Originally Published: March 3, 2016 5:14 p.m.
This month we paid a visit to the Grande Dame of Prescott, more commonly known as the Hotel St. Michael, and its neat little restaurant, The Bistro.
The hotel was built in 1901, replacing the Burke Hotel lost in the great fire of 1900. The Bistro is a beautiful little room on the ground floor with windows on both sides. Located at 205 W. Gurley St., the St. Michael is the cornerstone of Whiskey Row.
In classic bistro style, the menu is small, but in spite of that there are some great selections. We started with crispy calamari from the “For Sharing” (appetizer) section of the menu. A good-sized portion of calamari fried golden brown was served with a roasted tomato coulis for dipping, a refreshing change from seafood sauce normally served with calamari. I then enjoyed a salad with the best bleu cheese dressing I have ever had. The flavor was incredible.
All of the Bistro’s soups and salad dressings are made in house daily. My wife enjoyed a cup of New England clam chowder, served with three crostinis and delicious balsamic vinaigrette for dipping. We also tried a cup of their tomato artichoke bisque. This very simple homemade soup had amazing depth of flavor and I would definitely order it again.
My entrée was the pan-seared, bourbon-glazed Atlantic salmon. Two generous pieces of salmon came with the vegetable of the day, perfectly cooked broccoli, and toasted wild rice. The bourbon glaze meshed very well with the salmon and the fish was cooked just right. My wife enjoyed the rib eye steak with potatoes au gratin and broccoli. It was a large portion of steak cooked to perfection, as were the potatoes. For dessert we selected the espresso crème brûlée. The rich custard had the subtle flavor of espresso, caramel and a crisp surface of burnt sugar. It was delicious.
The Bistro at St. Michael is a great dining experience especially if you want to enjoy an atmosphere replete in Prescott history. Appetizers (“For Sharing”) consisted of six choices, ranging in price from $9 to $16 for a charcuterie board with selections of cured meats, cheeses, smoked lox, olives and toasted pecans served with crostinis.
Entrees include five selections, ranging from $14 to $27, and you can add a side salad or soup for $3.50. And do try the tomato artichoke bisque.
The Bistro has a full bar with a small but quality selection of craft beers and good wine. Wines by the glass are $5 to $8, and $22 to $38 by the bottle. Soft drinks, coffee and tea are also available.
Our server, Will, took very good care of us and the manager visited with all the guests as well.
Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Bistro is open seven days a week. The atmosphere is cozy and you can sit by the window next to Gurley Street or Whiskey Row. It was a wonderful dining experience and I look forward to going back again.