Let me preface this by saying that Betty and I had some of the best food we've had in a long time tonight. But the way there was meandering. I had purchased a Groupon certificate for $40 worth of food for $20 at So7 Bistro, so we decided to go there. We'd been there once before, but tonight we lost it, absolutely couldn't find it. Parked in the garage and walked to where I thought it was only to be confronted by a space undergoing remodeling. After we got back to the car, Betty decided to ignore my instructions (except that I had the address on the certificate). We found it, quite far from where we expected it to be and not, as the address indicated, on 7th Street but on an adjoining street. Parked, went in, and found we were the only people there (about 6:20 p.m.) Not a good sign.
When we were there before, we had a medium experience--a really not bright waitress, okay food but nothing to write home about, and a terrible mix-up about the bill. And I thought the atmosphere was stark. So we were unsure tonight to begin with, although I'd heard they'd lightened the menu and the restaurant had changed hands. The menu made us more unsure: quite limited, although bistro entrees of coq au vin, lamb shanks, veal piccata, etc., all in the $20+ range, sounded good. I mentioned to the waitress that I'd looked at the menu online last week and there was a steak salad we were interested in trying (Don has added steak salad to the Star menu and wants to jazz it up a bit). The waitress said she was new (oops, another bad sign) and if they'd had it, they don't now.
Betty and I usually try to dine lightly and fairly inexpensively. So we looked, as we often do, at the appetizers. Crab cakes called to us, but we confessed to each other neither of us had ever eaten mussels, which were on the menu in a tomato/garlic/basil sauce. We decided to split the crab cakes and mussels, but we didn't hold out too much hope.
Well, we were so wrong. The mussels were delicious because of the sauce--I dipped each tiny one in so much sauce that I dribbled on the table. But I'll eat mussels again. I feel about them the same way I do about calamari--a bit chewy, but the sauce makes them worthwhile. The crab cakes, however, were some of the best I've ever had--served in a basil cream sauce with field greens liberally doused with the same sauce. We liked them so well, we ordered another round. I could have happily eaten a salad with that dressing and nothing else, though the crab cakes were meaty, little if any filling, and just crispy enough. House wine was reasonable and good (I'm not an oenophile!). All in all, a pleasant experience.
So, those of you in Fort Worth, try So7 Bistro (2401 West 7th, but actually around the corner) if you haven't. It's worth exploring to find it.