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le bistrot pierre, bath: restaurant review

Read our review of Le Bistrot Pierre in Bath, the latest opening from this great value independent restaurant chain with a focus on classic French bistrot favourites – think steak frites and crème brûlée.

In a nutshell

A mid-market French bistrot set on an elegant Georgian street in the centre of Bath. As the 13th restaurant to open in this growing, Nottingham-based chain (it originally started at a Pierre Victoire franchise but went independent when Pierre Victoire floundered), the brand’s founders Rob Beacham and John Whitehead, are hoping Le Bistrot Pierre in Bath will be a lucky venture in the southwest.

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Who’s cooking?

Head chef Frédéric Fetiveau started cooking at 15 in La Rochelle before moving to Paris at 18 and working in the kitchens of various Michelin-starred restaurants. Following a stint at Madrid’s Café Óliver he moved to Bath in 2014.


Menu know-how



This is comfort food for Francophile Brits. Though open for breakfast (crepes, omelettes, pastries), as well as lunch and dinner, it’s the classics that regulars come for: steak-frites, sole meunière, boeuf bourguignon and tarte au citron. More recent additions stretch to appetisers of chorizo roasted in honey, Alsace-style flatbreads and slow-cooked pork with a Calvados and apple jus but, true to the comfort dining philosophy, there are no big surprises; the menu here is the same as at other branches.

Price is a big draw, too; steak frites start at £9.95, on Sunday and Monday evenings you can order two courses and a carafe of wine for £21.50, and regular special events promise other deals (the next is a Bastille Day celebration with two courses from £17.95). For a break with the Anglo-Gallic norm, book in for one of the restaurant’s planned Soirée Gastronomique evenings when the menus will veer towards more unusual provincial French dishes.


Must-order dishes

It might not win you many friends the following day but the appetiser of a whole garlic bulb, roasted and served with warm rosemary bread and oil and vinegar, is a winner. As are the sweet, fat king prawns, rolled in brandy, garlic butter and lemon and served with a peppy shaved fennel salad and a paprika-laced aioli.


What we’re going back for

Whole baked Normandy Camembert, with sourdough and plum chutney.


What’s the room like?

Under the remit of Devon-based architects Gillespie Yunnie the space invokes a perfect mix of Georgian grandeur (marble fireplace, vast gilt mirror, contemporary chandeliers) and French neighbourhood cosiness (wooden bistro chairs, framed vintage Gitanes posters, red leather button-back banquettes, a smattering of outside tables beneath a smart canvas awning). At the back of the 90-cover restaurant is an open kitchen.


What’s the service like?

Friendly and assured. It took a little while for our glasses of Corbières Château du Vieux Parc 2012 to arrive but, with their “subtle notes of Garrigue herbs”, it was worth the wait. 


Bullseye: A simple starter of perfectly steamed asparagus, served with a soft-poached egg and lemon vinaigrette.


Reviewed by Rhiannon Batten

4 Princes Buildings, George Street, Bath, BA1 2ED

lebistrotpierre.co.uk


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