With barely a year of operation under its belt, 7 West Bistro in Towson is quickly turning into a hot spot for dining and entertainment. On a Saturday night at around 8 p.m., 7 West is crowded with families and couples enjoying a night out, local college students barhopping, and a keyboard-saxophone duo off to the side, playing light jazz to set the mood.
7 West’s contemporary atmosphere, complete with exposed brick walls, leopard-print carpet and effective mood lighting, sets the tone for the modern Mediterranean-American restaurant.
Right off the bat, the appetizers stay true to the theme of this bistro. 7 West offers various hummus platters, calamari and tatziki on the Mediterranean side of things, and Southwestern egg rolls and buffalo wings for the American twist.
The hot crab dip was baked in a small dish and served with toasted pita wedges on the side. Topped with an Old Bay-seasoned crust, the cheesy dip was packed with sweet crab meat and peppers. This dish is perfect for two but is one of the more expensive appetizers at $9.95.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter to start your meal, there are three salad options to choose from: garden, Greek or Caesar. Each can be ordered as a side or entrée. There are also organic gourmet salads, meant for entrees, that come topped with seafood like tuna, salmon or crab.
7 West has a wide selection of pasta dishes and tends to shift to Italian dishes like chicken or eggplant parmigiana and fettucini alfredo.
As soon as I saw one of my favorite dishes on the pasta menu, chicken Marsala, I knew I had to try it. 7 West has put their signature on this classic Italian dish. The large bowl came with a mountain of spaghetti and six small-to-medium-sized pieces of chicken. The spaghetti was coated with the same sauce as the chicken, a Marsala wine-based sauce flavored with butter and mushrooms. The chicken was juicy and flavorful; the Marsala demi-glace made it rich and savory. While I found it hard to finish all the spaghetti, I had no problem eating most of the chicken. The Marsala costs about the average of all the pasta dishes at $13.95. 7 West certainly gives you what you pay for in terms of both portion size and taste.
The entrée section of the menu gives you a lot of options. Entrees range from the very American BBQ ribs to the more Mediterranean chicken souvlaki. They also have seafood options like broiled or blackened mahi-mahi and a grilled whole Bronzini, a Mediterranean sea bass.
Similarly to other entrees, the boneless pork chops had the option of being cooked several different ways: classic grilled, blackened, Italiano (with peppers, mushrooms, and onions) or Marsala (with mushrooms and onions in a demi-glace). We chose the blackened pork chops, which came in two large portions and with two side dishes. The pork was juicy, which was a pleasant surprise as it can be somewhat dry at other restaurants. The chops were lightly charred and had a smoky flavor from being blackened. The chops are one of the least expensive entrees at $14.95.
After such a rich and hearty meal, we had to end it with something sweet. 7 West has only a few dessert options, including cheesecake and an apple pastry dish.
The chocolate cake sounded too good to resist. Layers of cake and a pudding-type filling combined to make a sweet-but-not-too-sweet chocolate experience. Oftentimes this much chocolate can be overpowering but the flavor was not too intense.
Between the relaxed and modern atmosphere and delicious and large portions of food, 7 West is an ideal locale for a night out.