Eat at Metro Bis. Just do it.

Metro Bis makes this leafy green sucker into something amazing. (Flickr Creative Commons, user elana's pantry)

I’ve known for years that Metro Bis in Simsbury makes a mean brownie. And good pasta salad. And an awesome sandwich wrap. This was only because I’ve eaten the box lunches they deliver for the Talcott Mountain Music Festival. It wasn’t until last month that I actually ate in their restaurant with The Betrothed, his dad and stepmother, and my Papa and stepmother.

It was the first time they were meeting, and I explained this to Courtney, who runs the place (aka “Wife of the Chef” who has written a book of the same title). She gave us a great table toward the back where everyone could talk and get to know each other. The restaurant is relatively long and narrow and probably only sits about 70 people, but it’s cute and decorated how you might imagine a French country restaurant.

The servers were on top of everything — they were knowledgeable about the different and unique preparations of food that the chef, Chris Prosperi creates, quick to fill a water glass, and very understanding of my tree nut allergy. (There’s a reason why the Anti-Couric calls me an evolutionary disaster!) For you WNPR listeners, Chris is often on Faith Middleton’s Food Schmooze.

The Betrothed and I shared the baby arugula salad which was simple yet so totally amazing. I’ve been doing my best to recreate it at home ever since. Courtney, because she is so awesome, treated us all to a second appetizer which was crab and other goodness in a martini glass topped with shredded, crispy phyllo dough and sprouts. It was also phenomenal; full of flavor and fresh goodness.

For my main dish, I had the Pan Seared Maryland Lump Crab Cakes which were fantastic. These are not the kind you get at a seaside fish stand all fried and battered. They were large chunks of fresh, delicious crab. Even the sides (potato hash and greens) were incredibly delicious. Several people at the table had the Rainbow Trout, which they raved about as well.

Overall, a fantastic meal with lots of unique and tasty touches that made for an incredibly memorable dining experience. Three salt shakers, baby.