When life handed Mark Stroud lemons, like any good restaurateur, he made lemonade.
“We were forced to move when Lafayette General Medical Center took over and gutted the building to make offices,” he said, effectively putting an end to his two decades in the Oil Center. “Then we found this location, and we love it.”
Siro’s now sits off Arnould Boulevard and is well worth searching out. The new space is airy with plenty of light and square aqua tables.
In the original French meaning of the word, a bistro is a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting, and Siro’s fits the description. The menu doesn’t equivocate. It’s solid bistro fare with some Beringer to boot. The salad brigade will be overjoyed — Greek salad ($5.50), Bourbon Street chef salad ($7.99) and roasted chicken Cobb salad ($7.99) are just a few. Appetizers include French onion and tomato basil soups ($3.75), which can be added to the above or any of Siro’s myriad muffulettas, clubs, paninis and wraps.
I brought a Generation X’er with me to lunch, one who spent her formative years in New Orleans where you occupy your time eating and talking about what you had for lunch and then what you’re going to have for dinner. She knows about food.
I know about pesto. I’ve made my own for years and grow the basil myself. While pesto is open to wide interpretation — there are infinite ways to update the dish with crushed basil, garlic, olive oil and grated cheese — there’s still a standard it has to meet. I also know a thing or two about pasta salad, so pesto salad ($5.99) it was, with a glass of Beringer Pinot Grigio ($4 per glass, $14 for the bottle). There’s lesser wine Siro’s could serve, and it’s satisfying to see that they don’t.
Service is prompt as Siro’s is family-run: daughter, mother, father. I n the afternoon, you’ll even see the grandchildren welcoming guests from behind the counter. The owners are attentive, our salads were generous, and the Generation X diner added onion soup on the side. Her roasted chicken Cobb salad included copious amounts of bacon which makes anything taste good, and the classic onion soup was perfectly seasoned.
Siro’s pesto salad was made with fusilli and a creamy pesto dressing on top of a Caesar. It lived up to its “Famous Pesto Salad” moniker. If there was any fault to be found, it was that there was too much to finish. Shrimp or chicken can be added, but not necessary. On its own, the pasta salad was refreshing and will have you picking through the greens, looking for more.
If you like what you see, Siro’s will also cater and offers variations on their signature sandwiches and salads served up on platters ($14.95-$26.95 for small, $28.95-$48.95 for large, depending upon the ingredients).
Dessert is simple: homemade cookies, muffins or macaroons. I n an age of overly-fussy, hyped-up chefs, sometimes simple suits just fine.