I was looking for a restaurant to celebrate my birthday last week and landed on Bistango at the Kimberly Hotel in Midtown East. I will start by saying that the entire staff was incredibly nice. They were very attentive but without being too obnoxious. The General Manager was kind enough to stick around after our meal to answer any questions we might have, despite the restaurant being packed.
Now, onto what matters most: the food was excellent! My husband and I went on honeymoon in Italy and ate our way from Venice to Pisa. The food at Bistango can definitely compete with freshness and how delicious it is. As soon as you enter and get your first bite you know that Bistango is all about authenticity. There are no pretentious table cloths, and instead a relaxing and homey feel of the restaurant. The food is beautifully presented and the flavors are just as good, as if a traditional Italian chef was cooking the meal in their Italian kitchen.
We made sure to ask the waitress for her recommendations before ordering to get her input on what is most popular, and she recommended several of the starters for us. We started out with a mix of their flatbreads, antipasti and salads. We selected the Roasted Wild Mushroom Flatbread, Grilled Octopus, Meatballs al Forno, and the Baby Beet salad.
The flatbread and the meatballs were good, but if you wanted something truly authentic, fresh and simply divine you would want to go for the Grilled Octopus and the Baby Beet salad. My husband and I were arguing if we thought the grilled octopus was the best we had ever had. It was the top of the list for me, so you be the judge (and feel free to comment below once you have tried it!).
The baby beet salad was something I could eat every day. For some odd reason my husband does not eat cheese (unless it is a cheesecake or on pizza), so it was on me to try the salad with was topped with some of the freshest ricotta cheese I have ever tasted. After my husband saw my face after my first bite, he had to try it out and he took a bite (without cheese) and I reluctantly ended up having to share. I have to go back just for that baby beet salad!
When it came to the entrées, my husband and I were deeply divided. He is a red meat kind of guy and I am a fish kind of person. He chose the Grilled Rib Eye with a side of root vegetable puree and gratin while I had the Arctic Char with a bed of shaved brussel sprouts and prosciutto pieces and a light saffron crème. I was in heaven. I loved the char, but the bed of Brussel sprouts and prosciutto bits was to die for!
The Bistango specialty cocktails are also fabulous. I had the blood orange margarita and my husband had the spiced pear mule, which was accompanied with an assortment of their delicious desserts. Stop by their bar for a specialty drink with a side of grilled octopus and beet salad. I am definitely returning!
Bistango at the Kimberly Hotel
145 East 50th Street
btw. Lexington and Third Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Photos via Bistango and by Socially Superlative