Bistro Basque is located on River Street alongside the Milford green.  If you’re not from the area, Milford center is a quaint area peppered with shopping boutiques and restaurants.  It’s also just steps from the local marina if you’re in the mood for a stroll.

This is a long overdue restaurant review.  I’m not quite sure how long the restaurant has been there, but Mark and I made our first visit there about a year ago.

With the addition of some much needed staff at Forks, we now have some free time to go restaurant hopping again.

On a recent night after work, we had time for a quick date.  Wanting to stay local, Bistro Basque popped into mind.  What we remembered was great wine and great food.  This visit didn’t disappoint.

This is the type of place that invites you in from the sidewalk.  From the large paned windows to the warm woodwork, it screams welcome.  The entrance gently leads you into the bar area, with a great seating area alongside the sidewalk.  Just beyond is the dining room, cozy as well, but we prefer sitting side by side at the bar.

After these visits, I’ve come to realize the gentleman beaming about the place is the owner, David.  He too has a welcoming demeanor about him that mirrors the restaurant.  He greets both new and familiar faces with the same warmth.

This time of year I’m a sucker for a great red wine.  With offerings from Spain and France how can you go wrong.  My favorite is the Tempranillo.  Mmmmmm.  I figured this out with a little help from the bartender.

When I go out, I prefer to order small plates.  I like to get an overall feel for the foods that are served without being limited to an entree.  My stomach can only handle so much food.

Well I’m in luck.  If you ask me, tapas is their specialty.  There  are offerings for both Mark and I.  We’ll stick to the cleaner ones for the sake of the blog.

Clam & white bean casserole with garlic, parsley & white wine

Grilled squid, sherry vinegar, shallots, tomatoes, red pepper & scallions

Endive, beets, roquefort, pear & walnut salad

Cheese platter with french & spanish cheeses, fruit & nuts

These were all a hit, with the squid being my favorite.  Delicate and flavorful.  I like that you don’t have to select the cheeses for your plater.  If you’re unfamiliar with cheeses, it can be daunting.

As you can see by my comment above, I’ve visited a few times in the last few weeks.  Oh my, is this becoming my local haunt?  With each visit came consistency in the menu and the staffing.  This makes Bistro Basque a place you’ve got to try.

Here’s my food snob comment.  Although everything is wonderful across the board, we’re carboholics and a great bread can take me out at the knees.  If I know my breads, I’d say the bread offered with the cheese plate is a “bake off” bread. By lay standards, this is perfectly acceptable and I get the convenience factor as someone in the food biz, but I have a solution :)  I’m going to pop in to return my borrowed menu with some fresh loaves of bread in hand from my baker.  I’ll assure David that it can be frozen and served the same way he does now.  My purpose is not to offend, it’s to help out a local small business.  Hey, if someone knew something that could elevate my business, I’d be all ears :)

Check them out online at www.bistrobasqueusacom  13 River Street, Milford, CT  203-878-2092