Bar Review: Bistango, Irvine, CA

Bistango Bar Small

I recently found myself at Bistango, a well reviewed Orange County Restaurant serving “New American” cuisine.  It has earned ratings of 4.3 on Yelp, 4.4 on both Open Table and Facebook, and 24 on Zagat.  Sadly I have only had a limited selection of the food, but what I had was excellent.

The best way I can describe the decor here is “Modern Neutral”.   It is open, airy, clean, and crisp.  There are contemporary artist’s works decorating the walls which are a mix of oranges, reds, and browns.  Sort of a southwest “earthy” scheme.  It is not exciting, but not boring; not avant-garde, but certainly not stale. Overall very comfortable, relaxed, and inviting.

The bar is just to the right as you enter, clearly inviting one to sit and enjoy a beverage of your choice.  They have a live entertainment in the evenings and there’s a small dance floor which did get some use.  There is also an outside patio if you prefer your meal or drink in the open air.

Of course, my choice is a Martini which at Bistango are really very good.  Mine was ample, nicely prepared, shaken just enough so that the drink was very well chilled but not overly diluted, and served promptly, efficiently, and cheerfully.  If you’re not interested in a Martini, the bar overall is well stocked with a nice selection of ports, whiskeys, spirits, and cognacs.

I do have to point out that on my most recent visit I did have the unfortunate experience that the stem had not been chilled in any manor … not refrigerated and no effort made to chill it with ice and water prior to pouring the drink.  I hope this was a simple oversight because on my previous visits the stems were properly prechilled.

Overall I would highly recommend Bistango and I certainly intend to return.  It is also just a few blocks away from John Wayne International Airport which brings one to think it would be a nice stop for a ‘just landed’ or ‘Bon Voyage’ Martini.

For a final grade I give Bistango one stem:  Martini Glass Upright

For Gin selection Bistango gets an A-.  They have a very nice selection with several different styles of Gin including a couple unusual choices.  Tru Organic specifically comes to mind, though I didn’t get a chance to sample it.  Choices this day were:  Bluecoat, Hendricks’, Botanist Islay, Ford’s, Sloane’s, Tru Organic, Bombay, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater, No. 3 London, Nolet’s.

If you’re curious about the nightly entertainment or the menus, you can find them here:

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*****   Rating Definitions   ****

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