After attending the new Bistro du Vin restaurant opening in Soho, I was invited for supper last week to try out the menu. We went along on a Sunday evening to find the restaurant surprisingly empty, then again so is most of Soho at the end of the weekend. I was unable to see the design at the busy opening, but can now confirm the decor is elegant and refined, a bright and airy layout that I’m sure will entice people in either just for a drink at the plush bar or for a relaxed meal in the main restaurant.
This is the second Bistro du Vin restaurant, after the success of the first in Clerkenwell. The menu is one of British classics, with a focus on high quality meat and fish. The restaurant boasts a collaboration with ‘La Cave a Fromage’ a wonderful cheese supplier who works hard to find the very best French and British cheeses. So with that in mind, it would have been a sin not to try out the display of fine cheeses! For a starter we shared a selection of the artisan cheeses and finely chosen charcuterie. Our friendly waitress sweetly asked which flavours I preferred before bringing us a well rounded assortment of their current seasonal stock.
The cheese and charcuterie arrived beautifully displayed on two rustic wooden boards, along with a variety of fresh breads. All the cheeses were good, some were sublime... I remember thinking that cheese would be my luxury for a desert island, if the cheese I could take was this good. The finest salami and hams came amongst a bed of salad and figs, my favourite was the flavoursome Iberico ham, matured for 30 months.
As the name suggests Bistro du Vin has an enviable expertise in wine, and an awesome hand picked array is on display in the central glass room. A lovely sommelier came over to our table and suggested a white that would complement our starter, Stadt Krems Gruner Veltliner (Lossterrassen, Kremstal, Austria 2010). It was one of the most drinkable, light and refreshing white wines I have ever tasted.
After sampling the Donald Russell sourced beef on offer at the opening party, I was keen to choose a dish from the grill section of the menu. From the choice of cuts, I decided on Sirloin - priced at £24, my steak was lean and tasty, a wonderful cut of meat with a delicious chargrilled taste from the Josper Grill. To accompany I had a rich creamy peppercorn sauce and a portion of crispy pomme frites. We ordered a tomato and onion salad to share; I was delighted when it arrived to see the tomatoes were multicoloured, a group of bright orange, red, green and yellows. My friend chose the BdV Burger with bacon, gruyere cheese and grilled mushrooms on the side. A perfectly cooked stack of burger components, served with frites.
Before dessert, I asked to try a summer cocktail of the expert bartender's choice. The waiter delivered to me the sweetest peach-flavoured creation, a drink made specially to suit my request. For dessert, with our aromatic fresh mint tea we ordered the Belgian waffle, fresh strawberries and Valrhona chocolate sauce. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the waffle had just been homemade by the pastry chef in the kitchen; it was crispy and scrumptious with the darkest bitter hot chocolate sauce and sweet red fruit.
Soho is home to a wealth of tempting restaurants, but at Bistro you will find a little pinch of extra sophistication.
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