Josh Posted January 30, 2014 Share Posted January 30, 2014 Bidwell opened recently in Union Market, and as hard as it was to pass up the amazing smells of Toki Underground (he was serving a Thai yellow curry), we decided on a real-deal sit down lunch. The space is very smartly done, balancing the sterile white of the market with a mix of dark and grey wood. The country music playing was a bit of an odd choice that really didn't seem to fit the mood of the restaurant or the neighborhood. From what I can tell, there are not separate lunch and dinner menus. There were 4 of us, plus the boy, so we sampled a reasonable bit of the menu. Swedish meatballs: We ordered these right as we sat so my son would have something to munch on. No one was particularly impressed by them. Very dense and served in a brown gravy that could've used...something to brighten things up. Lobster tacos: These have gotten a bit of press, but don't go expecting tacos. This is more of kind of an unfried flauta. The lobster filling had a nice texture, not the least bit rubbery, and the avocado-tomatillo salsa was a nice, if a bit too subdued accompanyment. I would call for a good bit more spice, but I tend toward the spicy. I actually think the dish might be improved if the tortilla had a bit of crunch to it to contrast with the lobster. Crispy deviled eggs: Just a standard deviled egg fried with a light batter. The ranch dressing is touted as having roasted jalapeno, but I didn't taste any smokiness or heat. Probably would be a pretty good bar snack with a few beers. Fried oysters with green chile buttermilk dressing: Nicely fried...these went in a hurry, though at $12 I kind of expected 4 oysters instead of 3...YMMV. Raclette grilled cheese: White truffle listed on the ingredient list...pretty mild influence on the flavor of the sandwich. It was nicely grilled, and I liked the poached egg on top. Definitely a knife and fork kind of sandwich. I guess I'm just used to a more pungent cheese in my grilled cheese (Taleggio is our house favorite), but I found this kind of on the bland side. Gin and tonic salmon: This was the clear winner of the day. A lightly cured piece of salmon that was perfectly seared. Quite tasty on its own, and fantastic with the bright slightly creamy lime emulsion. The cauliflower "steak" beneath it was excellent, with tons of great carmelized bits. Definitely a go-to dish here. Our server was great, and they didn't bat an eye at bringing out a high chair for the boy. I'd be interested to hear what kind of dinner service they are doing. We were 1 of only 3 tables during lunch that day. Of course, that location doesn't really lend itself to a bustling crowd for a formal sit-down lunch. Overall, I'd call it a pleasant experience, but nothing that blew me away (except the salmon dish). Of course it's early on, so I'd be interested to hear others' experiences in the next few weeks. We'll be back, given we're in the market multiple times a week...I'd be curious to see if they start a brunch menu, as I imagine they would do a brisk business. 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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