K & L Bistro has won itself a Michelin star since we last visited and it was time to return. Overall our latest experience makes us want to rush back. The food is not too-fancy and the ambiance is comfortable. It is a great lunch spot and lovely casual dinner spot in west wine country. Be sure to make a reservation as even during the week they are very busy and the restaurant is small. The scenes of Paris on the wall, the dark wood bar and the exposed brick inside offer a light and warm ambiance.
Dining with Kids: While there is no children’s menu (and choices are generally not standard American fare although macaroni and cheese is offered as a side dish) an early reservation presents no trouble for children accompanying parents (although the tables are quite close together on the banquet side). There is a paper table topper to draw upon and crayons in the wings. Our young diner heartily enjoyed the Fritto Misto and the soup. Note though that the service is quite slow. The appetizers come out promptly but was a long wait for the main course (on both of our latest visits). I would expect this is due to the size of the kitchen (which is tiny). They prepared our young diner’s hamburger first and brought it out when it was ready.
We skipped dessert once again on this trip but our young diner had the trio of sorbets and was very pleased with them. The night we dined they offered almost a dozen choices (including cheese).
What we had:
Very fresh and good.
Fritto Misto of rock shrimp, calamari, shallots and lemons
Fritto Misto was even better than last time we were here. Lighter, and more shrimp/calamari. The aioli was delicious. Recommended. Served on a bed of arugula.
all-green salad was a bit light on the dressing but greens were fresh.
Velvety light and fantastic. Very mushroomy. It was a special – so it’s not on the regular menu. One of their best dishes!
Mesquite Grilled Angus Hamburger with Frites
Good solid burger with crispy frites.
Fresh Dungeness Crab Cakes
Full of crab. They are almost completely breaded. If you like a more balanced crab/filler style of cake this may not please. The accompanying sauce was wonderful and fresh. Served with frites.
New Zealand Sea Bass
Delicious. The Prix-fixe (Plat du Jour) seems like a great choice – the turnips were lovely.
Homemade Boudin Blanc Sausages
Two perfectly cooked sausages and a raddichio and apple salad which was very nice with it. Light and fluffy interior and slightly crispy exterior. Hard to cut (the laguiole knife needed a serration) but divine anyways with two offered mustards (seeds and no seeds). Recommended.
PEI Mussels Marinere
The mussels were quite good. In a slightly garlicy broth with some garlic butter on the frites. I like lots of garlic with mussels so I would ask for extra garlic if ordering again and maybe some garlic butter on the side. If you like lighter seasoning of your mussels where the seafood-nature shines through then this dish may be just right.
Trio of Sorbets: Granny Smith Apple, Passionfruit and Mango
All intensely flavored and well made. The sorbets are all made in-house. Served with two star shaped shortbread cookies. On another occasion we enjoyed the Pear sorbet and highly recommend it.
On other recent visits:
Classic Cesar Salad
Good. Nice balance of flavors and crunchy romaine. Croutons could be better.
Good. The butter round is not quite the right thing here. Would order something else next time.
Wild Mushroom Risotto
Undercooked risotto paired with rubbery mushrooms made this a dish that I can't recommend.
August 26, 2005 - Review - Joanne(original visit)
K & L Bistro 119 S. Main St.
Sebastopol, CA 95472
A quick lunch at K&L Bistro was a pleasant experience.
The ambience is bistro-like. The kitchen runs open across the back of the restaurant. The bar is tiny at the front with 5 seats plus a high table for 2. Paintings of Paris adorn the walls. The bistro has a nice feel - and is a great choice for lunch. It is located a half-block from the main interesection in Sebastopol.
Today the kitchen was very slow and we received an apology for it. (Jack received his meal for free without him even giving the waitress a look of anger.) What we had: Fritto Misto - calarmari, rock shrimp, shallots and lemon with Aioli
The Fritto Misto consisted of rock shrimp, calamari, zucchini, summer squash and lemon slices. A bit on the oily side, it was tasty. The lemon aioli a nice accompaniment - albeit nothing special.
Salad Lyonnaise with Hobbs Bacon, frisee, Sherry Vinegar and a Poached Egg
The salad was warm as expected. The egg was perfectly runny. The bacon could have been a bit crisper it was cut into thick ½" pieces. The croutons were weird - sometimes soggy sometimes hard in places.
Business Man's Lunch with Plat du Jour: $19.95 - Celeriac Soup, Black Cod with Ratatouille, Crème brulee (Jack substituted the sorbet trio: blueberry, apricot and key lime)
Jack's pan-fried Black Cod was very enjoyable. The sorbets were one-biters for Jack - the blueberry and apricot both tasted more like frozen jam.
We also had a glass of Vacherin Sancerre and a fresh-squeezed Lemonade.
This is definitely a restaurant we will return to. The wine list, although small, has good California and Italian choices.
You may notice that we do not give out a lot of praise. Having been to so many high-quality restaurants, it's pretty tough to impress us.
Most of our reviews are based on just one visit. We neither have the time nor the money (or often, the inclination) to visit most restaurants multiple times. So, please keep in mind that a single-visit review is a snapshot - the restaurant may be "on it" that day - or not. If the meal has a calamity involved (foreign objects in the food, wine poured on us, etc.) we try not to let it shade the overall review.
We pay for the food and beverages; restaurants never comp us. We try to be discreet about taking photos so that the staff doesn't notice/get an idea we're going to do a review. We rarely take notes in the restaurant.
Like the rest of our website, we update our restaurant review pages based upon subsequent visits.