The Bistro

    Plus, as part of the newly revamped Village Housing, just past Eleanor Roosevelt College on the far north corner of campus, The Bistro has the swanky decor to match. Modern, surprisingly comfortable pod chairs, shiny windows all around and furnishing that’s inspired more by IKEA than by the restaurant’s self-professed Asian roots, create an atmosphere perfect for the cheap freshman who wants to use meal points on a first date.

    Among the more traditional Pan-Asian options, the Angus beef sliders ($9) are a surprising standout. Topped with mild kimchee slaw and an artisan potato roll, served with taro chips on the side, they are packed with some serious flavor, especially compared to the dry patties dished up at other on-campus eateries. The slaw, also served on the side, only works in the two mega-juicy burgers; otherwise it’s just spice-less cabbage.

    The soba noodles with lemongrass shrimp skewer ($10) are less recommendable. The heavy noodles have a disarmingly heavy wheat flavor and the vegetarian broth, carrots, snow peas, red bell pepper and baby bok choy do little to cover up the cardboard-like taste. Fortunately, the Bistro does well with meats, and the shrimp skewer has enough bite for the rest of the dish.
    The spicy red curry seared tofu ($9) is a good choice for vegetarians on a menu that’s mostly carnivore-dominated. It’s tofu for those who fear tofu — completely smothered in the right amount of pungent sauce.

    The service is schizophrenic — during our dining experience, the staff flitted from looks of pure naivete to sheer disdain as they attempted to make it through a seemingly manageable rush — but that’s to be expected from an under-staffed, new eatery with only a crop of stressed-out students to hire from. We’ll give the Bistro some time to grow; for now, it’s still a pleasant alternative to the dining hall fried chicken otherwise available.

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