Look who’s back for another edition of my unofficial #comfortfoodcrawl. This time, I ventured out to downtown East Lansing’s Black Cat Bistro. During the height of the pandemic, I saw many posts in the Lansing Foodies Facebook page (join if you haven’t yet!) raving about their takeout specials.
The restaurant, which describes its atmosphere as contemporary, elegant and relaxing, serves up quality dishes at an affordable price. I spent a nice Friday afternoon on the outdoor patio, adorned with black metal bistro tables and pink umbrellas. With nicely spaced tables, and charming string lights, the patio has a pretty locale, next to the Bill Sharp Park’s colorful flowers and fountain.
The lunch menu includes lighter options like soups, salads, bruschetta, parmesan truffle fries, black cat poutine, bistro mussels, burgers, wraps and mac and cheese. The dinner menu includes heartier options like tilapia, salmon, French coulotte, jerk chicken, pastas, and petite sirloin.
I ordered the three-cheese grilled cheese, with sourdough bread, provolone, Swiss and cheddar cheese. The sandwich came with bistro fries, which were perfectly seasoned, lightly breaded and came with the delightful surprise of a few sweet potato fries mixed in. The bread was a soft, chewy, toasted base, with a trio of blended cheeses. The consistency was good: not too stringy, not too thick. The sandwich was a decent sized portion that I was able to finish entirely. I did save room for dessert, though.
For a sweet finish, I had the carrot cake, a layered cake slice, topped with white chocolate mousse, cream cheese layers and a caramel glaze. The dessert might have been my favorite part of the whole meal. The single slice was moist, and the caramel glaze was not too rich. There was a nice crunch in there, with walnuts. This version was less spice-based and sweeter. My only recommendation would have been to serve it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on the side.
Black Cat Bistro also has a nice list of seasonal cocktails. I ordered the apple fizz, with New Amsterdam Apple, Berentzen Pear Liqueur, pineapple juice, sweet & sour and Sprite. It tasted like a mix of a Capri Sun and a Jolly Rancher. If you’re into super sweet drinks, add this to your list.
I’m always a fan of an outdoor patio, but they can get loud and crowded. I dined Friday afternoon, during JazzFest weekend, and it wasn’t too busy. The atmosphere felt more like garden dining than a boisterous college town. I’m also adding this destination onto my brunch list too, as the crème brûlée French toast is calling my name.
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