Richard’s Bistro – Manchester

UPDATE:  Richard’s closed and re-opened as Delux 36,  with the chef from Richard’s as the new owner.  According to their Facebook page, old gift cards to Richard’s will be honored during January 2012 at 50% value.  Strangely, the website states they will not accept them.  Hmm..

Wedding Dinosaurs  What song did you use to walk down your wedding aisle?  I bet it was something classically beautiful or fun.  I bet it wasn’t from Jurassic Park.  As you may know, when I’m not eating at restaurants, I’m teaching music.  So when it came time to choose my procession music, I sat down with my iTunes playlist of 29,526 songs (no joke) and got to work.  My husband and I have always been fans of John Williams (he composed the music for little known films such as ET, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, Schindler’s List, and Jurassic Park) and one gorgeous song from Jurassic Park just kept grabbing my attention.  Could I really walk down the aisle to a song from a movie about dinosaurs attacking humans?  Hey, it’s my wedding, and the song really is beautiful, so we went with it.

Before we walked down the aisle, we had our rehearsal dinner at Richard’s Bistro in Manchester.  Since then, we celebrate our anniversary each year at Richard’s because: 

  1. We had our rehearsal there
  2. It’s got the same name as my husband
  3. It’s really good

So, Happy 4th Anniversary babe!  Richard’s is a small, lovely restaurant with a parking lot after 5pm (rare on Elm Street).  Upon entering, you’ll see a large platter of complimentary cheese, grapes, and toasted bread slices, so be sure to go grab a plate of that at some point.  We were soon presented with their famous bread basket which they graciously explained- a honey wheat bread, sourdough (I think), a cheesy bread with sun-dried tomato and artichoke chunks baked right in, and a sweet muffin bread (apple/pear, maybe with banana; I was too busy drooling at this point) served with sweet butter, herb butter, and olive oil flavored with bits of anchovies.   I grabbed the sweet stuff (have you seen my taste in wine?) and Rick grabbed the savory.  The honey wheat and muffin bread were excellent as expected, and Rick’s were amazing as well (yes, I snagged a few bites- I had to report thoroughly for you after all!)  The sourdough was crispy on the outside and moist inside, and the cheesy bread was like a meal in itself.  I love the fact that the bread basket is so filling because then I can *try to* eat only half of my meal (which is usually a fairly small gourmet portion to begin with) and relive the magic during tomorrow’s lunch.

On top of the free bread basket, grapes, cheese, and crackers, Richard’s will also typically serve you a complimentary bit of food – something small that feels like an appetizer.  On my last visit it was a spoon with a dollop of chicken salad on it.  Today was a tasting cup of chilled strawberry soup – very well spiced with a unique, enjoyable flavor.

We visited on one of the recent 10000 degree days, and both gulped down water like we’d just been rescued from the desert.  Our server jovially and consistently refilled and refilled.  I ordered their Roast Sea Scallops with fried sweet potato and broccoli rabe, while Rick veered off course with their Bistro Burger- his thinking being their food is always so good and gourmet, what must they do to a burger?  My food arrived looking delicious, but Rick’s, not so glamorous.  His looked and tasted like a good ole’ burger.  Disappointing, but perhaps it’s on the menu for guests who feel like comfort food.  On the other hand, my scallops were seared with a crisp coating and richly seasoned.  The broccoli rabe and sweet potatoes paired nicely with the scallops.  The prices are on the higher end, but you are also getting a better product.  While my serving was pretty small for the $25 price tag, I have to remember that not only is the food delicious, but it comes with all those other “extras.”   Their drink prices are quite steep, ($15) but the drink menu looks amazing, so I will be returning to try their Crème Brulee martini, perhaps with an app instead of a full blown meal.  Their dessert menu is user friendly, as you can order a full size dessert or a mini version of pretty much any of them for only $3.

At the conclusion of the meal, the server uses a fancy metal scraper-thing to clear the table of bread crumbs, which always makes me feel classy- although calling it “metal scraper-thing” makes me feel less so.  The bill is usually accompanied by a chocolate truffle (basically tasty chocolate mousse piped onto a wrapper) which is a nice touch.  Always good to end the meal with chocolate!  Richard’s served me yet another delicious meal, and I look forward to returning soon to try my martini, definitely before our next anniversary.  ¡Buen provecho!

Do you have a food tradition for your anniversary?

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One Response to Richard’s Bistro – Manchester

  1. annette says:

    The pictures alone make me want to go

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