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Bistro Sofia – St. John’s

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Bistro Sofia – St. John’s

Bistro Sofia - St. John's


Bistro Sofia, 320 Water Street,
Monday- Sunday 9am-11pm
Style: European Style Bistro/Cafe
Price: $7 and up
Rating: 4 out of 5
[starreviewmulti id=7 tpl=20]

Bistro Sofia, located on Water Street in downtown St. John’s, has become a word of mouth favorite with locals and visitors alike. Situated in the former 2nd location of Coffee Matters, Bistro Sofia retains some of that businesses previous decor, with its large windows and ornate lighting and details. It has a more formal atmosphere however and a broader range in terms of its menu, as it is open from breakfast in the morning to finer evening dining at night.

Time and time again I have heard great things about Bistro Sofia, particularly their sandwiches. The place is routinely bustling with patrons no matter what time of day, a good indication of its popularity. My curiosity piqued, I figured it was time to stop by for lunch. The space itself is very nice, with hardwood, cream and burgundy walls, gilded details and lighting plus a clean and modern fire place. The seating is spaced well throughout, the tables a sturdy blonde wood and the chairs comfortable dark brown leather. Orders are placed at the counter and paid for before taking a seat, which some may find confusing at first but is actually fast and efficient overall.Once your order is taken you can grab a seat and relax in the comfortable atmosphere and the waitstaff will bring your order to you.

The lunch menu at Bistro Sofia which I ordered from on my visit, is a mix of soups, salads, sandwiches and entree specials such as cod, salmon, or chicken, plus a soup of the day, beverages range from coffee and soft drinks to beers, wines, and spirits. A selection of desserts is also available on their own or to round out your meal. I went for the Chicken Schwartzwald sandwich, which is something of a signature dish at Bistro Sofia. It’s been recommended to me numerous times and I can see why it is a fan favorite, it’s an absolute must try sandwich. It’s a simple mix of grilled free range chicken breast strips in a Cajun style red wine sauce on a soft chewy ciabatta bun. On the side there was a mixed greens and cucumber salad in a light roasted shallot dressing, The sandwich was zesty and substantial with the ciabatta bread mellowing the flavors and soaking up the red wine sauce perfectly. It’s a bit messy to eat but the Chicken Schwartzwald is a great sandwich. The salad on the side was light and refreshing with subtler flavors that didn’t compete with the sandwich thanks to the mild salad dressing, a creamier one would have been too heavy.Other popular lunch items at Bistro Sofia include their Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich and their Chicken Salad sandwich. The Pan Fried Cod when its on special is also said to be a great meal. Personally I don’t think you could go wrong with whatever you ordered, the items are prepared well and presented simply and appealingly.In addition to their lunch menu, Bistro Sofia also serve an evening dinner menu. It includes their popular soups and salads along with other appetizers like Seared Scallops and fine dining entrees such as Rack of Lamb, Filet Mignon,and Duck Confit. They also offer catering services as well for formal dinner or party functions for anywhere from 10-200 people. Bistro Sofia’s catering services can be customized to the needs of their clients as well.

Bistro Sofia is a great example of a well rounded restaurant. Whether you want a quick coffee, a meal, a sweet treat, or catering for your next function, the staff are happy to serve you. Service there is fast but the food is anything but, It may come out quickly but it’s of high quality, served in a laid back stylish atmosphere by accommodating waitstaff. It is definitely a great spot for lunch, the spacious setting never makes you feel like the place is packed even when it is full. It’s another of St. John’s hidden gems to try.

By: Vanessa Wade

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