When I was recently invited down to Le Bistrot Pierre in Leamington Spa I thought it would be a good opportunity. I’d not been to a branch of theirs in many years – and my lasting memory is of a when a very busy Sunday lunch service and my Grandmas 90th birthday lunch collided at the Stratford branch…it unfortunately didn’t end well. But that was years ago, so I wanted to see how it was now.
Le Bistrot Pierre is situated in a prime location in the heart of Leamingtons shopping and eating district, and was packed when we arrived on a Friday lunch time. We were swiftly shown to a lovely table by the window, perfect for people watching.
We ordered some Mini Chorizos Au Miel to nibble on while reading the menu, which were delightful; oily oozy and sweet.
At lunch time the restaurant offers a Prix Fixe menu, at 3 courses for £12.95 or 2 for £10.95 which we both felt was amazing value. There were lots of options as well, unlike some prix fixe menus which are sometimes very limited. You can just order one of their ‘lighter’ dishes too if you’re just wanting a quick bite.
We both chose from the Prix Fixe Menu – I had their Parfait Au Foie De Volaille (chicken liver parfait) with Sourdough Toast and Red Onion Confiture. The parfait was lovely – a little pink and very smooth and rich. I’ve eaten A LOT of chicken liver parfait out in restaurants, its one of my favourite things, and this was a very good version, so I was happy. Lee chose the Baked St. Marcellin (mild, creamy and nutty flavoured cheese from Isère,in the Rhône-Alpes region) with rosemary, served with lightly spiced pear chutney and sourdough toast. Lee really enjoyed this, and used up every bit of bread he could find in mopping it up – including the large basket of French baguette on the table!
For my main, I had one of their new Tartes Flambées – which are like pastry flatbread pizzas. I tried the Courgette and Goats Cheese one. It was a pleasant eat, and quite light, served with shoestring fries, but I’m not sure it’s something I would order again. The French version of pizza and chips! Lee being a bit of a sucker for braised meat chose the Bœuf braisé – Scottish pasture-fed braised beef with green peppercorn and brandy sauce. The presentation of this left a little to be desired but Lee tells me the flavours were very good, and the meat was soft and falling apart.
Puddings were a traditional Tarte au Citron – a decent version, and a Chocolate Mousse with Meringue. Again I thought the presentation of my chocolate mousse was a little lacking, but it was nice to eat, although probably the weakest of the dishes I ate that day.
The A La Carte evening menu offers up other nice traditional French dishes such as Cassoulet D’agneau, Saucisse de Toulouse, Moules & more. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves and the food, and I was pleasantly surprised with the standard of the food for a chain restaurant and felt the set menus were good value for money, better than some other French high street places I can think of….!
I’ll still be out there hunting down those independent hidden gems, like Oscars, also in Leamington, but you could do a lot worse than Le Bistrot Pierre. They are also running a Mothers Day menu that to me, again seems great value for money, and I’m sure Mums everywhere will love the food!
Disclosure: I was invited by Bistrot Pierre to review their food and experience. All views are my own.