* Click here for rating key
THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Back Porch Bistro Restaurant Review: Five years ago the West Hartford Center dining scene was tepid at best. Today, it is red hot. At least five restaurants have opened, creating an exciting destination dining area with fabulous new choices. But what about existing restaurants like the snug little Back Porch Bistro? We're happy to report that instead of being left out of the limelight, Back Porch is creating some happy buzz of its own. Its cooking has stepped up a couple of notches and the menu has gotten more sophisticated. With items such as seafood risotto, spice-rubbed pork tenderloin with dried cherry and Calvados sauce, and grilled salmon with roasted root vegetable hash, Back Porch is now playing with the big boys. But without any pretensions: the restaurant and bar still feel like a casual neighborhood restaurant full of family and friends. The kitchen is quite generous with its portions. Salads---Caesar, Back Porch toss, spinach with skirt steak or roasted portobello and orzo---are mountainous. We like the pasta with hot sausage and sweet peppers, and the bubbling baked dish of pasta, sweet peas, Italian ham and three cheeses. Of the entrées, our favorites are the braised chicken with mashed potatoes and the grilled skirt steak with french fries. Adults appreciate Back Porch. It's a great date restaurant or place to grab a bite without the kids.