Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Valentine: Corner Bistro

Instead of going out on the 14th of February to celebrate that funny thing called love, we thought it would be smart and go out the weekend before. Why on earth would anyone plan to go out and enjoy the company of that special someone knowing that every other couple around you is also doing the same? Not to mention how packed most restaurants will be and all the special Vday courses ($$$) they'll only be serving for that one night, it's sheer madness! I'm a simple gal and don't need all that fluff (we even agreed not to exchange gifts), so we dined at a local restaurant,

Love the glass water jug and baby salt & pepper shakers!

This is truly a hidden gem in the suburbs of Wilmington and has been sitting under my nose for nine years without me knowing! How is that possible? I literally pass it everyday on my way to work, but never once noticed its presence in the little rundown shopping center on Silverside Road. Okay, that's not true, I've seen the generic sign that reads "Restaurant" in big bold letters (with "Corner" and "Bistro" in tiny font on the top left and right corners above it), but just didn't think twice about it. I was recommended by some Crossfit members at my gym. Thanks to "T" and "A", I've found a new favorite foodie spot!   

The dude was surprised to see how lovely the restaurant's decor was when we stepped inside. I was told they had renovated the whole place to keep up with the fancy restaurants that were popping up on Rt. 202. If you've never been here before, you would think it was a brand new restaurant! It had a classy, romantic atmosphere, with a nice bar in the front and a spacious dining room in the back. We were lucky enough to get a corner table with an L-shaped couch alongside the walls, how cute! No complaints about their service or their food, this must be too good to be true. "A" told me their chefs are constantly changing the menus with innovative, seasonal dishes to surprise guests. This is great for those that always want to try new dishes, but are afraid... now you they FORCE you to broaden your palette by mixing it up every once in a while! Now that's my kind of restaurant!

Crawfish Risotto

For a starter, we wanted to try something different, something we've never had before. Okay, I wanted to try something different (the dude wanted shrimp, boring)! My eyes found its way to Risotto Du Jour (chef's choice) and I slowly said, "Can we get the risotto....? I've always wanted to try REALLY GOOD risotto, it hasn't happened yet", with the biggest eyes and smile. Back in the day, when I used to watch Gilmore Girls, there was an episode about Sookie's famous risotto and even without the slightest clue as to what was in a risotto, I knew I needed to try it. So thank you Melissa McCarthy for introducing me to this wonderful, comforting dish! 

But I digress... Let's stop reminiscing and talk about the crawfish risotto pictured above. It can be said that this is my first, official risotto, same goes for the dude. I think I once had it at my University's dining hall, but let's be honest, nothing at a dining hall can compare to the real deal. Anyway, I thought it was very cool that they used crawfish (I LOVE CRAWFISH) because it's so uncommon to see that on a menu. It was a lovely surprise, so I enjoyed the crawfish very much! The dude loved everything about it. I liked it, but wasn't in love with it. It was too salty and the rice seemed under cooked to me. The dude said it's supposed to be al dente so maybe I just don't like my rice al dente (or maybe it was just under cooked!). Besides those two complaints, it was still a nicely prepared dish. The sauce was uber creamy and I loved the scallions mixed in with the hot cheesy rice and crawfish. The portion size was bigger than we expected, which is always a plus. "This could easily be a meal for one, I'm full now," the dude said when we were done.

Steak & Potatoes

The dude was pretty excited about taking pics of his food, he took more than one!

This is the story of a dude and his steak: When he cut into his medium rare steak, it was love at first bite. He did wish he ordered rare instead, but he was still happy with it. Let me just say that this kid can never finish his food, especially meat! He gets full rather quickly and always leaves 1/3 of something, anything on his plate for me to clean up. Call me human trashcan, for I can stuff myself until my buttons pop (literally speaking)! So what happened? He ate so quickly and enjoyed everything (except for the fried chickpeas) until the very last bite! He even saved the last piece of steak, not because he wanted to take a break, but because he wanted that to be the last thing taste in his mouth for the rest of the evening! So while he's digging into my goat cheese mashed potatoes, I'm looking at this lonely piece of beef on his plate thinking about how crazy he was. I don't remember the steak being that amazing, maybe because he was selfish and only gave me a tiny piece, but I really liked fried chickpeas that he left on his plate.

Pan Seared Salmon with Goat Cheese Mashed Pototaoes & Spinach

I know, I know. Where is the star of the plate? I let the dude play photographer that night and boy was that a mistake! Seriously, why not just take a picture of the floor? I can't blame him too much for I didn't double check the photos before eating. The dude was obviously too excited about his date with his steak, so no worries. Okay, let's talk about the interesting combination of beets and salmon, shall we? I like beets and I usually see it in salads or soups (my dad makes an amazing beet soup), so when I saw it on the menu paired with salmon, I was intrigued. My thoughts? I really liked the combination of the flavors mixed together, sweetness of the beet made the natural flavor of salmon even sweeter. The salmon was cooked perfectly, nicely seared on top and so soft on the inside with juices oozing out, it melted in my mouth like butter. And because I'm a health nut, the side of baby spinach was right up my alley! It was just plain sauteed spinach, so of course the dude made a "yuck" face when he tried it. But he couldn't get enough of the goat cheese mashed potatoes! Oh goat cheese, I used to think you were weird, but now I love you! You and Gouda are my two favorites out of the hundreds of cheeses out there! Just think about mashed potatoes with your favorite cheese(s) and you'll feel what we felt that night.

And for my romantic readers out there that saw or wanted to see The Vow (or plan to because you love Rachel McAdams and/or Channing Tatum): I DID NOT CRY. I was actually looking forward to crying in theaters but I DIDN'T! I've cried watching Titanic, Lion King, The Notebook, even comedy movies like What Happens in Vegas! I just didn't think the story was deep enough and it didn't tap into my emotions. I still love Channing Tatum and seeing his bum on the big screen was worth it (and he made me laugh a lot)! The dude teared up when Leo said, "How do you look at the girl you love and tell yourself it's time to walk away?" I didn't think those words were just not powerful enough to hit me. I say, wait for it to come out on DVD or free streaming online. 

3604 Silverside Rd.
Wilmington, DE

Have you ever been to a local restaurant (not expecting too much) and it turned out to be a hidden gem?

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