First-Take Restaurant Review: Bridge Bistro

Shrimp and crawfish enchiladas (photography by Desiree Espada)
What to Expect: “For a long time, I wanted to have a fun, casual neighborhood destination,” says Kay Agnew. The long-time restaurateur closed down Margaux’s after 22 years and opened Bridge Bistro with her daughter. Loyal diners can rest assured that their favorite dishes are still on the menu, and new diners will be pleased with more sandwich and salad options.

Jump for more beautiful photos by Desiree Espada.

Kay and Margaux Agnew (left); Bistro exterior

The Design: Glass panes cover the front of Bridge Bistro and face Riverfront Street, so please don’t pick your teeth while you’re dining. Drivers will be able to see you. Soak in the natural light, which balances nicely with the dark, neutral colors inside (i.e. black tablecloths, black chairs, white walls, except for one pop of bright orange). Kay’s still using her old furniture from Margaux’s, but she’s planning on switching the chairs out for some comfortable and contemporary pieces from OFS. In a few months, the blank wall will be covered with art decor that’s still “under wraps,” and an additional staircase is going to lead to a rooftop garden where diners can enjoy a breathtaking view of Downtown Dallas.

Homegrown herbs (left); The interior

The Kitchen: Chef Manuel Contreras has been working with Kay Agnew for the last 15 years. She loves him because he doesn’t have a big ego. We love him because his menu infuses Cajun, Texan (if that’s a cuisine), and upscale deli.

Chef Manuel's brisket plate with mini buns and slaw

The Menu: According to Kay, loyal customers are still ordering what they used to order at Margaux’s (even though it’s not on the menu anymore). I guess that means you have permission too. Shrimp and crawfish enchiladas, pasta chandelier, and crawfish étouffée are still entree options, but Manuel has added more à la carte sandwiches and salads for busy take-out people. Dine-in folks get warm, doughy bread and cornbread to start off their meals, and the help of attentive staff.

The Crowd: On the weekday we visited, we saw some power-lunching ladies, middle-aged couples, and some suits discussing business. The quiet, cool atmosphere makes the place a great setting for lunchtime meetings. Millenials should catch on, though, as soon as they figure out that Bridge Bistro has a full bar serving some serious cocktails.

The Prices: Not too shabby. The three of us spent somewhere around $35 for two entrees (which came with a soup or salad) and a sandwich order. Entrees run between $12-$16, while sandwiches are priced between $8-$9. Completely worth the price for fresh ingredients that you know are prepared with love and care.

Pecan pie

Wowza: Sweet potato bisque, apricot & field greens salad, and the shrimp and crawfish enchiladas with rice pilaf.

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