Why: After seven years on Fourth Street in Camas, Kelly Bruce moved her K’Syrah Catering, Wine and Bistro a few blocks over to a new home at 316 N.E. Dallas St.
She operates the restaurant mostly in the front kitchen and uses her second kitchen for her catering business and prep work. The extra space is also giving rise to monthly cooking classes.
Atmosphere: Walk into K’Syrah and the warm colors and open brickwork offer an immediate soothing sensation. Linen-topped tables invite diners to linger and relax. Seats at granite-topped counters give diners a bird’s-eye view of the kitchen. Outside, on-street tables offer up another place to sit.
What I tried: I opted for an Asparagus, Potato and Chicken Salad and a cup of Hungarian Mushroom Soup. My dining companion ordered a Trio of Salads and a cup of the mushroom soup. For dessert, we split an order of Crème Brûlée.
The soup arrived in cute little latte mugs atop paper doily-topped saucers and was served with slices of rosemary, garlic and olive oil bread. The creamy soup brimmed with mushrooms, which seemed suspended in that rich soup. Each bite netted at least a few slices of mushrooms. The still-warm bread was equally tasty dunked in olive oil or in the soup.
In an interview after our meal, Bruce said she makes the soup with a chicken stock, mushrooms, and cream, thickening it with a flour roux and spicing it with Hungarian paprika and dill.
The rosemary bread, which is available for sale at the restaurant, is made fresh daily. More of it was served alongside our salads.
My Asparagus, Potato and Chicken Salad contained chunky red potatoes served alongside asparagus spears and chicken chunks. It existed at the perfect intersection of hearty and light. The seasoned potatoes were savory, the asparagus light and the chicken tender. It blended perfectly with the bread.
My dining companion’s Trio of Salads was something of a sampler plate, a fun fusion that tantalized without overwhelming. The spinach salad was topped with strawberry slices and a vinaigrette dressing. The chicken curry was creamy and spicy. And the marinated vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes and carrots — hit a zesty note with a marinade dressing.
Bruce explained the Trio of Salads this way: “I created (the dish) because that’s how I like to eat: a little of this and that.”
The lunches left us satisfied without feeling stuffed. And that, as it turned out, meant room for dessert.
The Crème Brûlée arrived chilled in a delicate ramekin with browned bits of sugar on top. We worked on either end, cracking the caramelized top with our spoons to get to the vanilla-flavored custard underneath. Sharing was nice, but you may want to order up your own and savor. You won’t regret it.
Highlights beyond what I tried: The Meatloaf Sandwich sounds intriguing, with its caramelized onions and buttermilk bread. It runs $10; $11.50 if paired with a cup of soup. Winemaker dinners, with wine pairing, are offered on Friday nights. That sounds like a fun way to spend an evening.
Other observations: While linens line the table, the restaurant has a casual, easy feel. It’s a place where you can dress up for a special occasion or stop in for a quick bite. Also, Bruce posts daily specials on the bistro’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
Cost: Figure on about $11 for lunch and $5 for dessert. Dinner is in the $20 range, with appetizers around $10.
Hours: Lunch runs from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Dinner is served from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Where: 316 N.E. Dallas St., Camas.
Information: 360-833-9429 or bistro.ksyrahcatering.com.
Health score: K’Syrah received a health score of 9 on July 21. Zero is a perfect score. Clark County Public Health closes restaurants that score 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.