Saffron Bistro is a classy little dinner restaurant on the lower end of Main Street where comfort meets style and the food delivers all the promise on the menu.
Our Gourmet: Saffron is one of those cozy spots that is pleasing to the senses. The aroma from the kitchen invites you in from the street; the sharp, gleaming lines of decor impress your eye as you enter; and the furniture and layout invite the patron to settle comfortably and enjoy what promises from the start to be a very pleasant dining experience. 10/10
The Dining Companion: The restaurant oozes fusion from front to back. High-backed upholstered chairs in stripes of red and silver contrast sharply with black tablecloths and white napkins. Dim lighting lets you slowly discover the pressed tin artwork that gleams on the walls, alongside muted dark watercolors. Saffron Bistro has a very cool look, smoothly backed by real jazz playing softy in the background as diners settle in at the 15 or so tables in the dining room. The tables are nicely spaced for privacy; the cocktail lounge is completely away from the dining room. A gleaming foyer with a desk and artwork is graced by high-polished hardwood floors. Attention to detail makes one feel pampered from the very start. 10/10
OG: Everything on Saffron's menu is gourmet, and a small menu eases the choices. We like small menus — where it's quality over quantity and each item is chef's suggestion. Try Steak & Eggs ($26), a 10-ounce grilled steak topped with a fried egg and roasted tomato and asparagus tips, served over a shredded potato cake. Or Plum Glazed Duck Breast ($24) with stir fried vegetables and sweet and spicy hoisin sauce. Or New Bedford Sea Scallops Au Gratin ($25) with applewood smoked bacon, tomato, scallions and a light cheese sauce, topped with sweet honey crumbs and served with sautéed spinach. 9/10
TDC: I love the choices of seafood and fresh salads, and creativity with vegetables adds a truly gourmet touch. Appetizers are dreamy, featuring a Bruschetta, Crab Wontons, Escargot, Calamari, Parmesan Meatballs, Sweet Coconut Shrimp and Goat Cheese Fritters. On the salad roster, a Caesar is dressed-up with white anchovies and a Boston Bibb comes with crumbled goat cheese and candied pecans. Yummy entrees include Lobster Risotto and a Lobster Salad on Soft Brioche, Grilled Swordfish with pineapple and mango Jasmine rice, Plum Glazed Duck Breast, and a Chipotle Rubbed Chicken Breast with cucumber salad. Outstanding choices. 10/10
OG: Crispy Calamari ($10) was a delightful start to a terrific meal. Nothing spectacular, except the attention to taste. A small plate full of lightly fried, tender calamari, tossed with cherry peppers and served with a slightly spicy Parmesan-ranch sauce. 9/10
TDC: My Sweet Coconut Shrimp ($12) were perfect. Large, succulent shrimp, lightly fried in crunchy, tasty coconut breading, with a sweet and tangy, mango and sweet chili dipping sauce. Absolutely delicious. 9/10
OG: My Lobster & Shrimp Sauté ($28) came highly recommended by our hostess and it did not disappoint. Jumbo shrimp and large chunks of fresh lobster meat, sautéed with garlic, lemon, cherry tomato, served over fresh linguini with a cream sauce so light and unobtrusive it not only did not mask any bit of the seafood flavor, it didn't even crowd the natural flavor of the pasta. That's thoughtful, talented preparation that does not go unnoticed. Each taste to its own, blended beautifully. 9/10
TDC: A great combination of seafood and vegetables arrived with my Potato Crusted Haddock ($25), which featured three large pieces of fresh, lightly battered fish on top of sauteed green beans and tomatoes, tossed in a fresh parmesan and herb sauce. Green beans and tomatoes underneath a serving of seafood had never occurred to me, but it's a winning combination. Great taste in a great dish. 9/10
All the rest: 18/20
OG: One of our very best dinners in a long while was made even more enjoyable by terrific service. Our waiter, Rob, was gracious, witty and accommodating, with a sense of timing and anticipation that led us, rather than followed us, through our meal. He never asked us how we were doing, he knew how we weredoing. Helookedaheadto what we might want next, and his casually cool and friendly manner made an impression. 9/10
TDC: A restaurant with a cocktail lounge almost as large as the dining room could easily create conflicting values, but the bar and the restaurant at Saffron are totally separate, divided by a wall between the rooms, and zero visibility between the two.
Gourmet did not even know there was a cocktail lounge in the building until after our meal when meandering around. Bar noise is a distraction to diners who pay attention to the supper experience, and Saffron management deserves praise for knowing to keep it at a distance. 9/10