Bistro Blanc? The name of the wine shop and restaurant in rural, wealthy Glenelg comes as a bit of a surprise when I make the establishment's acquaintance. Everywhere I look, I see dark evidence to the contrary: red wines, burnt-orange walls, amber lighting and servers in black uniforms.
Menus appear, prompting more questions. Lamb burgers, crab empanadas and "rustic rabbit" sharing the same page? In a slip of a town (population: 1,721) in Howard County? The skeptic in me shakes his head, while my inner optimist starts ordering dinner in the modern American restaurant.
That rabbit turns out to be a wholly satisfying introduction. Braised with vanilla beans and cinnamon in chicken stock, the meat is slightly sweet. Off the heat, the rabbit is picked from the bone, sauteed with pancetta, enriched with brown butter and garnished with fried sage. Eating the dish, I'm hoping there's more like it. Wish fulfilled: Those empanadas, fashioned from flaky braided wraps and zesty seafood centers, are a welcome addition to the table, too. Served two per plate, the savory pastries are also prettily set off with a biting green salad, a bit of avocado puree and rings of citrus-chili oil. As for the lamb burger, it's a pleaser. Crumbled feta cheese gives the sandwich a Mediterranean lilt, while a toasted brioche bun lends rich support.
The lamb burger begs for a hearty red wine to go with it, and the restaurant obliges. . . . .Click here to read the rest of Sietsema's review of Bistro Blanc.