Midwest Living Review
Inspired by Quad Cities' native son and famous jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke, the Bix Bistro --located in the Hotel Blackhawk and open for lunch and dinner -- is decorated with musical flair including striped upholstery made to look like piano keys and close-up images of instruments lining the walls. The menu is a reflection of Beiderbecke's travels throughout the United States, particularly in New Orleans, and a small inscription notes that he was a rambler who loved "good food, good drinks and good music." The restaurant strives to reflect those tastes, while it also competes for a spot among the area's upscale establishments. Serving up unique fare with a touch of whimsy, such as the shrimp and grits appetizer ($9), the bistro has the potential to be a star performer. However, five months after opening it is still playing some wrong notes. With only a handful of tables occupied early on a Saturday night, service between courses was noticeably drawn out and the success of each dish varied greatly. While the crab ravioli ($22) was dense, meaty and flavorful, the rosemary pheasant ($29) was dry and bland. The Caesar salad ($12), ordered family style to serve the table, was limp, warm, and overpowered by anchovies. However, the chocolate espresso creme brulee ($6), something akin to a candy-coated chocolate mousse, made for an exquisite final course. The kitchen provides food for the hotel bar and in-room dining, which may mean it is overtaxed. While the ambience, decor and inspiration for the restaurant is promising, it may need a little more practice before it all jives, Beiderbecke style.