Le Bistrot Pierre is located right in the heart of Stockton Heath and offers authentic French cuisine throughout the week.

Le Bistrot Pierre, Stockton Heath

Le Bistrot Pierre, Stockton Heath

We arrived a little early and were given the choice of a window seat or one set further into the restaurant- to which we chose the one in the centre to absorb the atmosphere a little better. Decorated in sage green, with wooden floors and exposed stone bricks, the restaurant was warm and inviting. The walls were scattered with French posters of all shapes and sizes to give it an authentic European feel.

The staff kindly sped up our order as they were expecting and already had a number of larger tables so were well aware that they would take up a lot of their time later into the evening. Consequently, we had our three courses in just an hour and a half.

We were served by Irmina who ensured we had drinks and water for the table to begin with. If you are a Rose drinker we would both urge you to have the St. Jean Vin Rosé, Vin de Pays d'Oc, 2013- A hint of raspberries and a touch of spice. A very sweet rose wine to accompany your savoury first two courses.

Irmina was very knowledgeable of the new menu and offered her recommendations of the fish to my husband as many customers had given her positive feedback on the dish since it first arrived.

We had Mini chorizos au miel- Mini chorizos roasted in honey and Olives marinees- Mixed marinated provincial olives as appetisers. I must warn you that the olives are enough for two people, so one dish will suffice between a pair. They were both a tasty way to pass the time until our starters arrived and just to let you know- the chorizos are dripping in honey glaze so watch your clothes if you dine in your finest!

My husband had the Gambas for starters- grilled whole king prawns with brandy, garlic butter and lemon served with a shaved fennel salad and a tomato and smoked paprika aioli. The prawns were shell on and cut in half, so not for the squeamish and ideal for the brandy lovers! A light and unique alternative to a British classic.

I had the Brioche et champignons- Toasted Brioche with fricassee of mushrooms with or without Alsace bacon. As I am vegetarian, I asked for it without. This dish was creamy and the sauce soaked into the bread to soften it underneath. The sprinkle of parsley added a fresh, cool bite to this French take on another familiar British dish.

Irmina's recommendation of the Sole meuniere- whole sole served on the bone, pan fried in seasoned flour with capers and parsley butter is also a firm favourite of the chefs too according to the menu. Although it took a bit of negotiation to remove the bones, it was delicate, light and salty.

I can highly recommend the Tarte Marcoaine- Moroccan spiced tart of roasted vegetables, feta, chickpeas, apricots, harissa and toasted pine nuts with a mint and yoghurt dressing. The pastry melted in my mouth and the vegetables were seasoned with just a hint of spice, so not to overbearing if you are like me and don't like your food unnecessarily hot. The dressing offered a tanginess against the spices to compliment the little kick that lurked beneath the salad in top. Beautifully presented and not too excessive on the pastry either which I was thankful for.

All of this came with a serving of fresh vegetables- red cabbage, garlic potatoes and broccoli, however there is a choice of fried or salad if you prefer.

For dessert we had Meli melo de framboise et meringue- Raspberry and cream ice cream with fresh raspberries, crushed meringue, soft marshmallows, pistachios and raspberry coulis. This will certainly be a firm favourite with the kids- it was with my husband even though he is 28! He didn't offer me any, so I suppose that is testament to how good it was. It bursts with colour and incorporates everything you could want from a desert in one dish.

I indulged in the Tarte fine aux pommes- A beautifully simple French tart with finely sliced apples on a thin puff pastry served with vanilla ice cream. Irmina kindly ordered it for me without ice cream as I am lactose intolerant. French tarts are nothing like English ones- as the pastry is only slight- the perfect thickness after a large meal. The apples were carefully arranged- overlapping one another so it looked beautiful and as thought it had been prepared with care and attention.

The restaurant was extremely busy for a Wednesday night, so I would urge you to book early if you are looking for a table as I suspect they are getting fuller in the run up to summer. I would urge you- if you are just dining for two to sit in the window- something which we regretted as Stockton heath is a beautiful location, it's a shame not to watch the street scene while having your dinner.

Le Bistrot Pierre has come up with a winning formula for their summer offerings- light dishes that are best enjoyed in the sunshine including fish, pork, chicken and vegetarian options, there is something for everyone and as I witnessed, if you need a dish tweaking because of intolerances- they are more than happy to accommodate.

Thank you Irmina and the rest of the staff for a lovely evening and an incentive to come back!

Le Bistrot Pierre, Ilkley Review 

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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