**NOTE: I’m in no way a food critic, reviewer or expert. Just an average Joe…Jane…whatever, who is passionate about food, loves eating out and has a food blog that makes me feel important and heard (sometimes 😉 ) . This review is not sponsored. I don’t get paid in money or free food (although I wish!) or any other way by the restaurants for writing these. I personally read a lot of reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor and the likes before I try a new restaurant and thought I could share my own personal views, experiences and photos of the places and food I try on my blog. **
Hay J’s Bistro- An inconspicuous restaurant in a seemingly ordinary strip mall that will surprise the socks off you, if you haven’t already read the rave reviews about it.
Having heard the name and seen a lot about this little restaurant lately on the likes of instagram and such…we decided to give it a try. But it wasn’t just on any day it was our wedding anniversary, so the expectations were high! And let’s just say they knocked it out of the ballpark. We barely got a reservation last friday night, but they luckily had an opening at 4.30p.m, which isn’t usually ideal for dinner as it’s a tad early…but if you know me…I’ll have a meal any time of day and after reading reviews on this place I really had my heart set on trying it. So an early dinner it was.
Given the unassuming exterior of this restaurant near a gas station in a little strip mall, I was pleasantly surprised by the warm, cozy and elegant interiors. We were greeted warmly and shown to our table not far from the entrance bar area, where from the corner of my eye I could occasionally catch a glimpse of the chefs working their magic in the kitchen. Everything on the menu sounded well thought out and delicious and while there were a lot of seafood options that I usually would have gravitated towards, we went with the red meat options as we have been eating a lot of fish and chicken at homely lately.
We started with the Blackened Bleu Tender tips appetizer. Which really set the tone for the meal. The beef tips were very well seasoned with spices and blackened perfectly keeping the morsels juicy and tender with the creamy gorgonzola crumbles it really was a perfect bite! I then opted for the Rack of Lamb with parsnip puree, wilted spinach- pine nuts- feta and charred tomato. I have to take a a second look when I see lamb on a menu here. It’s such an under appreciated meat here in the U.S I feel and to see it cooked well and not dried out with pairings that compliment the meat without masking it’s robust flavor was so nice. It was a joy to see lamb done right and not served with cringe-worthy mint jelly. It was so beautifully presented on the plate too that I had a hard time stopping taking pictures to actually try it out.
My husband on the other hand a pretty meat and potatoes kind of guy was super impressed by his 14oz Ribeye Steak with roasted garlic butter, horseradish gremolata, garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables. Horseradish isn’t really his thing so he offered me the gremolata and can just say…it was something else. I tasted it with his steak and it took it to a whole new level…I think they should be serving this horseradish gremolata with every piece of red meat on the planet! I polished off the rest with my lamb and loved every bite.
To wrap up the meal and end on a sweet note even though we were both quite full we ordered the Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche & house made Brown Butter Ice Cream. Sounds heavy right? Well it wasn’t at all. Even though I don’t really have a sweet tooth that bread pudding with the amazing ice-cream was sooo good we couldn’t stop eating. My husband who was just going to take a little taste ended up digging in and eating wit with as much ferocity as I was.
All in all such a great meal it’s an instant favorite for my Top restaurants in the Spokane Area. A great place for a date-night or special occasion. I am sad that I hadn’t tried it sooner….but excited that I know of it now! I will also be giving their lunch a try sometime soon as it features some good looking sandwiches, wraps and burgers along with some of their other dishes.
Hay J’s Bistro: 21706 E Mission Ave, Liberty Lake, WA | 1-509-926-2310 | hayjsbistro.com