Normally when I receive multiple recommendations for the same place my expectations are pretty high. We're talking higher than a giraffe's forehead. It's always a pleasure to walk into a restaurant and be pleasantly surprised. Following up on several suggestions, I journeyed over to the popular Bistro V in Vestavia Hills, AL.
Atmosphere: I arrived right at the top of their 5:00 p.m. dinner service. Upon entry, I got a direct view of the kitchen staff. They actually looked very enthusiastic, which was a huge plus. Bistro V is a moderately sized restaurant with comfortable seating. I was seated in the dining area close to the bar with a small crowd. Later on as the crowd grew, I could tell that the restaurant seemed to be a popular spot for families & date-nights. I also got the feeling that this is a very popular spot for Vestavia Hills locals. The décor was very nice. I especially liked the two over sized, plush lounge chairs positioned in a corner next to a large window.
The dining room wasn't extremely noisy. Even the servers were pretty reserved with their side conversation.
The Meal: I started off with the Crispy Grit Cake appetizer: country ham, mushrooms,
perfectly cooked spinach, large shrimp all sautéed in a white wine cream sauce. This was one of the heartiest appetizers I've had in a while. If you have a lighter appetite, this would make a great meal. The entrée consisted of the Pan Seared Scallops: succulent jumbo scallops, creamy grits, on a bed of greens, drizzled with bacon vinaigrette. This was indeed a wonderful dish. I really loved it, even though I was stuffed from the appetizer.
The Service: The service started off just "okay" beginning with the hostess. Although service wasn't bad, I expected a more upbeat reception after hearing all of the accolades prior to arriving. The service gradually improved throughout my meal.
The Prices: Appetizers start at $6.00. Salad prices start at $9.00. Dinner entree's range from $16.00 up to $30 depending on the item. Some item's are placed at market prices.
Overall Dining Experience: I can taste the quality & passion put into the food. To see the look on the faces of the Bistro V kitchen staff as I walked in gave me a great feeling. I can tell that they love what they do and it shows in the taste of the food. I am eager to try more menu items at the Bistro.
Room for growth and improvement: I don't have any real "complaints", but the only suggestion I would make is that Bistro V take the opportunity to continue to enhance service quality and continue efforts to provide each customer with a well rounded dining experience.
For more information about Bistro V, visit them on-line at http://www.bistro-v.com/home.html
Follow them on Twitter @_bistroV_
(Click photos for larger view)
|The Crispy Grit Cake|
|The Pan Seared Scallops|