Before the puck hit the ice at today's Islanders-Rangers game, I dropped into Bistro 1255.
That's the French-themed eatery in the lower-lobby of the Nassau Coliseum, or let's say, Le Colisée. The "1255" doesn't refer to a medieval kitchen; it's the Coliseum address on Hempstead Turnpike. The Bistro doesn't exactly mean bistro, either.
But the butter-hued space has been decorated for the part, brightening a windowless area with reprints of vintage posters. Here's Cognac Monnet, there's L'Instant Taittinger. Lautrec's La Goulue, Moulin Rouge meets Steinlen's Chat Noir cafe, reopened. The color scheme goes with all team jerseys.
And the menu, while starting with warm Brie and a "strawberry balsamic glaze" and ending with no sweets, does include a juicy, $22 strip steak surnamed Bordelaise but tasting mainly of pepper. On the side: limp fries, good asparagus. You'll find the obligatory, standard iceberg wedge with bacon, crumbled blue cheese and ranch dressing for $12.
The lobster tortilla translates into a heavy-duty package containing tender meat and Cheddar of some kind, set on a puddle of "lobster cream," for $16. The competition comes from skewered shrimp finished with lemon, garlic and butter at $14; and "marinated filet tips" of tenderloin for $14.
Seaside alternatives include sesame-seared tuna with seaweed salad and a soy glaze, $20; and, to resurrect the Gallic touch, broiled tilapia Provencal weighs in at about 12 euros, or $18. From the terroir: a breaded chicken paillard with arugula, $18; and braised beef short ribs with mashed potatoes for $18. And, just because it's Columbus Day, reflect upon the linguine primavera in garlic broth: $16. (There's an Anisetta Evangelisti poster, too.)
On tap, consider Leffe Blonde. Or, if your team loses, you can cry in your Stella Artois.
Bistro 1255, Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale; 516-794-9300, ext. 145.
Islanders: rated four Stanley Cups