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Bidwell Street Bistro heats up Valentine's Day

By: Eric Laughlin, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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Folsom’s award winning Bidwell Street Bistro has become a favorite among those looking to enjoy the perfect hybrid of formal and casual dining for lunch and dinner. It’s now been 12 years since the Righton family created the popular restaurant and it continues to garner rave reviews from critics and patrons alike. The bistro will once again host those looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style this month, with a menu that’s sure to please all. “It’s always a fun night for couples looking for a nice atmosphere,” said owner Richard Righton. “We always book up and I think it’s because the food is always super and the price point is reasonable.” This year’s menu is still being worked out by executive chef Wendi Mentink, ranked as one of Sacramento’s best chefs. Last year’s three-coarse selections included appetizers like prawns and mussels steamed in lobster-habanero-coconut broth, and a salad consisting of roasted red beets, romaine, cotija queso roasted poblano with a tomato vinaigrette. Main attractions last year included mole spice-rubbed angus rib eye with potato gratin with asadero cheese and wilted spinach. Other fine choices were grilled Jamaican jerk pork tenderloin with Caribbean sweet potato mash, with a mango mojo, and a lime tequila agave nectar-glazed grilled salmon with caramelized pineapple-jalapeno basmati rice. The dinners last year included a dessert such as toasted coconut cupcakes and mango coulis, or banana creme pie with Kahlua whipped cream. The price will be $75 per couple. Righton and wife Maureen credit great food and consistency (with a few changes here and there) for their success. “We wouldn’t have been here through these tough times if we weren’t doing something right,” Richard said. Maureen said that although the bistro’s regulars return for a consistently good entree and beverage, they do occasionally change the atmosphere to shake things up every now and then. Such changes include a recent painting and lighting change for a new form of ambiance. “Chef Wendi also changes the menu every five to six weeks to go with the seasons,” Maureen said. The couple’s two teen-aged children have pretty much grown up in the bistro and they and other family members are often on hand to help out. And if you’re looking for a nice spot for lunch or dinner on any other day of the year, you’ll find plenty of variety on the regular menu. Lunch favorites currently served include a grilled salmon on focaccia with whole grain mustard sauce, baby spinach and tomatoes, and the bistro’s half pound angus burger. For dinner, you can now enjoy starters such as roasted garlic escargot and entrees that include seared sea scallops and beef bourguignon. The bistro also features a nice selection of wines from around the world, and plenty of beers to choose from. Happy hour is every Monday through Saturday from 5 to 6 p.m., when you can enjoy half off all well drinks, beers on tap and over 20 different house wines. The Bidwell Street Bistro is located at 1004 E. Bidwell St. in Folsom. It’s open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and for dinner everyday beginning at 5 p.m. Call (916) 984-7500 to book your Valentine’s Day reservation today.