Cafe Society

Bistro One's patio opens just in time to say so long to summer

When it opened three years ago under chef Olav Peterson, Bistro One had more highbrow aspirations -- but under chef-owner Alex Waters and his wife, Diane, it's evolved into a neighborhood joint with a menu of French comfort food and a crowd of regulars who like to spend lazy evenings in the booths and at the bar.

Now there's one more place they can hang out: the new patio.

In July, Bistro One broke ground on a patio. The couple had hoped to get the new area open by the end of August, but construction delays pushed it back.

Now they've opened the patio just in time for the fall equinox -- though Margaret Ebeling, spokeswoman for the restaurant, says the patio will stay open as long as the weather allows. "I've seen people on patios in January," she says, "so it's really weather- contingent."

The intimate space, which backs up to Louisiana Avenue, features chair seating for thirty and lounge seating for four, as well as potted plant life, though because of the season, Alex has, at least temporarily, ditched the hanging garden from which he planned to cull herbs and produce for his board.

And speaking of the board, the new deck has inspired some new snacks, too. "We have added a new menu that we call Bar Bites," explains Ebeling. The list, which is available indoors and out, features such dishes as hot artichoke dip with lavosh crackers and Asian-style grilled chicken wings, with everything priced at $5. For patrons looking for something more substantial, the full menu is also available outside.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk