The second I walked into DW Bistro I was greeted by their overly friendly staff (a waiter and one of the owners, i believe). That warm and inviting atmosphere continued throughout dinner. But, despite how friendly everyone was, there were a few misses that made this a less-than-stellar experience.

My son and I came here for an early dinner and ordered chicken fingers and the braised short rib, respectively. They do have a kid’s menu with typical kid-friendly items such as mac ‘n cheese, sliders and chicken fingers. I do have to give DW credit for putting their own spin on the kiddie items. The chicken fingers ($5) were real strips of white meat lightly breaded and served over a bed of rice with some veggies mixed in. My son (2 yrs old) liked the chicken but didn’t touch the rice, but that has more to do with him being extremely picky than the quality of the rice.

As for my meal, what came out was an order of their braised ox tail ($16), not the short rib. I was really hungry and didn’t want to wait for them to bring out the correct meal, so I ate what they brought out and let the waiter know he screwed up. He was apologetic but didn’t do anything more than that. Taking the dish off the check would have been nice… or a free dessert… something…

The ox tail wasn’t bad. It was served over a bed of mashed potatoes with asparagus and cucumbers. The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender but could have used more seasoning and there wasn’t a lot of it. I also ordered a side of plantains ($7) that were fried nicely, making the outside of each piece crunchy while the inside was soft. Again, a little more seasoning would have made it a better dish.

The atmosphere they’re going for is trendy and chic but because of their location — in a strip mall in suburbia — they’re almost forced to compromise a bit and be kid-friendly. I’m not complaining of course because I was with my son. And, I really appreciate the fact that they offered my kid a coloring book and crayons while we waited for his food. But, it does make for a slightly odd environment — one that isn’t upscale or popular enough to cater to only adults (a la Rosemary’s) and cheesey enough to be a family destination (Claim Jumper, Cheesecake Factory, etc.).

The bottom line is DW Bistro is a good off the strip restaurant with an intriguing menu, decent food at good prices, and very friendly customer service. But it’s best for adults not kids, even though they’ll make every customer feel welcome.

3 Stars

— Updated below: 8/17/11 —

It wasn’t love at first site, but after my return visit I see the light. The food this time around was excellent. To start, a beef carpaccio that was rich and savory. Followed by a seafood gumbo filled with crab meat and spices that warmed the soul.

For entrees we shared their delicious signature salad featuring pecans, orange slices, and goat cheese that was lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Along with the salad, we dined on a medium rare filet with borderlaise sauce served over a heaping mound of blue cheese mashed potatoes, green beans, and tomatoes.

To finish the meal we had a piece of their house-made carrot cake with white chocolate shavings and fresh berries. It wasn’t your typical carrot cake. It had a much lighter texture than the dense spice cake found elsewhere and it was a bit sweeter with the multiple layers of cream and the white chocolate. It definitely satisfied my inner fat kid.

Unlike my first visit, the stellar service and food left me craving a return visit before I even left.

5 Stars

— Updated below: 9/5/11 —

I returned here for their Restaurant Week lunch menu and had another delicious meal. I started with a fresh berry salad lightly tossed with a jerk pomegranate dressing that provided a slight kick. Next up was a trio of sliders — New Mexican red chili pork, Jamaican jerk pork and the DW turkey burger. All were excellent, but I think I preferred the slight sweetness of the turkey burger to the other sliders.

For dessert, they brought out a sampling trio featuring their red velvet cake, lemon-lime pudding, and whipped peanut butter pie. The red velvet was too cold and firm, but the others, particularly the peanut butter pie, were outstanding.

All of that for $20.11. Not bad at all.

5 Stars

6115 S Ft Apache Rd #112
Las Vegas, NV 89148
(702) 527-5200

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