Tiny Rochester mourned the loss of the Porch two months ago, but residents didn’t have to wait long for a replacement: The dining establishment has been reborn as School Street Bistro.
Eugenie Freund Smith, a past manager of the Porch, reopened the restaurant in December with her husband, Brent, as chef. Together, they painted the walls, added artwork and put together a seasonal menu that includes more than its fair share of gluten- and dairy-free dishes. “I have a lot of food issues, and I realized there are more and more people like myself,” Smith says. “It can be difficult to go out to dinner and not ask for some special items.”
The kitchen is liberally using coconut milk and chickpea flour in some dishes, such as panelles, or fried chickpea flour polenta, with lemon and fresh marinara sauce. The menu also includes a caramelized onion tart with arugula salad; bacon-wrapped and apple-stuffed pork tenderloin; and specials such as strip steak with sweet chili glaze and red cabbage salad; and almond-poppyseed pound cake.
Like its predecessor, School Street Bistro has a full bar, with Lawson’s Finest Liquids often on tap. Unlike at the Porch, each table comes with brown paper and crayons for doodling during dinner — the bistro’s Facebook page features some recent creations.
Located at 13 School Street, School Street Bistro is open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner only.