Thursday, April 25, 2013

Establishing My Metro Bona Fides at Bloomsbury Bistro

How's this for establishing my metrosexual bona fides? I found a charming bistro in an antique mall through a hair salon referral. Hey, whatever works.

The Bloomsbury Bistro is easy to miss. It's located in the back of the Mission Road Antique Mall which is located behind the very easy to find Panera Bread in Prairie Village.  Even though I'd been to the antique mall several times before I never really paid much attention to the restaurant. Knowing my appetite for good eats my friend Cyndy Johnston, owner of Sopra Salon across the street, recommended it to me.

My wife and I have a pet expression for ladies of a certain age (the age is somewhat variable but let's say north of 60) - "So stinkin' cute". And that would be the first thing you notice at The Bloomsbury Bistro - the place is practically overflowing with charming, well dressed ladies that are well, just "so stinkin' cute". It also appears to be a popular Mother/Daughter or even Mother/Daughter/Granddaughter spot. I haven't quite reached the point where that fact would attract me to a restaurant but it doesn't necessarily scare me off either. Especially if the food is good. (Sidebar where the exception proves the rule: On my most recent visit there were no fewer than three tables with gentlemen dining alone).

Tomato, Fennel and White Bean Soup
Chef/Owner Cari Jo Cavalcante opened the place in 2001 and serves lunch there from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Saturday. I'll keep this brief... soups, salads, and sandwiches range from very good to delicious. Cavalcante teases some amazing flavors out of what could otherwise be run of the mill offerings. Her Tomato, Fennel and White Bean soup (pictured at right) is a gluten free, vegetarian choice that will leave you very satisfied. Shelly's go-to is the Pecan-Encrusted Chicken Salad. I've tried most of the sandwiches and have been happy with them all. I had a half Reuben this week and it was as good or better than the best I've had in Kansas City (and while that may be faint praise it is actually a good Reuben). You won't go wrong with any of her quiches either. There are more than a couple vegetarian dishes and some that are gluten-free (or can be made gluten-free). Flavor is not sacrificed.

Dessert at lunch always feels like a stretch but if you go that route treat yourself to the Toasted Carrot Cake. It's served warm and is pretty special. Or the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bread Pudding - also nice.

So... next time you're thinking about Panera for a soup and sandwich head here instead. And don't be afraid to eat the quiche. Real men do after all.

More Photos:

Roasted Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
Roasted pears, dried cranberries and leafy greens tossed with 
a Hazelnut Vinaigrette, served with warm panko encrusted 
goat cheese and finished with a cranberry glaze. 

Bistro Turkey
Oven-roasted turkey, fresh ripe pears, bacon and 

soft Brie on a multi-grain bread with a honey-mustard sauce. 

Pot Roast & Provolone
Seasoned pot roast, caramelized onions, and provolone
cheese with tomato chutney on a soft hoagie roll.

Pecan-Encrusted Chicken Salad 
Tender chicken breasts baked with a pecan crust served on 
top of greens tossed in a Maple- Balsamic Vinaigrette, 
caramelized sweet potatoes and red onion. 
Corned beef on marble rye bread, topped with Swiss cheese, 
sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing, lightly toasted.

Bistro Turkey
Oven-roasted turkey, fresh ripe pears, bacon and soft Brie 
on a multi-grain bread with a honey-mustard sauce. 

Toasted Carrot Cake
Moist carrot cake layered with a pineapple-cream cheese 
filling then toasted and topped with a brown sugar glaze 
and candied walnuts. 

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bread Pudding
Italian bread croutons baked in a smooth chocolate custard and topped 
with chocolate truffle ganache. Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. 

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