Located in an old house in the middle of downtown Chagrin Falls, West End Bistro is nothing if not quaint. While the constraints of a house make for an interesting layout, with the kitchen and bar downstairs and a smallish dining room on the second floor (there’s also ample seating out on the patio, though it didn’t do us much good in December), it doesn’t detract from the experience.
The menu, perhaps intentionally coordinated to fit the space, is also on the small side, with a few starters, salads, and about a half-dozen options for each of the pizza and entree sections. Small though it may be, the menu isn’t lacking for variety, and most people should be able to find something to suit their tastes from amongst the mostly American-with-a-twist fares.
For starters, we tried the “Hanky Pankys,” which are essentially crostini topped with a delectable mixture of chevre, chorizo, fig. We both noted how balanced the flavors were – with some strong players in the mix, none of them was overpowering and really melded together nicely.
S went with a carbonara of homemade pasta with chunks of pepperoni, edamame, ricotta, and egg. Again, very well-balanced combination of flavors. In a stunning role reversal, I picked the scallops, along with pork belly, arugula, a delicious butternut squash hash, and an orange balsamic reduction. No complaints about this dish either – good combo of salty and sweet with a little citrusy zip from the orange.
Dinner was good for five out of seven stars. The food was all great, our server was attentive and pleasant, and prices were reasonable, though the portion sizes were a bit on the smaller side relative to some comparable places we’ve been. Definitely worth a visit!