We recently went to try out the new Hillcrest eatery 'Bite' located where the Living Room used to be and right next to Baja Betty's- in fact they did such a quick turn around I didn't even notice the Living Room had left (although perhaps I am not very observant). The menu is tapas and a sharing philosophy ( although don't be expecting the cheap prices of Apertivo).
The first thing of note was the decor- which had been previously described to me as 'very graphic designy', this seemed about right, and indeed our graphic design dinner partner seemed fairly impressed. The lighting was dim, with a small light in the center of each table illuminating a floating gerber daisy- nice center piece, but not so practical, the light being electronically placed we couldn't move the flower vase which is perhaps not the ideal design in a restaurant that advocates sharing several plates of food amongst your party.
Next thing up was to order our food- we went for a cheese plate, eggplant with beets and boursin, a grilled cheese baguette with mushrooms and a pizza with peaches and proscuitto to share between the four of us. Something which I found interesting was that unlike other tapas restaurants I have been to, the plates all arrived separately, one after the other (in no particular order), this was actually a nice touch and lead to a long enjoyable meal, trying nibbles of a variety of dishes without getting too full.
The food was all excellent, with the cheese baguette and the eggplant dish being our two favorites (the boursin was so creamy and perfect). The mini pizza was a little disappointing as where our champagne cocktails- a specialty of Bite, who in fact hosts a champagne cocktail happy hour nightly. Each of us tried a different cocktail, one with Rose, one elderflower and one raspberry- none were impressed and we quickly switched to wine. The other major lowlight of the evening were the bathrooms, these were very clean and beautifully designed, and the mens bathroom seemed great to me. However in their bathroom the girls found a large fish tank with three fish in, one of whom was definitely dying, swimming around the bottom of the tank with scale rot. This depressing sight (coupled with the lack of plants, and pebbles in the fish tank) really put a downer on the girls evening and they returning to the table one by one more than a little sadly.
Bite was a fun night out, the food was top quality, but the prices still seemed a little high for tapas. I hope that if we do come back we can avoid the spectacle of dying animals.