Put this restaurant and bistro in the category of “Wait, where is that?” and “Wow, your food is worth that drive.” Bar Bistro opened Sept. 9 with a menu of farflung themes in a location that’s a fair distance from Tacoma’s typical restaurant hubs.
Bar Bistro is at the corner of 99th Ave. E. and Portland Avenue in the Midland neighborhood. Not quite sure where that is? It’s right off State route 512, in between the Parkland and Puyallup exits. Midland is a bit of a desert for restaurants, which is either brilliant or a bit of a gamble to open a bistro with high-end leanings in that neighborhood.
It’s a polished space, although it might be less confusing for diners if the bistro reconfigured the front entrance to include a seating station. As it is now, diners walk directly into the dining room and there may or may not be someone there to greet you.
There’s little separation between the bar and open dining room. Flat panel televisions flicker throughout the bar, which is lit with red and blue neon. The soundtrack was pure indie rock. Servers were young and seemed straight out of Tacoma’s Social Bar and Grill. In fact, the menu reminded me of what diners find at Social – an eclectic mix of regional eats with a theme that flickers from the Northwest to the Mediterranean to island destinations. There’s pasta, steaks, seafood and sandwiches (see PDFs of the menus below). The dishes I ordered looked professionally plated and ingredients were thoughtfully composed.
The restaurant is now open for lunch and dinner daily.
The bar and bistro was founded by Eric Poulin with reinforcement from Jason Blessum, executive chef. I know little about the duo, but I’ll have a longer story and first-bite review of the restaurant next week. Check back then.
Where:1718 99th St. E., Tacoma, 253-537-3655. Facebook here.