The Muñoz del Castillo family has done it again and opened a winner in Westport, Bistro Du Soleil. You may recognize the name from their Norwalk location (which sadly closed), their prior catering business, as well as one of our favorite Mexican spots, Rincon in Norwalk. This same family has opened a tiny gem by the Saugatuck train station, serving Mediterranean cuisine with strong classic French undertones. From the escargot and Gambas Al Ajlllo to the Magret Duck Breast and gorgeous Beef Bourgignon, this BYOB venue is not to be missed. Bistro Du Soleil and the Muñoz family truly understand the art of both hospitality and simply delicious food.
The matriarch of the family, Soledad, is the driving force in the kitchen where her high standards are reflected in each dish that arrives at the guest’s table. With hints of mysterious spices, flawless textures, a perfect balance of flavors and exciting ingredients, (think frog legs), the Mediterranean style menu at Bistro Du Soleil in Westport offers an old-fashioned take on clean and simple Mediterranean cooking.
At any great restaurant, it's all about the attention to detail. A recent dinner began with olive bread served along with fragrant olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was light and airy with a nice crisp exterior from a light toasting it received before arriving at our table! The big chunks of olives hidden in the nooks and crannies of the bread added a bold, fresh flavor. Yep! It is good enough to make an entire meal out of! The bread was sourced from Beldotti Bakery in White Plains.
For appetizers, a sure hit at every diner’s table is Gambas al Ajillo. This well-balanced, garlicky dish, with expertly cooked shrimp, will force you to soak your bread in every last drop of the sauce on the plate. The pan-seared Frog Legs in Wine is a must for those who crave this delicacy. The juicy and tender frog legs were slathered in a delightfully tart sauce made with white wine, lemon juice and caper butter. More bread please….
As for entrées, a healthy and hearty lunch time option is the Blackened Fish Of The Day. Served over a bed of quinoa tossed with corn, tomatoes, cucumber and parsley - it was a lot of yum with no guilt. Steak-lovers can’t go wrong with the tender and juicy Marinated Grilled Skirt Steak. And for those craving something exotic, the Grilled Rack of Lamb, with Moroccan spices and couscous, practically screams delightful middle-eastern flavors.
The Chacarero (a Chilean style farmer sandwich) is packed with tender and expertly grilled strips of filet mignon along with creamy avocado, tomatoes and haricot vert… and seasoned with dijon mustard. Talk about covering all your major food groups in one dish: meat, veggies …. and bread. If you are feeling hungrier than normal, you can opt for the fries instead of side salad.
Why is this place so special. It's again in the details. The very talented Bernardo Muñoz de Castillo has handcrafted some of the furniture for Bistro Du Soleil. Be sure to check out the wooden bar as well as the family style bench seating…. its all Bernardo’s beautiful handiwork.
One final note: Bistro Du Soleil is BYOB ($15 corking fee) and reservations are recommended.
Bistro Du Soleil is tucked in next to the old Post Office on Riverside, and can be hard to spot. Keep looking...it's worth it.
Bistro Du Soleil 615 Riverside Ave, Westport (203) 557-6314