Sunday, July 13, 2008

Restaurant Review - Bobby Simone's in Doylestown

Saturday night, date night. A new restaurant opened in our town several months ago so we decided to make reservations for Saturday night - Bobby's Simone's.

A local magazine did a review last month and they described it as a steak house - this is not all they are. There is definitely something for everyone here.

Over the past several years, this location has been home to two other restaurants, so it was interesting to see the changes they made. The main building houses a small bar and restaurant. Half of the restaurant has hardwood floors, dark brown leather banquettes, and granite tables. The other half of the restaurant has a raftered ceiling with translucent window panels, some covered in taupe window coverings. All of the decor is brown and white - very soothing and a bit contemporary, but Jon and I both agree that white tablecloths would really enhance the decor.

The building across the alley also belongs to the restaurant and features a large bar and several highboy tables. You can also choose to eat outside in between the two buildings.

Upon reviewing the menu, we discovered that Bobby Simone's offered a lot more than steaks. The appetizers featured crab cocktail, pork spring rolls, gazpacho, a soup of the day, and about 6 other options. There were also a few salad options. The entree menu was very nice - filet mignon, NY strip, American Kobe, pork, chicken, a daily risotto, and lobster ravioli. They also had two seafood specials - swordfish and grouper.

After reviewing the wine list - a nice mix of wines by the glass and several good bottles, including 2 Ridge wines, we both chose a glass of the 2006 Ridge Three Valleys Zin. Following the wine, our server brought out a bread basket and small dish of oil. She didn't tell us what it was, but we both guessed that it was a sundried tomato infused oil with some red pepper flakes. The bread had sesame seeds - I think a simple baguette would have worked better.

We started with the crab cocktail. It was presented in a martini glass with about 10 pieces of jumbo lump crab with cocktail sauce and lemon. The crab was very sweet, fresh, and light, and cocktail sauce had just enough kick. Our favorite crab cocktail is at another local restaurant,
Earls, but this one was also very good.

Jon had a wedge salad with bacon, tomatoes, and blue cheese that was also very good - the blue cheese was so mild and creamy. I ordered the gazpacho and I'm glad it didn't list the ingredients or I wouldn't have ordered it. I discovered that it included grapes, cantaloupe, and honeydew along with the tomatoes, peppers, and red onion. I don't normally like fruit in food, but this was great!! The crispy plantain chips were the perfect garnish.

Now the real test - could they cook a good steak? Yes, they could. Don't yell at me - I always order my steak well done. Hey, I'm a recovering vegetarian and it's the only way I can eat it! I love a good filet, and a good chef should be able to cook a filet well done and still keep it moist. When our plates were delivered, I took one look at the height of my steak and seriously doubted that it could be cooked well done. I was wrong - it was absolutely perfect and buttery and tender and just delicious. Jon's medium well filet was also perfect. Score a few points for Bobby Simone's!! The entrees were served with a very large portion of Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and grilled veggies - eggplant, squash, zucchini, and red pepper.

After devouring our entrees, we listened to the dessert offerings (great menu!) and Jon decided on the chocolate raspberry cake. The cake was several layers of cake and chocolate mousse with just a touch of raspberry. Mmm, creamy and chocolaty without being too rich or sweet. Jon even said "this may just be the perfect cake!"

The service was good as well - just enough, and not annoying or pretentious.

All in all, we were very happy to discover this new restaurant in our backyard. I can't wait until they put a full website up so others become interested and try it as well.

Just a few very, very minor notes, and they are all about the setup and decor, and the overall image. Like I mentioned before, white tablecloths would work well in the space - they would help break up all the dark wood, chairs, and granite. Second, the sugar packets area always on the dining tables - we both feel sugar should only be brought out with coffee, or if you request it with iced tea. Third, the gathered taupe curtains on the windows should be replaced with sleeker, transparent shades. I feel these would help with the contemporary look they seem to be going for. Finally, while fresh flowers are always nice, the small vases on each table didn't bring much to the overall look. Simple candles would have a much stronger impact. These simple things would complete this restaurant, bring it to the next level, and would complement the great food and menu that they offer.

Jon is extremely picky and hard to please at restaurants, and he gave Bobby Simone's an A-, and his only reasons for the minus are those I listed above about the decor.

If you are in or around the Doylestown area, definitely try Bobby Simone's. We'll definitely spread the word to friends, and will be going back again soon.

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  1. I am from Doylestown and so I was thrilled to read this post! I haven't lived there in a few years but I visit often. Thanks for the review, we will have to check it out next time we are in town.

  2. It should be noted that the chef there is Sterling Reitzel, formerly of Martine's on the River. He has changed the menu for the better and is one of the area's best up and coming chefs. If you go, try some of the more exotic pairings instead of the steak. Chefs will usually put much thought and prep into those dishes and you can really tell the signature taste from those dishes.

  3. Question for the last person who commented - what was on the menu that could be considered exotic? Yes, it was a very nice and diverse menu, but I wouldn't call it exotic.

  4. Ate there this past weekend after reading your post. I found it awful. Decor was very nice but the food and the service left much to be desired. I will not be back and I suggest readers try somewhere else.