The 814: Bistro 26 gives guests a dinner to remember

Victoria McGinty, Managing editor

While Valentine’s Day may be long over, there should always be an excuse to wine and dine once in a while. Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or looking for somewhere to celebrate with your closest friends, Bistro 26 is the perfect place to treat yourself. Located on West 26th St., Bistro 26 is a hidden gem in Erie perfect for any occasion.

This quaint place may not look like much, but looks can be deceiving. There is a warm, intimate ambiance within the modest building, as well as some of the best food money can buy. The staff is incredibly friendly, and the service is sublime. Although Bistro 26 is on the high-end side in pricing, it is a great treat at the end of a long week or on a special occasion. I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re on a budget, but it’s the perfect place for something different than fast-food and chains.

As for the menu, there is something for everyone. Bistro 26 has a variety of steak, pasta, seafood dishes and an extensive menu of starters and desserts. For guests 21 and older, Bistro 26 has a long wine list which includes reds, whites and chardonnays available for customers to try. When dining at Bistro 26, I could not speak more highly of the crab cakes. As someone who is not the biggest fan of seafood, these crab cakes were light yet filling and cooked to perfection with incredible flavor.

If you’re looking for something with lots of flavor, the center-cut sirloin is marinated in lime and other spices that are the perfect combination of ten-der and mouth-watering. As for the side dishes that are served with every entree, the mashed potatoes are whipped to perfection and taste like your favorite homemade mashed potatoes. The rice on the other hand is what ties the entire meal together. Never have I ever had rice so fluffy and flavorful. Rice is a side dish that is often hit or miss, although Bistro’s rice is what makes the entire dining experience worth it.

If you’re not full from the heavenly meal, Bistro 26 offers top-of-the-line desserts that are incredibly hard to refuse or pick from. Both the chocolate cake and the creme brulee left me full and made me remember why they are my desserts of choice to begin with. A good slice of chocolate cake is hard to come by, but Bistro 26 absolutely aces it as they balance flavor and richness perfectly in their chocolate cake. As for the creme brulee, it is delicately sweet and reminds me of one of my favorite bakeries back home in downtown Cleveland. A dessert that tastes like home —what more could you ask for?

If you are in search of a place that is perfect for a first date or somewhere to celebrate that is unlike anywhere else in Erie, Bistro 26 gives you the elegance of fine dining and the feeling of being home in Erie (even if you’re from out-of-state like me). With traditional spring celebrations such as Easter and graduation approaching, Bistro 26 would be the perfect place to consider if celebrating. For more information on Bistro 26, you can visit their website at or call 814-835-3553 to make a reservation.