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Bistro di Marino Sewell – Bar is Open! Full Experience Tour

Bistro di Marino Sewell – Bar is Open!  Full Experience Tour
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Opened four years ago in Washington Township, Bistro di Marino Sewell has established itself as a top Gloucester County restaurant destination… and they’ve just raised their game even higher with the opening of a full bar, along with beautiful dining room upgrades!

The 10 seat bar features a 16-tap draft system as well as one of South Jersey’s best selection of delicious and inventive craft cocktails.

Delicious draft beers on tap, at Bistro di Marino in Washington Twp NJ

A large communal style bar height seating area is positioned adjacent to the bar.  Beyond that the room moves into a seating area of high top tables with nicely cushioned high set chairs.

The Bistro also upgraded the traditional dining seating options, bringing in more comfortable and softer chairs.

A new bar in the corner combines with a new “communal” style seating area, to make an extended bar experience at Bistro di Marino Sewell in Washington Twp

Add in an amazing happy hour menu which runs Monday through Friday (3:00 to 6:00pm) featuring a selection of incredibly priced small plates and drinks, wines and beer… Bistro di Marino is making it clear to customers that this is the place you want to dine at, have a delicious beverage, and an amazing time.

While retaining the same comfortable sized restaurant, owner Jimmy smartly designed the space so that he keeps the core table dining experience as a key part of the Bistro Washington Township experience, while at the same time bringing a new energy to the room!

A Tiramisu martini is one of countless inventive and delicious options available from the Bistro Sewell artisan cocktail crafters

Last night in fact saw DJ Johnny Looch rocking a Thursday Night crowd at Bistro di Marino!  Looch is well known in South Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore… including La Barca in Longport, which is also a Marino restaurant.  And don’t worry if you missed the show last night as Johnny Looch returns to “The Bistro” Sewell on 3/14 and 4/11!

Bistro di Marino is located on Egg Harbor Road in Washington Twp, in the “Acme” shopping center.

Now that’s an article intro.. already jam packed with delicious and exciting newness…  but there is more still to come!

The real of the room features the more casual bar and high top dining area, at Bistro di Marino in Sewell

As mentioned in my September article on his plans, Jimmy is working through the details of adding an all-season enclosure to the existing popular patio area, which will provide the flexibility to offer all year table seating on the patio, while also being able to open the space up when the weather is beautiful.

So this article opened strong, giving you a “not-too-long” encapsulation and understanding of all the amazing changes that have taken place at Bistro de Marino Sewell!

Their signature handmade gnocchi, filet mignon, Sicilian calamari and lobster risotto.. at Bistro di Marino in Washington Twp.

But if you really want to get the full delicious picture, you have to  keep scrolling down and reading to see the amazing entrees that are coming out of the Washington Township kitchen, the “I can’t believe it only cost this much” small bite happy hour items… and the innovative and delicious craft cocktails!

And The Bistro is taking craft cocktails to places this Corona Light drinking guy has never seen! Sitting at the bar talking to the bartenders as they made one creative cocktail after another, I actually got an education!  “Smoke the orange peel”?   Who knew!?

Bistron di Marino

Jimmy told me last September he was looking to further extend his Washington Township location into a New York style dining experience when he added the full liquor license and bar… I think he succeeded!

They are still in soft-opening mode as it’s only been 2 weeks since the bar opened, but Happy Hour is set for Mon-Fri, 3 to 6pm.. select draft beers $4. Gato Negro White & Red Wines $5. How about a Grapefruit Cosmo for $8… and wait ’till you see some the food items below!

“Smoking the Orange” brings out the citrus flavor and makes the whiskey extra smooth and tasty.

Bistro di Marino Sewell – The Bar and Restaurant

The new bar in the Sewell location is located in the back corner area, built on top of the foundation of the former raw bar.   The new and large granite top makes for a very comfortable seating setup within the L-shaped configuration.

The bar offers 16 taps, and in about a week, several TV’s will be positioned along the back wall as well as in other spaces towards the back section of the room.

The overall design of the layout is to create the more casual bar and high top dining area in the back, and keep the more traditional dining table seating focused in the front section.

Bartenders preparing the bar at Bistro di Marino Sewell for opening at Happy Hour.

For the bar, while Jimmy is very happy to have a great selection of amazing beers on tap, he seems most excited about the craft cocktails that his team has put together.  Honestly it’s clear he’s very proud of his staff, and puts a lot of trust in them regarding their abilities to make deliciously innovative drinks that the customers will be ecstatic with.

In my two visits this week I saw and tasted a variety of really amazing drinks, including a few options which included a flamed top foam, a smoked orange… and a pair of espresso martinis made both creamy or traditional!

Rock Rose… a tequila based cocktail from Bistro Di Marino, Sewell

I started off with a Rocky’s Rose cocktail which is a delicious sipping drink of Tequila, Aperol, Rocky’s Botanical and Rose wine.  A smooth and delicious version of a tequila drink.

Tuna Bites from the happy hour menu featured raw tuna, pears, sesame, cilantro, spicy miso, crispy wontons…  For an amazing price of $10.   The tuna was fresh and perfectly prepared! Just one of those bites that offers deliciously fresh experience.

