12 June 2013
Greenock Bistro & Bakery
353 Caroline Street, Orange
Wednesday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Lillian Shearer is no stranger to restaurants and good food. Before moving to Orange eleven years ago to open a bed and breakfast near her daughter and grandchildren, she operated restaurants in Alexandria and Fairfax. After some renovations, she converted the bed and breakfast into a charming bistro with several different size and decorated rooms and a beautiful, large veranda for dining outside.
From my group’s reaction, it was love at first sight. They were charmed by the surroundings, and the presentation and taste of the food. The luncheon menu includes soup (tomato, cream of mushroom and a daily chef’s choice) which can be ordered by the cup at $4 or a bowl for $6. Both Myrna and I were surprised by the number of fresh sliced mushrooms and the lightness of the cream of mushroom soup. Fresh bread and butter are brought to the table and smelled divine, especially the rosemary and olive oil bread. All breads and desserts are made at the bakery next door (more about that later).
Also on the menu are salads, omelettes, quiche, main dishes, and specials of the day. Nancy ordered the Meridian’s mushroom omelette for $9. She thought the butter sautéed mushrooms with fresh ground black pepper and Emmenthaler cheese was delicious. Linda ordered the Pitaza Vincensia for $9.75 which is a pizza-like creation on pita bread. The topping consisted of chicken, onion, and red pepper sautéed in spicy sauce with melted cheddar and feta cheese. Although all the ingredients were fresh, it was a little too spicy for Linda’s taste.
A word about the quiches that they offer - delicious! The choices are crab and mushroom with gruyere cheese; sausage, onion, sweet peppers and cheddar; traditional Lorraine with bacon, onions and Emmenthaler cheese and a chef’s choice. They are served with a fresh side salad. Myrna enjoyed her sausage quiche which my husband loved on a previous visit. I loved the crabmeat quiche I had at another time. The crust was delicate and the blend of crabmeat, mushroom and cheese melted together was delicious.
I ordered one of the specials that day and was not disappointed. The lemon tree veal stew at $13 consisted of a small bites of veal, celery and carrots in a light brown sauce. Grandma’s smashed potatoes were perfect and definitely homemade. The brown sauce and potatoes were a yummy combination.
Desserts range from $4 to $6. We shared a plate of assorted homemade cookies and Nancy ordered a delectable lemon bar. The coffee was excellent and Lillian explained that they make their coffee using Eastern Shore Coastal Roasting Co. beans that they grind the beans themselves. As a matter of fact, everything is made in house. Lillian, a self -trained chef, describes their food as global cuisine, as the dishes on the daily menu may be Swedish, Greek, Moroccan, or Italian.
Just a few words about the Greencock Bakery, located about 50 feet from the Bistro. Lillian’s daughter Dina, a graduate of Johnson and Wales in Charleston, owns and operates the bakery. In addition to a wide assortment of cookies, tarts, cakes, bars, and breads, all made from scratch on premises, the Bakery offers soup, quiche, sandwiches, and salads. You can take them home, eat at umbrella tables outside or at one of a few tables in the bakery. This is a great way to enjoy some of the wonderful home cooking from the Bistro when you are short on time. They have a variety of breads that just fill the bakery with an amazing aroma. The prices are very reasonable. I dare you to leave empty handed.