I don’t know about you, but as the days get shorter and the weather gets more miserable, it’s much harder to persuade myself to leave the house in the evenings – I want to stay in, drinking tea and watching telly. But I still need to get my foodie fix, so I’m on the lookout for great lunch menus, preferably involving melted cheese, carbs and a glass of good red wine – in other words, serious winter comfort food.
And when it comes to comfort food, it’s really hard to beat the French – they know what they’re about with indulgence. So when I was invited to check out the set lunch menu at Bistrot Pierre, I was keen to find out whether they were up to the task.
|The decor is a nice mix of cosy and elegant|
I know there are some foodies who would look down their noses at the very idea of a chain restaurant, but I’ll be honest with you, I’ve had a few good meals at Bistrot Pierre in the past. The restaurant in Bath is a lovely space, cosy in the evenings and light and airy during the day, and the décor is French-inspired without being cheesy – old gilt mirrors, dark wooden tables and soft lamps, contrasted with splashes of colour from bright posters on the walls and deep red leather banquettes. And the lunchtime set menu, with plenty of tempting options, is seriously affordable – 2 courses for £11.95 or 3 courses for £13.95, meaning you could add a cheeky lunchtime glass of wine and still get change from a twenty.
|The lunchtime set menu is packed with loads of choice|
We started, of course, by checking out the house wines for that cheeky lunchtime tipple – the Cuvee 94 red was particularly nice, soft, fruity and drinkable. For my first course, I couldn’t resist the Brie d’Auvergne: creamy baked brie with rosemary, spiced pear chutney and sourdough toast. It was simple and straightforward but absolutely gorgeous. My dining companion chose the terrine rustique, made with chicken, rabbit and pork, which had a nice texture but was a little lacking in seasoning – with a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper the flavours were much better.
|Medaillons de Porc|
Next, I ordered the medaillons de porc, with Dijon mustard beurre blanc, Morteau sausage and crispy onions. I’ll be honest, I don’t often order pork as it can so easily be dry, but this was tender and juicy, and the sauce was fabulously rich and indulgent – I couldn’t stop dunking my chips in it. My dining companion picked haddock a la béarnaise, which was beautifully cooked but to be honest, could have been more exciting, and the vegetables served alongside were pretty bland – I think I got the better deal here.
|Delice au Chocolat|
I struggled to choose a dessert because there were several really tempting options, but going for maximum comfort food, I eventually chose the delice au chocolat – basically a chocolate brownie, but a really delicious, rich, fudgy one, with warm chocolate sauce and salted caramel ice cream. It’s a cliché, but sometimes you get those because they’re just so flipping good, and this was seriously amazing – highly recommended. My dining companion, meanwhile, chose the crème brûlée – another simple dessert-menu staple, but well-executed, gorgeously creamy with the requisite crispy sugar top.
In conclusion, there were a few minor misses, but overall this was a great lunch and a really great deal. If you’re looking to while away a lazy lunchtime with wine and indulgence, à la française, then Bistrot Pierre is a fine choice.