Just a little something to hold you over…

Some of the most exciting times of year at Bistro 135 are our seasonal menu changes. We like to occasionally switch things up and surprise our guests with something fresh and new on our menu. I always love the brainstorming period before a menu change and all the ideas being thrown around for new items.

Recently, we’ve included something on our menu that conjures up those exciting, seasonal menu change feelings much more often and it couldn’t have been received better.

Meet the ever changing Taco Bistro. It’s a new staff and guest favorite and a great way to allow our chef, Billy to use fresh, local ingredients to bring something new to the table everyday. The first question from our loyal regulars upon sitting has become “What’s the taco today?” And the staff is no different. When it’s time to eat after a long, successful dinner service, you can bet there are at least three or four tacos ordered among us. My favorite so far has been the ahi Tuna Taco. Amazing, dark red, rare Ahi tuna seared with sesame seeds and our house-made asian slaw with sriracha and wasabi aiolis on a grilled corn tortilla (I also adore this in a nice crisp lettuce wrap.) But the best thing about this dish is, it’s always different. It’s always a welcome, creative surprise that makes frequenting Bistro 135 so worth it.

Imagecorned beef, fresh jalapenos, house-made slaw, creamy guinness dipping sauce

Imagecajun mahi-mahi, fresh corn salsa, shredded lettuce, chipotle cremeImagegrass fed beef, white cheddar, habanero salsa, shredded lettuce, corn shell

Imagegrilled chicken, black bean and corn salsa, white cheddar, cilantro-lime aioli

Imagechipotle-adobe flank steak, cherry salsa, queso fresco, red onion

Imageahi tuna, mango salsa, avocado, sriracha ailoi, wasabi cream sauce

Imagemarinaded flank steak, chimichurri, grilled squah, goat cheese crema

Imageslow cooked pork, cucumber relish, roasted red pepper creme, micro-greens

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“Meeting in the sideroom, everybody!”

Since I’ve started writing this blog, ideas for posts have been coming at me from all sides. I have an enormous list of topics and I can’t wait to start crossing the bigger, more important ones off the list. I’ve been working for a few days gathering information and photos with which to write a post about our Head Chef, Billy Burkle. I’ve gotten some great shots of Billy in his natural habitat as well as some portraits in his nice, crisp chef’s whites. But I don’t have everything I need quite yet. I’ve never met anyone so dedicated and passionate about his craft and I want to put together an interview for Billy that will really help people to understand what kind of chef and person he is. That’s where I need help. I have a number of basic questions that I’d like to ask but I want to know what YOU want to know! Leave a comment in this post with a question for our Chef, Billy Burkle and I’ll make sure he answers it in his own words in the next post.

Well, with that out of the way, I’d like to cordially invite you to an authentic Bistro 135 server meeting. Every Friday and Saturday evening, the restaurant is bustling with employees getting ready for dinner service. Bartenders, dishwashers, and management alike are focused on just one thing: Making tonight the best night at The Bistro yet. But somewhere in between lighting candles and making sure we’ve stocked enough to-go boxes, Chelsea’s voice can be heard above all the noise of the kitchen and whichever silly Pandora station someone has put on to pump us up for dinner. “Meeting in the side room in five minutes!”

Once the last server has been wrangled from whichever job they were neck deep into and has taken a seat with the others, the meeting starts. Chelsea, our fearless leader and the general manager at Bistro 135, leads the meeting which usually consists of a run down of the specials for the night, reminders and basic information, maybe a pep talk, and definitely some socializing and gossip at the end. After we break, there’s an air of comfortable anticipation among the waitstaff and we all feel a little more confident that the night will run smoothly and every guest will leave happy and tell about a million of their friends that Bistro 135 is the perfect place to spend a night out.

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Scenes from Valentine’s Day weekend.

In between the last Blog post and the next, I’d like to share a few photos from last weekend of the staff and band. We had a great weekend and were really busy but now that things have settled down, I’m looking forward to writing a bit more and covering some subjects that I’ve been meaning to for a while. But for now, here are few shots from our busy weekend.Image

Hostesses Brittney and Rachael await the hoards of lovers at the door.Image

Friday night bartenders, Lee and Katelyn Image

Christina and Megan looking lovely.Image

Carly (me) and Rachael posing before our first tables.Image

Nicole, Daniela, Rachael, and Christina bond before the rush.Image

Thought I would throw in a mouthwatering shot of lobster risotto for a little change of pace.Image Alex and Deanna were the only bussers who would let me photograph them. Thanks guys!Image

Josh and Joey share a moment in the kitchen.Image

Amanda takes a quick nap at the bar before the first wave of guests arrive.Image

It’s starting to look a little busier. One of our favorite regulars, Peter, chats away with another happy hour goer.Image

Gap Mangione and his band were such good sports about my camera flashes in the middle of their set.

