and ultra-convenient to MAC, and that makes it a hit, even if the food doesn’t thrill. Omar de la Cruz (who also owns Mango’s Mexican Café just up Main Street) is a savvy
businessman who knows his market. Instead of scaring off diners on their way to a Vince Gill concert with foie gras or fi let of elk, he sticks with classics: sandwiches during the day, and steak, seafood and pasta at night. It’s a good business plan, judging from the crowds, and the ambiance works: It’s classy but not stuffy, giving off an Old World feel with ornate light fixtures, heavy frames and chocolate-brown walls with touches of baby blue.
The food, though, has hits and misses. Shrimp cocktail ($9) in a martini glass woke us up, thanks to a supercharged horseradish and salsa concoction. Gooey artichoke dip ($8) was a guilty pleasure, but it would have worked better with bread, not studded meatloaf topped with zippy, smoky chili sauce ($12). Cedar plank salmon ($19) had a delectable sweet glaze but was dry in spots. It came with a goopy rice pilaf and overcooked green and yellow zucchini. A pound of French rib-eye topped with grilled shrimp ($38) was perfectly done and full of fl avor but was quite chewy. Shrimp scampi over linguini ($18) was puny, with eight small shrimps and about four forkfuls of pasta – if they were running low aft er a rush, they should have told us. Desserts are mighty delicious. Crème brûlée cheesecake ($7) has a thin layer of crème brûlée at the bottom, while chocolate cake ($7) is a dark, decadent delight. Dense, cheesy, house-made cheesecake with chocolate crumb crust ($7) was the best of all. A well-priced, well-chosen wine list makes up a tiny bit for the average food. But otherwise, de la Cruz Bistro exists for people more occupied with getting to a show on
time than savoring a meal.
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