How many times had we walked past this little quiet looking bistro on the corner of 1st and Battery? It’s simple, stylish and unassuming exterior invited us in one Thursday night, which is the weekly date night, and we wanted to go “experience” something new. Little did we know…
They serve a seasonal rotating menu of small plates which they tout as having a “Venetian flair”. Chef Scott Carsberg masterfully crafts innovative and richly flavorful dishes. The menu is a feat for the eyes, you won’t know what to order first so my advice would be to order them all! Their ingredients are so fresh, in a way that you can only experience by tasting the rich flavors yourself. The prices are quite reasonable and you will not regret any dish you get. You will however, regret the decision to pass up the meal with the orange confit with chocolate caramel mousse. Don’t ask questions, just order one and enjoy.
Walking into the restaurant is like walking into a haven. The interior is relaxing and inviting in a way that I would describe as casual yet professional. The welcoming interior layout brings your attention first to the beautiful bar which showcases a wide variety of perfectly presented bottles and ingredients which the very knowledgeable bar tender can us to hand craft a delightful beverage. Anything with their house made sweet and sour get my vote! We got the Vaporetto, (pictured at right) and it was just divine!! The second thing you’ll notice is the visibility into the immaculately clean and simply decorated exhibition style kitchen. We took a seat at the bar and were able to see our dishes being prepared with the utmost of care by what you can clearly see are professionally trained hands. The detailed presentation showed 5 star quality and a truly fastidiously professional caliber. The entire staff was quite knowledgeable and it was delightful to see that the hands-on owner does still exits. We shook his hand ourselves!
Each dish was a full experience, starting with a fresh marinated sardine served with shaved fennel. You could truly taste how fresh the little fishie was and that dish merely started our dining “experience”. We also ordered the red romaine salad with 20 year balsamic and olive oil, which, on the menu presented as any other restaurant salad but was so incredibly delicious that we ordered another! They use an immaculate 20 year balsamic and the flavor of the salad was so simple and perfectly balanced that I could write about it for days. We instantly went to Pike Place market the next day in search of a good 20 year balsamic. The salad literally changed the way that I will experience salads for the rest of my life. Since one of my favorite dishes is salad with balsamic, my entire standard for a balsamic is “ruined” for the better. The braised short rib in barolo wine was delightfully flavorful but the real showcase dish of our “entrees” was the seared lamb chops (pictured at left) with whipped potato. This dish was so flavorful, and cooked to perfection with such warming flavors that I wish I’d had more room to order and enjoy another!
In essence, Bisato delivered a new class of dining experience with their incredibly reasonable prices, inviting and relaxing atmosphere, knowledgeable staff and truly incredibly flavorful dishes. We can’t wait to return and enjoy the next tasteful expression of ingredients. They also serve a drinks only happy hour which features some of their showcase drinks and is our on our list go-to happy hours.