(PHOTO/Ernest A. Brown)
CUMBERLAND â€“ From ratatouille crepes to a Mediterranean platter brimming with homemade tabouli, grape leaves with hummus and kalamata olives, Modern Bistro is all about signature American dishes with a European flair.
Since its grand opening on July 1 by husband-and-wife team Jason and Sabriea Periquito, the new restaurant at 4077 Mendon Road â€“ home of the former Moonâ€™s Landing restaurant â€“ is rapidly gaining a reputation as a dining destination due to its eclectic menu and the culinary expertise of head chef Michael Koussa, who spent more than 30 years as head chef at Rue De Lâ€™Espoir in Providence.
Modern Bistro serves breakfast all day, brunch and lunch using local produce and locally sourced ingredients in all its dishes.
Whatâ€™s unique is its European twist on familiar dishes.
â€śI think what sets up apart is that we have a menu that is a little more modern and gourmet,â€ť says Sabriea, who worked nine years at Rue De Lâ€™Espoir. â€śWeâ€™re trying to bring a little bit of the Providence dining experience to the area with prices that are affordable.â€ť
The breakfast menu features an assortment of omelets, breakfast sandwiches and baked goods, but itâ€™s the homemade scones, crepes and popovers, and signature dishes like the smoked salmon caper and the stuffed croissant French toast, that have local foodies talking about Modern Bistro.
The restaurant also offers weekly breakfast and lunch specials, specialty coffees, and has a full liquor license so diners can enjoy a brunch beverage such as a Bloody Mary or a mimosa.
The lunch menu is just as eclectic with fresh soups and salads, homemade panini sandwiches, signature dishes like spinach and cheese ravioli, and a unique line of sandwiches ranging from falafel burgers to the Croque Monsieur, a classic bistro sandwich with grilled ham, melted Gruyere cheese and Dijon mustard on toasted sourdough bread.
The desserts run the gamut from baklava to crĂ¨me brulee to Limoncello Mascarpone cheesecake.
Modern Bistro also offers professional catering services.
The restaurant, with its eclectic artwork and French bistro feel, seats 75, but still feels intimate and cozy.
Koussaâ€™s career at Rue De Lâ€™Espoir began 35 years ago when he started as a line cook. After studying culinary arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, he moved into the Rueâ€™s top position. A Pawtucket native who now lives in Cumberland, Koussa and Periquito, who worked the front of the house at The Rue, had been wanting for years to open their own restaurant together.
â€śThings were changing for the both of us and we wanted to venture out on our own,â€ť says Periquito, who lives in North Providence. â€śMike is a tremendous chef, and this was a chance for him to get really creative.â€ť
Periquito has been involved in the restaurant business all her life.
Her father owned the former Stacyâ€™s Diner on Allens Avenue in Providence for 18 years and itâ€™s where she learned the trade.
Even though its doors have only been opened for just over two months, Periquito says the feedback from customers has been positive.
â€śWe hope to be here for a long time,â€ť she says.
For further information on Modern Bistro, call (401) 658-0449 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. It is open every day from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.