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Bistro 12 & the culinary fine art of degustation

Bistro 12 has introduced an exquisite idea for intimate, specialized dining at Lakeside – something the French have called “degustation,” a sequence of many taste sensations at one seating. Like a wine tasting event.

Degustation fills a gap in the gourmet dining scene at Lakeside. Chef Augustin (trained in the capitals of Europe) wants to share exotic cuisine possibilities many of us may not have experienced before. To that end, he will create a series of four or five special gourmet European (not just French) plate inspirations (with a touch of Mexican) as a customized banquet for a given group of guests on a given day.

To be sure, such a dining event is not for the hurried or impatient. It’s for guests comfortable with one another who wish to share and enjoy a memorable easy flowing dining experience and good time together. And its creation is not based necessarily on food groups or specialty diets, but on flavor sensations, in small to moderate sized plate presentations, many of which are original inventions of Chef Augustin.

Our table of four (within a dining-room-like spacing allowing only 14 guests per setting and a minimum of four) participated in the approval of the day’s menu at the point of our reservation, such that the entire preparation could begin before we even arrived.

With little or no delay we were welcomed by hostess Julia, as though to a friend’s home for a dinner celebration. In this case, for a feliz navidad.

Service began with an original cactus juice intermixture — an aperitif, not sweet, not alcoholic, but stimulating and refreshing. Wine was served smartly a few moments later, both the red and white selections nicely accommodating the course complexities to come.

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