Aperitivo Bistro

Aperitivo Bistro offers great food and service, but don’t forget your credit card! (Courtsey of Marc Perlman)
Aperitivo Bistro offers great food and service, but don’t forget your credit card! (Courtsey of Marc Perlman)

This is the place to go when your parents are paying.

Aperitivo Bistro is known for its exquisite food, attentive service, and good vibes. The brick-walled Italian restaurant plates an array of tapas, pizzas, and eloquent entrées. The food is classified as “Italian fusion” since it revs up traditional Italian dishes to the next level with a modern twist.

Let’s cut to the food.

Aperitivo patrons are bestowed with complimentary bread and tomato-pesto olive oil. The crunchy and fluffy bread is good on its own, but when dunked in the tomato-pesto olive oil, it is the perfect bite. The olive oil translates flavors of garlic, pepper, basil and tomatoes into a cornucopia of tastes that will leave you craving for more . But, believe me, you should curb your munching on the bread because you want to save room for the other food.

For appetizers, we ordered the caprese salad. Grilled tomatoes, prosciutto, arugula, basil, and buratta cheese are finished with a balsamic glaze. The tomatoes were cooked in a way that strikes a balance between its natural sweetness and savory-ness. One of my favorite meats, the salty and thinly sliced prosciutto was served cold. The arugula and basil were standard. The real star of this dish was the buratta. With a gentle soft texture, the creamy cheese popped against the acid of the balsamic and the saltiness of the prosciutto. If I had to criticize the dish, I just wish they added more buratta.

The main course was an intense struggle to choose from. The waiter recommended their renowned pizza or pasta, but I decided to stick to my gut and order the braised short rib. I made the right decision. Served on top of spicy pea-infused mashed potatoes, the short rib is like no other. It was braised for so long that I did not even need a knife to cut it. My fork worked just fine. The tender meat was braised “au jus.” This fancy French term means “in the juice.” Essentially, the short rib was cooked low and slow in a light gravy made from the rib’s own juices, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth “wow.”

Pea-infused mash potatoes brought together the natural sweetness and creaminess of mashed potatoes with a mild spiciness of the peas. The flavors balance out incredibly well, especially when eaten with the short rib.

Also, on top of the rib were pickled tomatoes and caramelized onions. Not only did they add a pop of color, but also they added an extra dimension of flavor and texture.

Based on how good the appetizer and entrée were, I felt obligated to get dessert. I ordered the Creme Brulee. This golden-brown dessert clinked as I hit it against my spoon. Each spoonful was creamy and delicious. I appreciated that the dessert was light and not too sweet. Oftentimes, Creme Brulee is made with excess sugar, overpowering the pallet. This dessert was a nice, light way to end the meal.

In terms of the service, we had a main waitress along with several auxiliary servers that came together to give us prime service. Bread and drinks were out in a few minutes, appetizer in ten minutes and entrée in another 15 minutes. The dessert did take a little longer than expected, but that was probably because the Creme Brulee takes a while to make.

In the end, Aperitivo Bistro plates A+ food and service. The only thing is that it is a little bit on the expensive side and it gets crowded at dinner time, so book a reservation in advance.


  1. We are thrilled you chose to review us, and so happy to be part of the Union College Community. Thank you and we look forward to serving the students, faculty and families for years to come.

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