Bistrot Pierre – French – Nottingham
A restaurant often mentioned as omission on my site is the popular Bistrot Pierre. The small chain has around a dozen locations, mostly outside of the obvious big cities. Its chief appeal seems to be its lunch and pre-theatre menus. Two courses for £10.95 and £14.95 respectively looked to represent good value so early one evening I decided to see if it was too good to be true.
Nestled amongst the bus stops of Milton Street Bistrot Pierre occupies a prime site as the adjacent clumber and parliament street have some of the biggest footfall in Nottingham. The menu was a little wider than what you might stereotype as French with influences drawn from their Mediterranean neighbours. I picked the more Spanish calamari which failed to excite. The rings of squid were cooked just fine, not having reached the rubbery texture that can often be the case. The aioli packed a pretty good garlicky punch but the batter/coating needed to be crisper with more seasoning. A more French choice of Moules au Roquefort were good, along with some free break to soak up the strong blue-cheese sauce I had little to complain about.
The main courses arrived in rapid time with our starter plates not having been cleared. I was pretty impressed with my main. I’d plumped for honey-glazed slow-cooked pork that was well cooked, not too fatty and the rich meat was cut through by some Dijon mustard. Lentils provided a nice foil to the bold flavours of the rest of the dish and with just the right amount of bite. I’d have been happy with the main plate of food but seasonal vegetables and potatoes were also part of the package. The red cabbage and carrots were hardly setting the world alight but an unexpected addition to a cheap set meal offer.
Bistrot Pierre has a simple formula for success good, mostly hearty, food supported by the great value of their cut-price menus. If I had to apportion any any criticism it has the feel of a chain restaurant but not the rustic charm of something more ‘traditionally’ French. I’d certainly recommend for someone on a budget and anyone with tickets at the theatre royal. It just lacks that little excitement to make me want to come back in a real hurry.
Restaurant website: http://lebistrotpierre.co.uk/locations/nottingham