Bistrot Pierre Leicester Review

Grab your baguette, beret, and Brie because you're in for a flight of French fancy with this post! But don't worry, there isn't a snail in sight! Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to review one of Leicester's highest rated restaurants, Bistrot Pierre. The Bistrot, centrally located on Millstone Lane, has recently undergone a makeover, and I took my lovely blogger friend Hayley along to check it out! The venue was originally constructed by a Victorian wine merchant, and has served as a restaurant dedicated to fine French cuisine since 2003. As a relative newbie to the Leicester food scene, I had never visited Bistrot Pierre before, but after a scroll through the glowing reviews on their Trip Advisor page, I knew that we were in for a treat!

The new-look restaurant is packed with charm, combining all of the expected modern features with vintage twists. The dark blue walls, dotted with classic French posters and signs, were illuminated by the atmospheric low lighting. The spotlights perfectly positioned above each table provide ample light for enjoying your food whilst retaining an intimate feel. The jazz playing in the background also contributed to the classy air. The restaurant is split into four main areas, each decorated with its own individual and eye-catching quirks. Hayley and I particularly liked the gorgeous crystal orbs hanging over the main part of the restaurant, giving the place the aura of a 1920's ballroom. All of the decor comes together with lively and welcoming charm.

Another advantage of the restaurant being segmented into four areas is that even during busy times, the restaurant is unlikely to seem too swamped. The tables are positioned quite close together but this was not a problem for me and Hayley on our visit as we dined on a fairly quiet Thursday evening. At a similar off-peak time, Bistrot Pierre would be the perfect venue for a romantic dinner for two to celebrate a special occasion. The Bistrot offers a couple of different Prix Fixe menu options for lunch and early evening which present very good value for money - any two courses will set you back just £13.95 on the early evening menu, an excellent deal which I'll certainly be taking advantage of in future.

Now, let's move on to what you REALLY want to hear about - our meal! Hayley and I are both vegetarians, and we were delighted to find enough options on the menu for us to order completely different dishes. From the A La Carte menu, I opted for one of the Bistrot's new additions, the Crottin de chevre, baked goat's cheese with toasted walnuts, marinated beetroot, chicory, watercress and grain mustard dressing. The goat's cheese was of high quality; rich, creamy, and melt-in-the-mouth. Beetroot is an accompaniment that I don't often enjoy, but it formed a tasty component of the salad in this dish. My only reservations were that the starter was served with iceberg lettuce which seemed a bit of a shame. The delicious goat's cheese would have been complemented far better by some baby leaf salad. I didn't find the walnuts or watercress promised by the menu on my plate. Hayley tucked into the Brioche et champignons, toasted brioche with a fricasse of mushrooms, served without the bacon. Hayley had no complains about her starter and found it very filling.

Moving on to main course, we both selected options from the lighter dishes section on the menu, and I am glad that we did because the portions again were very generous! Hayley tried the Tarte a l'oignon, a warm tartlet of caramelised onions and Le Saint Mont des Alpes cheese, served with roast garlic aioli. This was an attractively presented dish which Hayley thoroughly enjoyed. I was tempted by another new dish on the Bistrot's menu, the Gratin Mediterraneen. This comprised ricotta and spinach "veggie balls", served with lashings of rich tomato and creamy bechamel sauce. My dish was well cooked and perfectly seasoned with basil - spinach and ricotta is indeed an unbeatable combination! I would say that it perhaps could have done with some variation in terms of texture; everything in the dish was the same texture which made it a little difficult to finish despite it tasting delicious. Between us, we were served potatoes and seasonal veggies, which went down very well. The vegetables were well cooked; firm (because nobody wants soggy, limp broccoli), flavorful and well seasoned.

And finally, it wouldn't been rude not to sample the desserts! It took us a very long time to decide, but eventually Hayley and I ordered a Tarte au citron and a Delice au chocolat between us. The lemon tart took the prize of best dish of the night for me! It was crunchy and caramelized on top, velvety smooth below, complemented well by the fruity tang of the raspberry sorbet with which it was served. The brownie, coated with thick chocolate sauce, was absolutely delicious but very rich. The salted caramel ice cream helped to mellow the taste, and there was a nice mix of textures with the crunchy bits on top too. Our meal was washed down with a bottle of Cuvee 94 rosé which was light, refreshing and did not overpower any of the delicious flavours of the food.

A note has to be made of the delightful service that we received on the night, courtesy of Mihai. Mihai is a real asset to Bistrot Pierre - he is welcoming, friendly and very knowledgable about the restaurant and all of the dishes on the menu. He provided top quality service from the get-go. Sadly our first experience of the restaurant's serving team wasn't the most positive, as upon our arrival, I was snapped at by one of the waitresses for taking photos, despite me explaining that I was there to write a review. To her credit, she did apologise to us at the end of our night, but it didn't contribute to a very pleasant first impression. Nevertheless, Hayley and I had a wonderful time at Bistrot Pierre and the gorgeous food is more than enough to tempt me to return!

Are you a fan of French food? Which of Bistrot Pierre's dishes would you most like to try? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Until next time, 

A x

*This meal was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.