Years ago, I was a frequent customer of the Crooked Coffee House which stood on Edgewater and had always loved the building as much as the coffee. A couple of weeks ago, after years of watching restaurants come and go from the location, it was exciting to see some work being done on the place. When I got the email from KandN asking if I wanted to go to the soft opening of the new Crooked House Bistro, I was very excited. As a West Salemite, I love it when new places open in the neighborhood. I was excited to see what they had done with the place and it certainly did not disappoint!
Upon arrival, we were blown away by the remodel. The chef and owner, Bernard Malherbe has kept the originality of the house, but has enhanced the cozy and warm feeling. We were immediately seated and because it is such a small venue, found ourselves in conversation with our neighbors, which happened several times throughout the evening. Since the neighbors on both sides of us were quite friendly, this added to the charm of our evening. We were presented with a single page menu and a glass of sparkling wine to help celebrate the opening. We opted of the cheese platter to start, which consisted of three cheeses, a goat's cheese, sheep and cow's cheese and a bleu cheese along with bread. I ordered the albacore over polenta which was delicious. Topped with a chunky tomato sauce, the added cornichons gave a pleasant contrast in texture and a slight vinegar taste. My sister ordered the bison NY steak which was cooked just to her liking. Her steak came with potatoes which had a great flavor and were well seasoned.
While I expected some fumbling during a soft opening night, I was pleasantly surprised to find everything cooked and presented so beautifully and that the staff were friendly and knowledgeable, giving the appearance of a restaurant that has been opened for quite a while instead of just one day. With it's very friendly staff and great food, I have no doubt that Crooked House Bistro well do well. Bernard mentioned he plans to open for both lunch and for weekend brunches in the near future. With prices ranging from $10.50 to $22.50 for entrees without soup or salad on the soft opening menu, Crooked House Bistro may be more of a special occasion restaurant for many Salemites. Hopefully by adding lunch and brunches, this will allow a greater variety of customers to taste Bernard's amazing food.
Crooked House Bistro
1142 Edgewater Dr. NW
Salem, OR 97304
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