I’m in love. I’ve found another restaurant that does what I love. Simple well cooked food. I don’t ask much out of life. I’m not into snazzy gimmicks, getting fed up with the ever changing food trends. I don’t want molecular gastronomy nor do I want my food deconstructed either. All I ask for is good ingredients, well cooked and shown the respect it deserves by a chef who loves his job.
I’ve found this at Bistro Du Vin. Phew. No small plates here. Just down to earth ballsy cooking.
I didn’t really enjoy myself in this building the last time I was here, when the Eastside Inn was here. I never did find out why it closed so suddenly. I know some of you are still pining for it.
I’m not sure what didn’t do it for me with the Eastside Inn, as the food was very tasty, well cooked and pretty well priced. But somehow we just never clicked. It happens.
Walking into the Bistro Du Vin we were both hit with deja vu. Had we traveled back in time and were in the Eastside Inn again. Nope we weren’t, it’s just there isn’t a lot you can do with the place to be honest. It was well designed in the first place and needed no tweaking. But kinda scary how everything is still in place. I even saw the old cheese trolley. Had a great selection off that. The mood lighting got on my tits before and it was here again. Loose that guys please.
The menu is very easy on the eye, with daily specials and a lot of grilled meats making use of that Josper grill left behind from the former owners.
We weren’t going to have a starter but as I’m an offal man I couldn’t help myself. I have to choose it. So I was very pleased indeed to see some offaly items for me to choose.
So for starters we choose the crispy lamb’s sweetbreads with a sauce charcuterie and also the foie gras and chicken liver parfait.
Those crispy sweetbreads were as I was hoping they would be, crispy on the outside and creamy and yummy on the inside. I remember having them cooked for me at Leiths once, and they were all creamy. Not to my liking. Then I had them again in Buenos Aires and grilled sweetbreads are the way to go.
These were a good midway point between the two. The sweet roasted onions and the slightly spicy sauce completed a fantastic starter. Only downside were the elaborate pea shoots all over. But we can live with that once in a while.
The foie gras and chicken liver parfait was more chicken liver than foie gras, but as it’s an expensive piece of offal we were not surprised. But it was so silky smooth that it was nearly but not quite eating liquid velvet.
Again this was a generous portion and with two thinly sliced but large slices of bread along with an accompanying chutney this was another winning start to the meal.
The mains I opted for an onglet steak (rare) and béarnaise sauce, whilst the other half had the saucisson a la lyonnaise, ratte potatoes and Dijon.
My steak came a perfect rare, and was as good as I have been cooking recently after my last bulk buy form the East London Steak Company (needless plug there).
The Josper grill works wonders with meat and leaves a gorgeous taste on the buds. The fries were thin and crispy and with a tangy béarnaise sauce that even I was proud of. It was a bloody good dish.
The saucisson was quite a sexy little number. It did look so beautiful, generously sliced with the ratte potatoes and that Dijon mustard sauce and even the pea shoots couldn’t stop its visual appeal.
The taste matched the look. Sleek and sexy it was. I almost wished I had chosen it myself, but the steak was too good not to have, although the calves liver was a close second on my choice of mains.
We didn’t have any desserts, but I did opt for a small glass of calvados, which aided my digestion. Thinking ahead there I was.
All in all we loved Bistro Du Vin, although I wonder if they can keep up this high level consistently as it was nigh on perfect. Not only the food but the level of service as well. Attentive but in a casual way that put you at ease. Maybe that was the difference with the former residences.
It’s not somewhere I can go to every week, unfortunately, but if you want good food you have to pay for it and I’ll definitely be back.