected the Ginger Beef. As it would turn out, neither of us ended up getting what we ordered.

I was served the Blackened Chicken, Grilled Onions, Cilantro & Mango Chutney Pizza (that's what those yellow chunks were!), and Mack the Bul-Go-Gi Beef Stir-fry. I really hope it was the server's first day, because we clearly didn't incorrectly articulate our order. We also didn't send it back, though in retrospect pointing out her error may have resulted in a generous discount of sorts. As for the meal itself, the pizza was fairly satisfying, though the Italian ham would have hit the spot just a little bit better. Mack enjoyed his stir-fry, though in my opinion the beef was on the dry side.

Would I return to Dante's? Perhaps to the lounge for the ambiance, but not for the service or the unexceptional food.

Dining room interior

Blackened Chicken Pizza

Bul-Go-Gi Beef Stir-fry

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