Imagine your grandma’s house designed by Wes Anderson and taken over by a group of hot-shot chefs who are feeling like nostalgic homebodies. With faded pink walls, dark antiques and a giant picture of a fish, that’s what Continental Bistro feels like. It’s by the fathers of Bodega and Porteño, Joe Valore and Elvis Abrahanowicz. Despite literally sitting on top of their other recent venue, Continental Deli – which specialises in sandwiches, canned fish and charcuterie – the two floors will serve complete different menus, but share a drinks menu.
The Bistro serves old-school, classic European bistro fare. There are four entrees, mains, sides and desserts, and the menu changes daily or weekly. The menu, by Jesse Warkentin (ex-Porteño) includes pot-au-feu, lamb cutlets, steak tartare and roast chicken breast with chardonnay sauce. There’s a main of lamb cutlets, served alongside Continental’s own canned peas, purslane and a yoghurt sauce.
For dessert there’s a cheese platter from the primo selection downstairs, or one of Warkentin’s outrageously boozy rum babas. The brioche-like, bagel-shaped cake is soaked in syrup and rum and served with Chantilly cream, mustard fruits, preserved cumquat and a little side bottle of extra liquor.