Solo Bistro





Janus’s Month (email of 1/10/12)
January 15th, 2012

Dear Friends and Customers of Solo Bistro:

Ah, January in Bath! One of those periods in which one’s mind takes up the vagabond life . . . . A lot of gray, a lot of cold, folks hunkered down at home; one goes through the motions, still recovering from the exertions of the holidays, not quite ready to face the expanse of time stretching out till spring.Fortunately, Chefs Lavelle and Merry have turned their daydreams of azure seas, cerulean skies and toastier temps to good use and have come up with a deliciously practical response to the problem of January in Bath for tomorrow’s $17.99 three course Wednesday Special!

Wednesday Special 

Last week’s culinary fling in the Languedoc demonstrated two things – a hearty dish is an appealing thing on a cold winter’s night, and a well-paired wine is widely appreciated! Taking the lesson to heart, we’ll give it another go this week, only moving the venue across the Pyrenees to Catalonia, whose Mediterranean shores offer a mental antidote to our iron-gray and icy seas. (Those seas nevertheless produce the most delectable treats, including the Maine shrimp that will star in this week’s main course. But that is getting ahead of the game . . . )

The first course in our little break from January will be escalivada, a roasted vegetable salad with eggplant, peppers, onions and garlic, followed by the aforementioned fresh Maine shrimp in a suquet, a Catalan seafood stew with potatoes and house-made chorizo in a tomato sofrito – onions, tomatoes & garlic among other things.

Paired with this hearty shrimp and sausage stew we’ll offer the Cesca Vicent Priorat for only $6.50 a glass. The semi-arid conditions of Catalonia’s Priorat region make for low yields and intense wines, amongst them some of Spain’s most sought after and expensive ones. Cela Cesca Vicent is a certified organic producer whose vineyards date back to the 15th Century. Maine shrimp in a Catalan seafood stew with Catalonia’s most famous appellation by the glass for only $6.50 – what’s not to like!!!

For dessert, candied almonds and crème catalan, a custard flavored with bay leaf, cinnamon and lemon to seal the escape from the ordinary! We’ll get some good out of January yet!

Friday Night Jazz January 13
This week the Downeast Dean of Darn Good Jazz Guitar, Mr. Gary Wittner, along with boffo bass man Tom Bucci, Jr. will play the New Space on Friday. Gary is a scholar of Thelonious Monk’s work, having published a collection of his transcriptions for guitar of Monk’s compositions (Thelonious Monk for Guitar), and is also a devotee of latin jazz. He has been a regular at Solo Jazz nights from the outset. Tom Bucci, a double bass player who is well known throughout the region for his work with Port City Jazz. Tom has also appeared at Solo on numerous occasions to the delight of patrons.

The perfect pair to ease the passage of mid-January in the Mid Coast, this Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 PM!

As always, we look forward to seeing you on Front Street in downtown Bath, where January just isn’t as jubilant as July!


Pia & Will Neilson, Owners

Language and the Languedoc
January 3rd, 2012

Dear Friends and Customers of Solo Bistro:

This note kicks off the seventh calendar year of these emails – quite incredible to me! Over six years of verbal hijinks and hyperbole, purple prose and alliterative allusion, illusion and ellipses . . . . No one could be more surprised than me that this is so! I am honored that so many of you take the time to read my weekly bit of commercial puffery. Thank you!

Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, however, I have now started a blog where I will post these weekly missives in addition to such other thoughts on food, drink, the economy, culture and the weather as may make it past the flippers of the pinball table between my ears . . . . it will be found at should your appetite for my immodest musings not be appeased by a merely weekly helping.

As for the more natural appetites that are the real concern of this communication, the $17.99 Wednesday Special is at hand!

Wednesday Special


This week’s Wednesday Special features the ideal meal for a cold snap: cassoulet, that stick-to-your ribs combo of duck, sausage and beans from the south central region of France, the Languedoc. The perfect accompaniment would be a bottle of Chateau de Flaugergues from the same region, one of my sentimental favorites! In fact we will sell it by the glass tomorrow for a mere $6.50 in hopes of introducing more of you to it. That’s a steal for this wine! We’ll call it “Languedoc Night at Solo!”

This hearty main course will be bracketed by a romaine and green goddess salad at the outset and a flourless chocolate cake at the finish! This is some darn good stuff for $17.99! Plus Flaugergues @ $6.50. Jiminy!

Friday Night Jazz January 6

We are delighted that for our first Friday Night Jazz of 2012 we will welcome back Ahmad Hassan Muhammad at the keyboard. This incredibly talented jazz pianist used to be a regular at Solo while an undergrad at Bowdoin, but since his graduation last spring he has been absent from the New Space while touring the Northeast and Midwest. Fortunately he is calling Portland home base for the moment, and we count ourselves lucky to have gotten on his dance card for this chilly January eve. Don’t miss the return of Ahmad Hassan Muhammad this Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 PM!

As always, we look forward to seeing you on Front Street in downtown Bath, where food is the lingua franca!

Pia & Will Neilson, Owners

Solo Bistro Bistro 128 front street, downtown bath maine, 207.443.3373
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