Bistro du Vin

Working on Pebble Soup I get to visit some good restaurants and taste some fine food. Writing for Boutique, I got to interview Robert Cook, the CEO of  Hotel du Vin and Malmaison.  A man with a seriously impressive work ethic and an ambition to establish a strong focus for Du Vin brand. A focus in which food and wine play a huge part. Check-in at any Hotel du Vin and you will possibly end up eating in their restaurant.

Now we don't have to check in anywhere as Robert Cook's vision for Du Vin brand expansion includes Bistro du Vin. During our interview Robert Cook explained that he believed in fresh products, homegrowned not flowned. However, often enough, what the head thinks has a tendency to dissolve and  the message gets lost down the line.
Not here, I was expecting good food, nice presentation, we got much more than that. It was an experience, with us, the diners, at its heart.

I find eating out very much a balancing act, it is nice to be looked after but you don't want a waiter to watch your every move or do a Houdini act on you when you need something. At Bistro du Vin the staff has found the right balance. Being known for zooming around,  When he and I arrived, we were asked if we wanted to go directly to our table.

But that evening there was no rush, and that was immediately picked up upon. We were presented with Chase 'Summer fruit punch' and seen to a comfortable seat by the bar. William Chase distillery has created this official cocktail for the opening. This bespoke creation may be a little pricey (£10) but just look at the ingredients: borage, lemon and orange peel, rose petals, elderflower, raspberry, blackcurrant and other summery ingredients oups almost forgot Chase Vodka

Having had time to peruse the menu, we got a tour of the glassed room where cheeses and cured meats are stored and sampled but more about this later.

After some friendly negotiations among ourselves, he ordered Foie gras & chicken liver parfait (£7.95) and I looked forward to eat Cornish crab and toasted sourdough (£9.50).

Bistro du vin offers good value for money.
My crab dish was definitely full of flavour and super-fresh, sourced from Cornwall.  his parfait/foie gras arrived in a "bocale" which added a rustic touch. In effect all the dishes on the menu reminded me of my childhood in Lyon minus "lots of cream and butter" which seemed to be part of the Lyonnaise diet when I was growning up.

Mains consisted of Sole Bonne Femme (£13.50). The fish was perfectly boned, I love the delicate texture of sole but overcook it and it crumbles that was not the case, my sole was firm rolled into a little parcel, accompanied by mussels and clams of which they were plenty on a light creamy sauce- simply delicious - he seemed perfectly pleased with veal parmigana (£18.50) and I promised to make it and share the recipe with you. steamed vegetables and thin crisp chips completed this course. On recommendation we drunk Menetou- salon 2010.

Wine is the very lifeblood of the bistro, their master sommelier is Ronan Sayburn. The group runs full-blown wine school week-end called "Ecole du Vin."

Back to the beginning, as we were on our way to the table, we were "diverted" towards a sort of "glass house" for cheeses and dried cured meats where        we were introduced to some 70 pre-selected cheeses. It was great fun to hear about Dolly the goat which kindly provided the milk for that very cheese. At the end of our meal the enthusiast person who had shown us around  came back with a specially prepared cheese plateau (£16 for 2).

Bistro du vin offers a plat du jour (averaging £12) which changes every day. The wine pairing is also very interesting, shame there is never enough time, if you visit any of the Du Vin establishments, don't hesitate to ask about the provenance of, well, of everything from drinks to glasses. Everything seems to have a story. For the readers who live outside London -the brand also has Pubs du Vin-

We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was curious, I am now a fan. The food could not be faulted, the service was impeccable and the staff seems to have a enthusiasm which is almost contagious.

Bistro du vin
36 Dean Street
London W1D 4PS
020 7432 4800

My thanks to the Bistro du Vin for having us as guests


MeLikeyUK said...

Delicious sounding food at reasonable prices! Nice to see a good cheese selection. I wasn't aware they had branched out into pubs too.

Solange Berchemin of Pebble Soup said...

yes they do in Brighton & Birmingham and this might not be a scoop but it is yet very little known, they would like to branch out and open "Retreats du Vin" a whole experience in country houses.
Thanks for dropping by



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