The residents of Bellevue are spoiled with an array of quaint little storefronts. In one of them resides Bellevue Bistro, whose casual approach and hearty breakfast eats make it a must-visit if you’re headed to the neighborhood.
Speaking to the name, there’s a tendency to conceive of bistros as upscale, even fancy. But that’s not consistent with the word’s origins, apocryphal though they may be. “Bistro” is Russian for “quickly.” Russian soldiers occupying France following the Napoleonic Wars were said to shout the word while dining in small Parisian restaurants, restaurants that served simple, daytime meals out of basement kitchens and offered small indoor and sidewalk seating.
Now, that story has been widely discredited. Nevertheless it describes Bellevue Bistro perfectly—minus the Cossacks.
The interior is cheerful and intimate with a creative edge. Large storefront windows illuminate the tin ceilings, the gold, fresco-style walls, and copious wall art from local artists. The kitschy memorabilia is a nice touch, including the Storm Trooper helmets on the tables. But most of the cafe will remind you of its etymological origins—that is, to France.
The restaurant is billed by its owners as “upscale dining at a coffee shop.” The menu lives up to that. It features reasonably priced breakfast and lunch items that are surely scrumptious, but give fancy a wide scope. Included are sandwiches, soups, and salads, in addition to breakfast quesadillas, breakfast bakes, French toast, and a variety of eggs Benedict.
The stars of the show are the breakfast bakes. They’re large portions of meats, cheeses, and veggies served over potatoes with two fried eggs in a sizzling skillet. The Fette Say is a particular delight: ham, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, green peppers, with Swiss and cheddar jack cheese. Just like the other breakfast bakes, it’s large enough to take home for a second meal.
You can’t say enough good things about the French toast. It features house-made cinnamon bread, chocolate sauce, berries, and whipped cream, and it’s executed to perfection.
As for the lunch fare, the French onion chicken sub is a winner. Blackened chicken sits on baked French bread with caramelized onion and Gruyère. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it’s delicious.
That’s a trend throughout Bellevue Bistro. This is straightforward dining in a cute, artsy space. It’s everything a bistro should be. And, just to put the cherry on top of the cake, it’s quick, too.
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Bellevue Bistro is located at 313 Fairfield Avenue (41073).