LIKE A MAGNET

Bistro Seven Three-Bernardsville NJ

While I seem to make habit of taking hour long drives to eat dinner sometimes I use a little common sense and dine close to home. This is especially helpful in the case of overindulgence…it makes it easier for driver and vehicle to return intact. Housed on the ground floor of a two story building across from the Bernardsville train station, you walk up a short ramp into a recently renovated space that can be best described as  clean, open and modern with some traditional touches.

You are greeted by proprietor  Afrim Berisha or one of the staff. Be forewarned, weekend crowds almost always necessitate a reservation. After being seated, menus and water arrive promptly with specials being explained in due course. No matter whom the server, it’s always friendly and attentive without being overbearing. As to being accommodating and altering a dish a bit- for whatever the reason- these guys wrote the book.   This is an experience that I’ve repeated too many times to recall. Since its beginning as Grill 73 to its current incarnation, this is a place that rarely misses.

The menu is a broad based  mixture of meat, fish, seafood and pasta with a tilt to Italian preparations. Nothing wildly different, no espuma or the like just  properly crafted dishes that satisfy and never leave you hungry. Couple that with reasonable prices and this BYO establishment equals a great evening for two in $90-110 range.

Harvest Salad—cranberries, shaved ricotta salata, toasted almonds, blood orange vinaigrette

Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad

Buratta Mozzarella-roasted peppers, tomato, chive oil, balsamic

Buratta Mozzarella

Buratta Mozzarella

Tomato Fondue Stewed Roman Meatballs-minced mortadella, fresh herbs

Tomato Fondue

Tomato Fondue

Braised Beef Short Ribs-spinach aioli, mashed potato, Barolo wine reduction

Braised Beef Short

Braised Beef Short

Braised Lamb Shank-sweet pea risotto, Barolo wine sauce ( The dish was served with mushroom risotto and spinach leaves but I substituted the pea preparation and omitted the spinach)

Braised Lamb Shank

Braised Lamb Shank

How to best describe Bistro Seven Three? It’s like that old pair of shoes, worn t-shirt or favorite chair. It just feels right and keeps you coming back.