Thursday, August 16, 2012

Satellite Bistro

It's only been in the past month or so that I have heard of Satellite Bistro and Bar in Circle C, and then I heard of it a few times by different people in succession. So my curiosity was
piqued, and I was even more surprised to discover it's been open since around 2006.

While in suburbia, Satellite was designed by noted local architect Michael Hsu, and it's very much his aesthetic. Stone work, modern lines, big windows, reminds me of Olivia (which yes, he also designed). We were seated on the patio, which has nice big ceiling fans and just enough landscaping to help you forget you're in a strip mall. However the volume on the speakers was really loud, and the music was reminiscent of your iPod on "shuffle"... when we sat down, it was the Gregorian Monks and that chanting song from the 1990s, and throughout our time there, it ranged from country to contemporary. Not exactly congruous. All the while, a 1950s chanteuse performed live inside.

It's an eclectic menu to say the least, with dishes representing the flavors of Italy and the Mediterranean, Tex Mex, pan-Asian, and seafood.... From their website, I learned the owners are a pair of Greek brothers, hence the Med and seafood influences, I would guess. It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to, especially because I wasn't starving, having come from another event. It probably didn't help that our college-aged (?) waitress came by twice for orders, though all of us were sitting there pouring over the menu both times. She was nice, and was trying to do her job, but our table of food people made eyes at each other when she mispronounced the day's risotto special (it came out like "reyz-ottow" instead of "rih-soh-toe") and none of us could understand the method of how the daily specials vegetables were cooked. Yeah, we're kinda food snobs.

We started off with the calamari, which had a nice thick crust on them, but a few rings were a touch greasy; the marinara with it was bland, but the red pepper remoulade had a nice punch. 
The eater who ordered this Mediterranean Shrimp Linguine ate too many calamari and could only eat half her main dish!
This is the Champagne Gorgonzola Salad with shrimp, which well-liked by the eater.
And the Gourmet Bistro Burger with a delicious smoked tomato jam; I tried the jam, but not the burger, and the jam was great. The yuca chips were decent, though you have to be a fan of the starchy tuber to appreciate them.  Didn't hear any complaints about the burger.
And for me, crab cakes. Oh but wait. Where were they? It was another waiter/runner who brought the food to the table, not our initial waitress. He said "they're coming," and disappeared. I urged my table mates to start eating....and waited. So a couple minutes later, our waitress comes by and apologizes, by saying the crab cakes were being made again, because they were "too dark." Okay...
So they did arrive a few minutes later, a lovely golden brown color. And while they were very crispy, coated with Panko breadcrumbs, and I think deep fried given their evenness of color, they really didn't have much flavor to them. Yes, it's mostly crab inside, not filler, but bland. Salt? Pepper? Garlic? Chives? Something, please!! The dish's saving grace, apart from the presentation? The jalapeno aioli.

We considered dessert, but when a dessert and corresponding drinks menu doesn't contain any prices, I am concerned! So we passed. Overall, the food was fine, though certainly not exceptional. And this correlates (unfortunately) with what I had heard from others about Satellite -- it's a mixed bag. Glad I had great company to make the meal more enjoyable!