If you are a pasta-lover and live near Hamilton Ontario then let me introduce you to Koosh Bistro. Located in the heart of Westdale Village near McMaster University this Italian-inspired eatery is a must-visit. With their daily home-made pastas, creative bruchettas and divine desserts I have plans to go back as often as social norms allow.
On my first visit I had the pleasure of meeting the owner and executive chef – Koosh. He is a warm, welcoming and passionate man who surprised our table with an appetizer on the house. Our appetizer was prepared by the Sous Chef at Koosh named Derek McCarthy – a young, professional, budding chef who is a self-proclaimed lover of Italian-inspired cuisine. And, doesn’t it show!
The bistro is large enough to carry on a private conversation and intimate enough to feel cozy and in the company of others – I imagine there is room for no more than 25 – 30 people. The decor is a cool olive with black and wood accents and the walls showcase the talents of local artists whose works change monthly. At the far end of the bistro is the bar with a fantastic supply of craft beers, local wines, other spirits and a commendable cappuccino machine.
Having visited twice, here are some of the delicious items from the menu that we’ve tried. I’m marked my favourites with a ✪
spring mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, carrots and radishes tossed in zesty red wine rosemary garlic vinaigrette
toasted garlic basil pesto bread, tomato slices topped with melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese
✪ Mushroom Artichoke Bruchetta
artichokes, mushrooms, parmesan in a garlic vermouth cream sauce on a crostini
✪ Pesto Grilled Chicken
fettuccini with our home made basil pesto, grilled chicken and goat cheese
fettuccini with prosciutto and mushrooms in a garlic white wine cream sauce
home made crepe filled with a cream cheese icing, fresh bananas and strawberries topped with a three berry coulis, whipped cream, cocoa & icing sugar
home made crepe filled with a chocolate hazelnut cream cheese icing and fresh bananas topped with crème anglaise, chocolate ganache, whipped cream, hazelnuts, cocoa & icing sugar
Tea & Cappuccino
Normally I let the menu speak for itself but I cannot help but share some thoughts. The mushroom artichoke bruchetta was creamy and savoury and is something that I now crave every time I catch a chill on a winter’s day. The creaminess of the sauce and the textures of the veggies and bread are fantastic. However, eater beware – you will probably not be able to finish this and a whole dish of pasta and dessert without leaving feeling incredibly full or with a takeout box.
And then there is the basil pesto – the home made basil pesto rocked my taste-buds and I will certainly order the pesto chicken again and again. I might even go as far as hiring a chef of my own to break-down the ingredients and quantities and then have a life-time supply of my own Koosh basil pesto – yes, it’s that good.
Between the attentive service from the servers and the delicious food coming from the kitchen this hidden gem in the heart of Westdale Village in Hamilton is one of my new favourites for local fare; I suspect that after one visit it will be yours as well.