Bellevue Bistro is a quaint, unassuming café that blends in with the independent shops along historic Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Ky. Or at least that’s what I thought before going there. The small breakfast and lunch restaurant (313 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, 859-581-5600) packs a big menu, big flavors and a big ego.
The Bistro is confident enough, for example, to put the Starters at the end of the menu and to decorate with local photography along with Star Wars memorabilia and three clocks displaying various times. But the space is comfortable and inviting, with a big storefront window and a couple tables on the sidewalk for that al fresco feeling.
My girlfriend and I met up with a friend on a recent Saturday morning for a Bellevue brunch. From the Breakfast Bakes section of the menu, my girlfriend ordered the Mediterranean. It consisted of two fried eggs, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, spinach, basil, feta and Mozzarella served over rosemary potatoes ($7.50). The fairly sizable portion came out still sizzling hot on a cast-iron serving skillet. We both liked it a lot. Her only criticism was that it had a little too much cheese for her liking.
I ordered a Bistro Mimosa ($3.25) and the Coffee Rubbed Burger ($7.95). This is where it starts to get weird. The mimosa was made with Bartles & Jaymes Strawberry Daiquiri wine cooler and a splash of orange juice. You might like it if you like, well, Bartles & Jaymes. But it was too sweet for me.
The burger, however, was super good. It was topped with bacon, cheddar jack cheese and barbecue sauce. The beef didn’t taste like coffee (which is a good thing), but something about it was very savory and rich. I’d like to try it without bacon and barbecue sauce, because I think it would still be delicious on its own. The burger’s description said it was served on a pretzel bun. The bun didn’t look pretzel-y to me, but it was delicious — toasted until flaky and a little crispy.
Our friend Jarrett joined us and started with the Vincent Vega, a beverage consisting of vanilla Coke with a shot of espresso on ice. We all tried it and thought it was a great flavor combination. If you can’t decide between coffee and soda, definitely get it. To eat, he had the Ham N Swiss Biscuit ($6.95). It came with ham, two fried eggs, Swiss cheese and bacon jam on a biscuit with a side of rosemary potatoes. It was pretty straight-forward, but he liked it. The bacon jam he was looking forward to trying turned out to be a letdown. He said it tasted like grape jelly with bacon in it. I don’t know what we were expecting.
The menu also includes a variety of “Breakfast Benedicts,” described on the menu as fried eggs served over fresh made biscuits with homemade sauces. Choices range from the Kentucky Hot Brown with bacon, turkey, tomatoes, crab, cheddar jack and hollandaise ($8.25) to the Blackened Salmon with sundried tomatoes, asparagus, mozzarella and sweet chili sauce ($9.95).
The house specialties include French Toast PB&J with peanut sauce, bananas and bacon jam on bistro French toast ($7.50) and a Goetta Sandwich with locally made goetta, two fried eggs and cheese on whole wheat toast ($6.75).
The Eye Openers and Starters sections have some interesting offerings, too. I like the Oatmeal and Bacon, which is oatmeal stout with a side of bacon ($4.20), and the Sausage and Mussels, served with tasty-sounding fixins in a white wine sauce and house baked focaccia bread ($10.95).
Though a couple things we tried were not quite what we expected, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Give Bellevue Bistro a try and let them defy your expectations. The force is strong with this one.
CONTACT BRIAN CROSS: [email protected]