Midwest Living Review
Chef Nicole Bissonnette's contemporary Bistro 157 in downtown Valparaiso draws foodies from Chicago. Her eclectic American-Asian cuisine made with farm-fresh ingredients changes regularly, reflecting the Midwest's seasonal bounty. It would be easy to dine on just appetizers and the fresh bread basket, sipping a glass of wine. Many patrons do just that while seated at the bar centered in the restaurant's art-gallery setting. A martini menu is available as well as wines from around the world served by the glass ($6 to $16) and by the bottle. The beer choices, also global in scope, run $4$10 a bottle. Combine appetizers to create a savory meal. The six-piece sushi appetizer ($10.50) changes daily. Balance the surf nibbles with juicy Kobe beef baby burgers ($7). The summertime must-have salad has oven-roasted beets topped with broiled goat cheese croutons, whole roasted walnuts, orange slices and shaved fennel drizzled with citron-olive oil vinaigrette ($7). Food appears on geometric-shape white china in contrast to the contemporary artworks hung on the exposed-brick walls. Case in point: a tender pink, seared duck breast arrives fanned over a bed of sauted baby spinach, with Minnesota pecan rice and roasted-pear chutney ($16).