CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Restaurant review: Le Bistrot Pierre

PUBLISHED: 13:44 14 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:07 13 December 2016

Le Bistrot Pierre

Le Bistrot Pierre

Archant

For Katie Jarvis good food and good value at Le Bistrot Pierre stirs memories of life-and-death zebra crossings and reclusive, curtain-twitching neighbours

These are the nuggets I pass on to you about France. (De rien.)

1. French zebra crossings – which look confusingly like English ones – were initiated by someone looking to use up an overspend on white paint. The only way to get a driver to stop at one is:

i) Firmly to establish eye-contact, as you cross the road;

ii) Within that glance, strongly to convey that you have a ruinous secret about the approaching driver, which you’ve left with trustworthy friends, in an envelope marked: To be opened in the event of my death.

2. It’s considered insane to go round introducing yourself to neighbours, particularly if you live within 30 minutes of Paris. I made this mistake. Once. When I cheerfully did the rounds, explaining, “Hello, I’m Katie! Do come round for coffee!”, one next-door neighbour rigidly replied, “May I thank you infinitesimally,” before enthusiastically slamming her door (which she almost certainly double-bolted while wedging a chair under the handle).

3. This is still point 2 but it was getting a bit long. My French teacher later told me – after I’d brought her back to full consciousness with smelling-salts – that she herself had only met her neighbours after 10 years, and that was through a combination of bad luck and ill-timing.

4. French people know more than you do. This is a fact. My rigid neighbour later thawed and invited us round to a cocktail party, where one of the indigenous guests informed us, “Oh, you’re English! Of course, the English don’t have central heating.” He brushed aside our polite demurrals with an unequivocal, “I’ve been there.”

I also have important things to say about jelly, but I’ll leave that for another time.

On the food front, I will admit that I’ve had my best-ever meals in France, including several days I spent in a public hospital, where the waiters were prompt and the wine had mellow tannins with hints of red fruit on the palate and an attractive freshness.

So it is that we take our friends, Patrick and Julie, with us to Bath to dine at Le Bistrot Pierre, only partially in the hope that it will revive happy memories of psychopathic drivers and neighbours aggressively peering through locked windows.

Patrick is incredibly sensitive to Ian’s medically-induced gluten-free diet. Each time an ambulance shot past (Bath was full of them; evidently, a high-risk place to live), Patrick would suggest its mission: “Clearly carrying a coeliac who’s eaten a Jammie Dodger. The doctor will be in the back, urgently asking, “Was it a whole one?”, while a wide-eyed patiently silently nods.”

Bistrot Pierre is even sympatheticker. Every dish is labelled for gluten, and most are free of this most pernicious of proteins.

It’s also jolly good value. We’ve booked for the Soirée gastronomique, a six-course set dinner for £22.95, which is laid on each second and fourth Tuesday of the month. I mean, really good value. So much so that the rest of this review will be taken up solely by the menu: on our evening (it’s a different menu each time), we get soupe aux poireaux et… I’ll do it in English. Leek and potato soup (very nicely flavoured); smoked haddock risotto with peas, leeks, lemon and mint butter; overnight slow-roasted shoulder of lamb or slow-braised Scottish pasture-fed beef with shallots, red wine, mushrooms and bacon (with potatoes and veg); a Baileys crème brûlée; a rustic French cheese-board; and then coffee and chocolates. (And there’s a veggie option.)

All of that!

Oh, and French bread is included. Now let’s not be toffee-nosed about this. If it were just average, it would be good. But it’s not – it’s tasty, with generous portions.

And the staff are generally lovely, too. (Bar one, in Exeter the other week (I’ve been several times now), who – when, after waiting a while, I got my own menus – snapped, “Look – I was at that table over there, in the middle of serving someone when you came in.”) (There are several branches around the country, but it’s privately-owned.)

So when, the morning after Patrick, Julie, Ian and I dined, I realise we were charged for some drinks we never had, I ring up. And they apologise profusely and instantly do a refund without question.

Eh voila! It is what it is. A nice meal. Good value.

And with a gastronomic menu so full that I haven’t room to tell you about the Accidental Burial of Patrick’s Cat. Another time, mes amis. Another time.

Food: 7

Ambience: 7

Service: 7

Value for money: 9

Le Bistrot Pierre, Princes Buildings, 4 George St, Bath BA1 2ED, 01225 321840; bistrotpierre.co.uk

More from Food & Drink

Monday, December 10, 2018

Veganism is the latest food trend to hit the Cotswolds but it’s something we can all enjoy a bite of

Read more
Monday, December 10, 2018

Alleviate the stress of hectic Christmas preparation and endless shopping trips with a festive afternoon tea in one of these gorgeous Cotswold settings

Read more
Friday, December 7, 2018

Find a fabulous gift for everyone with Whatley Manor’s monetary vouchers.

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The hotel in Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire is offering free lunch or afternoon tea for the first ten that book for December 19

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

A perfect gift where rest and relaxation is required.

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

Applications are now open for a new competition that will give people from Gloucestershire the chance to see their food and drink products or ideas appear on supermarket shelves across the county

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Dark and chilly winter evenings are perfect for huddling in the corner of a country pub with friends, catching up over beer and supper. The Cotswolds have cosy pubs aplenty – here are 12 of our favourite places to go...

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

The most famous Bangladeshi restaurant is celebrating an anniversary

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Amid the season of turkey and tinsel Whatley Manor are throwing in a festive curveball, an evening of lobster, fizz & fries!

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wine Wednesday’s with Vintopia of Tetbury.

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Festive a la carte menu launches in Grey’s Brasserie from 26th November.

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Whether you’re after something for an adults’ stocking filler, a little something while you slave over the turkey dinner or a tipple to enjoy with your festive party guests, we pick 9 drinks from the Cotswolds you need to try this Christmas

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

If we can continue to show our support for talented and industrious jam-makers like these, we might just pull our favourite preserve out of the sticky situation it’s supposed to be in!

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

‘If its autumn in Gloucestershire, then it must be time for Apple Day when we celebrate cider’

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search