By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Worcester – On a recent Saturday afternoon my husband Dave, our son Ben and I ate lunch at Ceres Bistro, the onsite restaurant of the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester.
The main dining room is light and spacious with modern décor. On this afternoon we were seated right away and then our waitress promptly came over and took our drink orders while we perused the menu.
We first decided to start off sharing the house-pickled vegetable, olive tapenade and hummus appetizer. It comes with a generous portion of plano paper bread, grilled naan, roasted garlic cloves and a light drizzle of herb oil. It was a big hit with all three of us.
For his entrée, Dave chose the hanger steak and frites. He said the steak was perfectly cooked to his specifications and the hand-cut frites were also quite good.
Ben decided on the chicken flatbread sandwich, which had a substantial portion of chicken topped by a zesty chipotle mayo, bacon, cheddar, shredded lettuce and tomato. After polishing off the whole thing, he noted that it was one of the best he had ever had of this type of sandwich.
I decided to try the intriguing roasted sweet potato and eggplant sandwich. For this sandwich, thin slices of roasted sweet potato and eggplant, along with grilled onions, arugula and Boursin cheese were layered onto ciabatta bread. Each component was nicely cooked, adding to a very pleasant, but not overpowering mélange of flavors.
Ceres Bistro is also open for breakfast and dinner as well as lunch. The breakfast menu offers many traditional entrees such as omelets, eggs, pancakes and waffles as well as a continental breakfast. On Sundays, there is a special brunch menu from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The dinner menu features many steak and fish dishes, although there are a few other options such as cornmeal herb crusted chicken and roasted butternut and apple risotto. There is also a smaller bar menu with options that include burgers, sandwiches, salads, flatbread pizzas and appetizers such as Korean barbecued pork ribs, grilled lamb pops and calamari.
On its website, Ceres Bistro notes that they use only fresh seasonal ingredients and try, whenever possible, to source their products from local purveyors.
The restaurant is casual and relaxed but definitely a step up from a pub-like atmosphere. It is a great place for one to relax with a nice meal after perhaps an afternoon of shopping. It’s also an ideal place if you want to meet a group of friends for a get-together but don’t want the noise or pushiness of a crowd.
Ceres Bistro can also accommodate larger parties for special family or business events. In the nicer weather, there is an outdoor patio available with a bar. An intimate wine room flanked by wine displays and lounge areas is also available for smaller groups. Larger parties can be accommodated in the hotel’s banquet rooms.
Located at 363 Plantation St. (right off of Route 9), the restaurant is also very convenient to access, with plenty of free parking.
For reservations call 508-754-2000. For more information, visit www.ceresbistro.com.