From the Happy Hour menu and only $10, Tuna Tartare. Bistro di Marino Sewell

The Sicilian Calimari small bite plate was one that just didn’t make sense to me… in that it was clearly more than a small plate based on portion size, and has a significant amount of preparation involved including the Calimari, Cherry Peppers, Capers, Black Olives and Lemon Garlic White Wine Sauce.

The combination of flavors gave it one of those flavors that has an addictive quality to it. I know more food was coming but I just couldn’t stop eating this dish!

And somehow with the variety of ingredients, flavors and preparation… Jimmy is able to sell it for $10 on his weekday happy hour menu!

Sicilian Calamari looks and tastes like it should cost much more than it’s $10 Happy Hour price! Bistro di Marino Sewell

While it was a little colder outside, the Blueberry Lemon Drop cocktail from the happy hour menu just took my mind to the backyard of a country farmhouse, sipping that $8 Happy Hour cocktail while looking at the rolling hills in the distance!

Blueberry Lemon Drop

Another amazing shareable is the Short Rib Arancini. I’m a huge fan of risotto, and this offered a risotto ball stuffed with braised short rib, sharp provolone and topped with a mushroom cream sauce.

I fully understand (but can’t comprehend) the talent that Jimmy and his chefs have as it amazes me how something like this can come together as one delicious bite, but still maintain all the individual flavors of each of the amazing ingredients.

Short Rib Arancini – Bistro di Marino

Now I said I really enjoy the taste of risotto, and the next dish I had may just be the the most amazing and delicious risotto I’ve had in my life.

Bistro di Marino’s Lobster Risotto. It… Is… Absolutely Amazing!

Clearly the first thing that’s going to grab your attention with the dish is the lobster tail resting on top of the risotto! But then quickly notice that this plate is just filled with a variety of seafood delicacies, all mixed in with the creamy parmesan risotto, with a hint of garlic.

Lobster Risotto at Bistro di Marino offers much more.. jumbo shrimp, scallops and crab meat too!

The lobster risotto also features jumbo shrimp, scallops and crab meat… wrapped in that creamy parmesan, with a touch of lobster butter! It is another dish that is impossible to not want to devour!

Martinis also get the Bistro di Marino creative craft cocktail treatment, and for us that meant a pair of espresso martinis, with one made traditional and another as creamy (which includes Bailey’s for the extra creaminess)

Honestly it tastes like this was made right in the hills of Columbia!   Refreshing and smooth with just the right hints of sweetness.

Espresso martinis… creamy and traditional! Bistro di Marino, Sewell

After that amazing Lobster Risotto, I wanted to change things up in a completely different direction, while still being in a comfortable area of the menu.

And when you’re dining at Bistro di Marino you can’t get more deliciously comfortable than their signature handmade gnocchi!

Jimmy suggested a “Gnocchi Misto” plate which features your choice of three different varieties of the handmade gnocchi… and he suggested a combination that was absolutely delicious and also represented the colors of the Italian flag!

This included the classic gnocchi pomodoro, which of course features homemade Bistro gnocchi served with homemade tomato sauce, fresh basil and pecorino romano cheese.  We also had a gorgonzola which is made with a gorgonzola cream sauce and toasted pine nuts.

Their signature item… handmade gnocchi! Consider the “Misto” sampler of three!

I thought we were done.  I thought I was done.  There was literally nothing they could bring to the table that could outdo what we just experienced.

Then the filet mignon arrived.

And how about a filet mignon with garlic truffle compound butter, served over smashed fingerling potatoes and grilled asparagus?

Of course it’s not enough for Jimmy and the team to just put the garlic truffle compound butter on the fillet.  Of course it’s not enough that they import the truffles so it’s the most authentically prepared truffle butter….

The Filet Mignon with truffle better… melted into the filet while on the table. Bistro di Marino Sewell

Nope The waiter comes over to the table with a kitchen torch to melt the truffle butter with a flame, deep into the filet!

The filet was the most delicious and tender piece of meat I may have ever eaten. The truffle butter making it’s way into every bite.

“What about dessert?”    Well yes what about dessert? Ha!

Filet Mignon with truffle butter

So after experiencing a feast from all areas of the Bistro menu, felt like we needed to go very traditional.

Cannoli.  A stack of smaller traditional and of course, delicious cannoli. A perfect level of sweetness to the filling. The light crispy crunch. Something I will order every time I am there!

But it seems like cannoli is something you just can’t eat with a dry mouth, right?

Freshly made cannoli are the perfect dessert option at Bistro di Marino Sewell

So the artisan cocktail crafters behind The Bistro bar put together something that was as show stopping as the rest of the meal.. A Tiramisu Cocktail with a flamed foam topping!

All of the craft cocktails I had in my visits were amazing, but this one was just the perfect choice for extending the dessert experience.   Once I picked up the Tiramisu cocktail, it was literally impossible to put it back down again!

The tiramisu cocktail.. with flamed foam!

Bistro de Marino has been an amazingly popular restaurant in Washington Township since it opened four years ago, proving a dining experience at the highest levels… all at the hands of an amazing and attentive staff.

Now with the addition of the bar and it’s craft cocktail artisans… along with a smartly chosen and deliciously priced happy hour, it really makes an awesome thing even better. If that is even possible!

A big thank you to Jimmy and his staff for the amazing time we’ve had at his restaurant!

And lucky for me, I am only a few minutes away!

Full menu sized tuna tartare

Bistro di Marino
415 Egg Harbor Rd.
Sewell, NJ 08080