On a mild summer evening I was looking for a restaurant with outdoor seating to have a relaxing dinner. In Akron, NY at the pleasant little Bistro 93, I found the perfect place.
Bistro 93, as the name implies is located right on Route 93/Cedar St, the main road in Akron. It is a small mom and pop operation run by owners Jennifer Carlsen and William Smith, and takes inspiration from French Bistros. They have owned the building for 5 and a half years, opening a year or so after. I heard about the place through the Buffalo News, as Andrew Galarneau listed the place in the New’s Gusto Guide to Summer and decided it would be a great place to spend a summer’s evening.
Bistro 93 has a good selection of appetizers. Unfortunately the one we wanted to try, stuffed Hibiscus Flowers was not available due to supply chain issues. Upon Jennifer’s suggestion, we had the Duck Won-ton. Our second choice, the Island Salad, was available. There are other salad offerings on the menu: a Mediterranean salad with olives and feta and a Pittsburgh salad which includes, of course, fries. The appetizers section include chicken wings, pizza logs, and shrimp cocktail.
Although it is called a Won-Ton, it looked to me more like Asian dumplings, such as gyoza. Regardless of what it is called, the Duck Won-Ton is fantastic. Fried pasta, stuffed with goat cheese and duck and topped with a sesame orange glaze, it just oozes with flavor. Creamy and delicious. The Island Salad has a mixed greens bases and is topped with mango (cut into small cubes) avocado slices, and plenty of crumbled goat cheese. The dressing is a mildly sweet fruity vinaigrette (perhaps mango?) that went well with the fresh fruit in the salad. Overall, the combination is excellent.
For my entree I had pan seared scallops while my companion had the #1 Grilled Cheese. Other options include 4 different kinds of burgers, Ahi tuna, frog legs, sausage and shrimp jambalaya, BBQ baby back ribs, Lasagna , and pasta either with chicken or clams. These fit very well with the French bistro theme.
I was quite happy with my scallops. They were lightly seasoned with sage and served over a bed of truffled corn. The scallops were cooked to perfection, seared on the outside while tender on the inside. The corn is a novel touch that goes well with the seafood.
The #1 Grilled Cheese has smoked salmon, brie, avocado, and artichoke hearts. Like the scallop dish, this is a very unique combination of ingredients. My companion loved the novelty of it. She especially like the smoked salmon, commenting that it was quite flavorful. Several choices of bread were available. She chose rye. The dish came with a side of fries. These fries were freshly cut and fried. No frozen fries here. When they were served, they were still warm.
I don’t have the full list of desserts available at Bistro 93, as Jennifer listed them verbally. I have the impression that the items on it change frequently. The list included an assortment of pies, both fruit and cream, and a several cakes. Two items peaked my interest: a hot fudge sundae cheesecake and a chocolate covered cherry pie. I went with the pie.
I was envisioning a pie with some sort of ganache over cherries. Instead, the topping was more like a chocolate pudding. This was no ordinary pudding, though, and no ordinary cherries either. The cherries were of the tart variety and were fresh, not from a can. The pudding also tasted fresh . As did the whipped cream. Altogether, this is an excellent dessert.
Bistro 93 has about a half dozen beers on tap. I made note of them when I walked in, as the bar area is by the entryway. I don’t remember them all but there were local favorites such as Labatts Blue. As soon as I saw a blackberry cider on tap, my mind was made up. That is what I ordered. It’s a very good, dry cider.
The cocktail list was on a blackboard hanging on an inside wall. Here also there was about a half dozen choices. My companion ordered the first on the list, the Summer Sunset. It has peach whiskey and a scoop of strawberry sherbert on top. It was mildly fruity, smooth and creamy, with just a little bit of sweetness. I found this such a delightful combination that I ordered one for myself.
Bistro 93 is a small restaurant, with about a half dozen tables on the inside and a handful more on the outside. Most people were sitting outside on the day we were there; not too surprising for a cool summer day. We were lucky to get a table. The place has a lot of charm though, making you feel at home. The owner is talkative and helpful. She made several suggestions that we were pleased with.
With great food and a pleasant, laid back environment, Bistro 93 is the perfect place for summer dining.