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“Flour Power is Now Hello Bistro”
Review of Hello Bistro - CLOSED

Hello Bistro
Price range: US$10 - US$28
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: We offer casual dining in a farmhouse overlooking the Catskill Mountains, with additional outdoor seating in the warmer months. Everything is made in house; our French influenced menu is seasonally inspired, changing frequently, and supporting local producers whenever possible. On and off premises catering is also available.
Reviewed 13 August 2013

After being closed for seven months, the bakery's owners have opened a new venture, Hello Bistro. Located in the same rambling farm house overlooking Livingston Manor, the restaurant is open for dinner on Friday and Saturdays and for brunch on Sundays.

We were eager to try this new restaurant. The former bakery was superb and there is a dearth of fine dining establishments in Sullivan County. The interior of the restaurant is soothing, with walls in muted shades.Tthe windows are bare, providing an attractive vista with the downside of being blinded by the sun. We had an early reservation and there were only two other tables when we arrived. While we were seated promptly, it was in uncomfortably close proximity to one of the other tables. This would prove to be a problem as the night wore on as other patrons were seated right next to us despite the availability of other open tables. There was little space between us and the waitresses had to squeeze between us to serve the other tables. This contributed to a cramped, claustrophobic feel. The wooden chairs were not cushioned and uncomfortable and our table, while rustic was wobbly. When a large party came in, the noise was deafening.

But good food can excuse much. Our experiences were decidedly mixed. The wine list is small but adequate and we were pleased to see they offered prosecco by the glass. The short beer list of beer included some interesting choices.and they offer GUS (grown up soda) which is less sweet and has no preservatives. Unfortunately our designated driver is more of a JOLT cola person, so he wasn't impressed. One of us enjoyed the prosecco and I had an unexceptional malbec. (There is a bar set off from the dining room.)

The menu is sensibly small , We passed on the appetizers. The scallop entree was unavailable but they substituted a shrimp dish instead. Two of us enjoyed the skirt steak in red wine sauce. The meat was tender and perfectly cooked and the sauce was nicely nuanced. It came with al dente mixed vegetables and a pretty but tasteless potato puree Our portions were adequate. As good as it was, it was unfortunately barely lukewarm. One of our party ordered the salmon with lentils and pearl onions. He was sorely disappointed. The entree arrived in a small soup bowl. The salmon, which appeared poached was covered with frisee and floated over a tasteless broth of soggy lentils and insipid pearl onions. The salmon was a bit over done and bland and the portion was small and unsatisfying.

We were all looking forward to dessert and again, our results were mixed. I had the meringue with the rhubarb compote. to say it was exquisite is a glaring understatement. It defied expectations. The sweetness of the perfectly baked meringue provided the perfect foil for the tartness of the rhubarb. It was amazing in its sophisticated simplicity. One of us had the creme brulee. It was fairly average although we appreciated the fact that the brulee was still warm. The custard base was a tad eggy but not bad.The third of our party had the chocolate mousse parfait. Again he was not pleased. It lacked the light and airy texture of mousse and the portion was small. The coffee was superb and our waitress was pleasant and eager to please.

This bistro has much potential. The staff is friendly and accommodating and the owners did come out and greet the guests. The food that was good was very good while the food that was disappointing was still superior to much that is offered locally. They do have to work on seating as it is cramped and the overly close proximity to other diners is uncomfortable and intrusive. Although we were served no bread, we noticed that other tables were. Still the Hello Bistro offers a fine food oasis in the culinary desert of the Catskills and we look forward to dining there again.

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5  Thank Molga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (14)
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10 - 14 of 14 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2012

I guess it's a restaurant, they serve some casual food on the weekend and it's certainly good enough. It's fine to come for a quick or convenient meal. Breakfast is best.

But, hello!

This is a really great french bakery and JR is a really great french baker. The tart Tartine is to die for with that burnt caramelized apple/sugar taste. This guy can't make anything bad from fruit pies and rugalla to croissants and savory turnovers. Everything is loaded with sugar, butter and flakiness.

The quality is consistent and rivals the best bakeries 100 miles south in NYC, seriously. It gets to be a bit pricy, certainly for the area, but the price:value relationship for me is much better than many other local places. Flour Power is a local treasure that we need to support so we have it.

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Thank BeeJay45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2012

The bakery goods they have are terrific, especially the loaves of bread. However, I cannot see paying almost five dollars for a loaf of bread no matter how good it might be. jThe pastries and cakes are also excellent but in my opinion, way over priced. Sorry to be so negative but times are a little tough now for all of us. How about lowering the prices a bit---more people would come!!!!

Thank HILDA S V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2012

We loved the sweet and savory options...I highly recommend the Vegetable Empenada!

Thank KimLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2012

This is a pleasant little outpost just off Hwy 17 in the Catskills. It IS a bakery--but it also has other food, sandwiches, soup, etc.. All their offerings are freshly made and much better than you would ever expect in such a little out-of-the-way community. Good coffee too. Maybe not excellent if it had to compete with all the offerings in a major city--but even then it could earn a much better than average--and considering where it is, it deserves to be called excellent

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Thank sezmjc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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