Monday, February 13, 2012

A Fun Date Night Saturday

Last Saturday Kent and I had a fun and out-of-the-ordinary date. We met my parents at a new restaurant on the recommendation of my dad who has eaten lunch there a few times. We loved this place!

It's called The Center Street Bistro, and is on the first two floors of The Madison. The address is 295 W Center in Provo. It's in the building that used to be Provo Craft (I believe).

Photos of Center Street Bistro, Provo

We sat on the mezzanine floor in the front corner by the windows, where we could watch everything below us on Center Street. But we were way more interested in the building we were in. The ambience is old and hip at the same time. We actually gave ourselves a tour while we waited for our food. There are tables tucked into nooks throughout the first two floors, as well as sofas, lounging chairs, and many other interesting furniture pieces. (I liked the table made from an antique door, located by the men's restroom.)

The food was really good too! Kent had an amazing mocha burger, which tasted like chocolate, not coffee. I had a chicken salad with sweet basalmic dressing. Our meals together cost $18. Awesome! Instead of peanuts or chips, the complimentary appetizer was a delicious hummus and fried flat bread.

I'm talking this place up mostly because I want it to stay in business. They opened in October, and though they had a few kinks with the food, those seem to be worked out now. But the place was empty! That made it nice a quiet for our dinner conversation--and we plan to visit it tomorrow for Valentine's Day because there will likely be no wait--but customers seriously need to be filling it up. You can check out this review from the Daily Herald if you have doubts. (It's a fair review; just be sure to read about the author's second visit.) I would guess that the neon signs, which are hanging in every window, advertising beer are sending the wrong signals to non-drinkers who would love this place as much as we did. If it were my business, I would hang the neon signs in the windows of the third-floor Cowboy Bar, and leave the lower windows empty so people can look through them and see what a great place it is.

After dinner, we headed to the kids' school, Freedom Preparatory Academy for a Trivia Night fundraiser. I had carefully put together a team of brilliant people...and we mostly relied on my dad to carry us. That's not to say that we didn't all contribute (I was the only one to supply answers during the round about Freedom Academy), but we won the grand prize by six questions, which were the difficult ones about the Marx Brothers and recognizing photos of dead people that only my dad knew. The rest of the team included my mom, my brother and my sis-in-law (his wife) and her parents. The other three parents did win us lots of questions by buying 20 mulligans, which gave us free answers. And Jenni's dad supplied the Smart Water. Kent had loaded up on caffeine on dinner, but I think the Smart Water did the trick.

(Did I mention that Jennifer Aniston was on our team? Oh, that's because she wasn't.)

That's right, I said our table won the grand prize! In addition, we won two other rounds outright, and a third by default. (Ironically, as a team we felt least prepared to answer questions about sports, but that was the first round we won.) We raked in coupons for free ice cream cones (244 such coupons!), $50 per person off new tires (bad timing--Kent and I replaced the tires on both our vehicles last month), gift certificates to a local restaurant, free dessert being served that night, and tickets to some Jazz games! Woo hoo! Additionally, the four couples at our table won six of the silent auctions. I can't wait until next year when we can defend our win!


Pam Williams said...

We have heard about the Bistro and hope it stays in business. Plan to go there when things calm down for us.

Paul said...

It was a fun evening -- and a really nice diversion from other events of recent days.

Mary said...

Update: We did go back to The Bistro for a Valentine's dinner, and our expectations were exceeded. We sat at the same table as last week with a view looking over Center Street, and far enough away from the live musician that we could enjoy his music and still hear our conversation.

I had the salmon, which was quite good. Kent had the New York steak, which was amazing! Kent was nearly in tears, and literally jumping in his seat with each bite. If you've ever been present when Kent is eating good food, you know he's pretty passionate about it. Well, this steak took him to another level. I literally have never seen him so excited about food, and that's saying something. The chef visited our table throughout the meal, and was probably pleased by Kent's reaction. I had a bite of his steak and was left speechless. A friend that was with us also had a bite, and I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head because they grew bigger as the flavors of the meat and sauce continued to mingle in his mouth. He said it was the best meal he's had in at least a year. The salads and sides were very good too. We finished with a dessert bar, from which I savored every moment of the raspberries dipped in white chocolate and the lightest chocolate mousse I've ever had. The restaurant provided a red rose to every lady, which was a nice finishing touch.

As we left, I looked around and noticed some couples were dressed in their finest and others wore more casual clothes like us, but the atmosphere of the place is such that no one felt out of place in whatever they were wearing. This is our new favorite gourmet restaurant. The food is great, and we can afford it!

mindy said...

It was really really fantastic food and such great ambience. I still laugh because not two weeks before David and I walked by while in downtown Provo and noticed it. I mentioned it to Kent and hewas thinking of another place and said what a dump it when we went there on V-Day I thought, huh?