Pasadena, November 2, 2012—WE RATHER LIKED this place last time we came, and it's just re-opened after a three-month renovation, so we thought it would be fun to check it out again. The menu's changed: a few "small plates" have been added, and a new wood-fired oven makes pizzette and Alsatian tarts possible.
I started with a revisionist Caesar salad (a term I find myself typing increasingly often), the romaine chopped, the anchovies white boquerones, and including artichoke hearts — good, but no Caesar, not in my book. And then this curious "Wedding Soup" which seemed somehow Polish to me: a nicely executed velouté with generous chunks of white sausage, bits of red pepper and tomato, black kale, and an egg whisked in — something new to me, and very pleasant. Dessert: a truly revisionist Tarte Tatin, baked in an individual cocotte, with vanilla ice cream and salt-caramel sauce.
Verdejo, Medino del Campo, Valiadolid (Spain), 2010; Sangiovese, Mazzoni "Rosso," Tuscany, 2009• Bisro 45, 45 South Mentor Avenue, Pasadena; (626) 795-2478