Le Bistrot Pierre

June 20, 2010

If I say about Le  Bistrot Pierre that it’s as least as good as it should be, it might sound like damning with faint praise. I don’t mean it like that at all.  The thing with chains – even smallish, independent ones like this  – is that they not only clamp down hard on the bottom line, but in producing formula food they bland out dishes so that none of their target group could be offended by an unusual or even just unfamiliar taste. Bistrot Pierre  is, needless to say, hardly the Fat Duck,  but at least its simple French menu offers reasonably classic food that actually tastes of  its ingredients and is not afraid to be the way it’s meant to be.

There were 12 of us there for Chris’s birthday meal. I was having too good a time to note what everyone was having, but it seemed everyone was happy. I can report my sardines were excellent – crisply grilled and dressed with sweet, confited red peppers and a spiky salsa verde laced with pernod. Well made, grown up food. Main course of free range chicken breast was  juicy and its lightly creamy, white wine sauce, flehed out with seasonal broad beans and smoked bacon was very tasty.  Veg was of the bulk, comfort food variety but I did really like the dauphinois and the slightly spicy red cabbage. My desert of a cranberry frangipane was well made and would have been great with mid-morning coffee though perhaps I should have ordered something lighter  – the espresso creme brulee and the caramelised lemon tart received good reviews. 

Food was served swiftly and staff were friendly and seemed well-versed in dealing with a large group. Wine list is reasonable. So while it’s hardly groundbreaking, Bistrot Pierre exceeds expectations of  a frenchified chain restaurant in a provincial city that trades on being good value. They do “soirees gastronomique” twice a month offering five courses plus coffee and chocolate for £20.90, and  having reminded myself that they really do a pretty decent job here, that now sounds irresistible.


3 Responses to “Le Bistrot Pierre”

  1. Ben said

    How would you say it compares with the new Cafe Rouge in Leicester?


    • riponia said

      Not been to eat at Cafe Rouge yet Ben. It is an obvious comparison and I’m trying to keep an open mind but I’d be suprised if it matches the quality here.


  2. Jessica said

    Unfortunately my artichoke tortelloni was of the bland variety, especially compared to the crab salad that was so well-seasoned it rather drowned out the flavour of the crab. However, I’d go there over Cafe Rouge any day!


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