 

 

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Pretty impressive fingers.Image

I even got a smile!

That’s all for now. Keep checking back for a post dedicated to nothing but food. This will most definitely be my favorite post so far.

Spotlight on Wilson Vidal: Mixologist extraordinaire!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the excitement is definitely building here at the restaurant. Chef Billy has some amazing sounding specials in the works including a short rib and a burrata special! If you’ve never had burrata before, you need to try it immediately! But more about burrata later. That’s a promise!

Today I want to talk cocktails! Is there really anything better than an expertly crafted, inventive cocktail to wash down a delicious appetizer or two? We’re lucky enough to have a pro mixologist at the Bistro and he has put together a killer cocktail menu for us with fresh fruits, house made syrups and flavored liqueurs. I mean it when I say “killer”!

Meet Wilson Vidal, our resident mixologist. Originally from Ecuador, Wilson came to us from the Big Apple and brought a wealth of cocktail slinging knowledge with him.

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I had some downtime before our dinner rush last night and got a chance to photograph Wilson doing some prep work for his Valentine’s Day cocktail called, The Flirt. Wilson decided on a maraschino and honey syrup to give this champagne cocktail a wow factor.Image

Stemming cherries is a messy business! After harvesting these from the maraschino tree, Wilson handed them off to Chef Burkle, who cooked them down with some honey.

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Some great team work was used to come up with this little number.Image

¬†Reservations are going fast for the next few days and you’ll want to call soon if you don’t want to miss out on sampling this delicious work of art. If you can’t make it this weekend, don’t fret because Tuesday night at Bistro 135 is $5 specialty cocktail night! Our entire list of cocktails, lovingly created by Wilson are available ALL NIGHT LONG every Tuesday for only $5!

ImageI hope I didn’t get in Wilson’s way too much last night but I had a great time snapping pictures and chatting with him! Stay tuned because I plan to highlight a new employee once a week (hopefully). I’ll leave you with a few shots of Wilson in action. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Gap Mangione on Valentine’s Day weekend!

One of the many things that make Rochester, NY special is the annual International Jazz Fest. Musicians come from all around to participate in this celebration of Jazz music. Our city is lucky to be home to the Eastman School of music and therefore tons of talented local musicians, many of whom perform at Bistro 135. It’s great to be able to experience local music everyday at work! I’m especially excited to hear Rochester’s own Gap Mangione perform at Bistro 135 for the first time on Feb. 16th. Image

Gap Mangione was born in Rochester to a music loving family and has gained fame as a jazz pianist, composer, and band leader. He has many albums with his brother, various bands, as well as six solo albums. Also, just as importantly, check out these amazing pictures I found on the internet!

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Awesome. Gap Mangione is one of a bunch of great musicians we have coming up for Valentine’s week including, Bobby DiBaudo, Mark Cassara, and The Swooners. You don’t want to miss out on this celebration on love, food, and music but reservations are becoming very limited. Call us today! 585-662-5555

Introducing Dine|Drink|Jazz

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Welcome to the grand opening of Dine|Drink|Jazz, a new blog where we, the staff of Bistro 135, share our passion for fine food, live jazz, and restaurant life.

Bistro 135 jazz lounge and restaurant was opened five years ago by David and Brenda Romily and is now one of the best places to enjoy live jazz music and delicious American fusion cuisine in Rochester, NY. Our doors open at 5pm Monday-Saturday and guests are treated to live music every night of operation by the biggest names in the Rochester Jazz scene as well as amazing and inventive cuisine, lovingly prepared by Chef William Burkle and his team.

We are not, however, your typical restaurant. Our staff, most of whom have been with us for many years, put their heart and soul into making Bistro 135 the perfect dining experience. We are a family and every member is invested in helping Bistro 135, a true home away from home, succeed.

This blog was created with the intention of helping our friends and loyal customers to stay up to date with events, new menu items, upcoming musical guests, and also to share our passion for this exciting, and ever changing industry. This is a place for anyone to share comments, suggestions, and feedback as well as to gain some insight to our inspiration and love of food, drink, and music.

In the coming week, look forward to a post highlighting Rochester’s own Gap Mangione playing at Bistro 135 for the first time on February 16th for Valentine’s Day weekend! We will also be sitting down with our talented Chef William “Billy” Burkle to discuss his plans for a decadent and exciting Valentine’s Day menu. Billy will share with us a few of his current favorite ingredients and I’m sure a joke or two.

A warm thank you goes out to everyone who has helped our restaurant come this far. We hope you’ll join us here a few times a week and share some of your ideas and insight with us as we continue to show our love and gratitude through amazing food, warm, enthusiastic service, and beautiful music.