Monday, July 26, 2010

Rochester: Jasper's Alsatian Bistro

It was a Friday night, and we decided that we'd go to Jasper's for the first time. It's been around for a number of years now, but we'd never gone because of the incredibly high prices for the meals. However, I had bought gift certificates for there at half price, making a meal there much more affordable. I wasn't sure how busy they'd be, so I followed the instructions on their website and called to make reservations. When we arrived at 5:30, we arrived to an empty restaurant, so it wasn't necessary to make reservations. However, because we had reservations, they had our table ready, complete with menus in place. They put us at the small table for two by the window--perhaps to show that people were eating there and encourage others to come in. The bread they brought to the table was a representation of a number of different types of breads.

The menu at Jasper's isn't large. In fact, including the wine menu, it covers the front and back of one sheet. In my mind, this is usually bad news and makes it more difficult to find something that we'll like, especially since some restaurants and chefs seem to think that adding mushrooms to an item makes it better, when we find the opposite to be true. Nor do we like to be high maintenance enough to order something that normally has mushrooms without them if we can help it. And most of the entree items are in the over $25 range, so expect to drop a pretty penny here.

Tammy ordered two items off of the small plate menu. The first was the cheese plate, which came on what looked to be a narrow wooden cutting board with four cheeses, bread, candied apricots, pecans, and a pepper jelly. Of those four cheeses, one was a brie, and one was a Parmesan. Another resembled Gouda, but upon further reflection, Tammy didn't think that was what it was. The fourth was a cheese that she couldn't identify at all.

She also ordered the pizza, and got all of the ingredients she could, except the mushrooms (leeks, onions, and bacon, I believe). This is actually very reasonably priced, with it being bigger than the pizza we shared recently from California Pizza Kitchen, and priced at just over $10, making it the best deal by far at Jasper's.

I ordered the steak au poivre, an item listed at $28.99, which was served with a side salad. When that came, I was a bit puzzled at the small size of the steak, which for the price I paid, I was expecting something bigger than the hamburger patty-sized steak. While the steak was superbly prepared to the right amount of doneness, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. The dish also came with Lyonese potatoes, which was my favorite part of the meal, and something that I would definitely make sure I got here again--if we went. The "seasonal vegetable" that came with it consisted of three spears of white asperagus and kernals of corn. I would not be surprised if the corn came from a can, that is how unimpressed I was with that choice and the taste thereof.

Ultimately, the food quality overall was good, and the service was top notch. I think because we were the only ones there when we ordered (more came in throughout our time there), we were able to get our food delivered to our table faster. I did think that the food I ordered was overpriced for what I got, though like I said, the pizza was a great deal for the price, and even the cheese plate wasn't badly priced, as cheese--especially imported cheeses--do tend to be expensive in grocery stores as well.

Jaspers Alsatian Bistro on Urbanspoon

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