Jolie Bistro is a modern, and indeed, pretty café/bistro where art and French cuisine come together in Belgrano’s lovely Plaza Castelli area.
Jolie suffered some mixed reviews after it first opened in 2008, but they seem to have worked through their growing pains and now it functions with precision. Service is prompt and cordial and the creatively presented dishes come steaming out of the kitchen in record time.
Characteristic of a bistro, the daytime menu is not too varied but you’ll find the usual sandwiches, a nice little selection of salads, and a tempting list of daily specials. Daytime entrées include risotto with shitake mushrooms and perfectly cooked hand-made raviolis with creamed pink sauce.
Alluring on a pleasant day are the comfortable outdoor tables facing the plaza. Or go inside and grab the loveseats, hand-painted by local designer, to relax while gazing out at the nannies and dog walkers taking spins around the plaza. After the lunch rush, you’ll find local workers with their laptops taking advantage of the free wifi and enjoying afternoon tea with a delicious handmade scone or brioche.
True to French styled savoir-faire, quality trumps quantity here; portions are somewhat sparse. Luckily the desserts are tantalizing. Try the passion fruit mousse, or for endorphin-seekers, the creamy chocolate mousse or white chocolate cake with nutella.
In a nifty ploy to merge food and art, Jolie offers limited edition take-home plates. Every month the restaurant selects a piece of contemporary art to display in the dining room; the chefs then create a new dish inspired by the artwork. The monthly entrée is served on a plate with an autographed serigraph of the artwork for diners to take home. Only 50 of the plates are available each month and for the cost of the entrée you get the take home crockery, making it easy to understand why the neighbors rush back very month.
At night, Jolie turns down the lights and celebrates haute cuisine with the owners overseeing every detail. The price of your bill will double after sundown, but with the demure candlelight and open acoustics that encourage cozying up to your cohort, it’s a night time date destination that won’t disappoint.
Jolie Bistró —$$-$$$
-Visa and American Express accepted
-Reservations recommended on weekend nights
-Hours: 8 am—1 am (kitchen closes at 12)