For the first time in years The Husband and I decided to go out on a date on Valentine’s Day, choosing Bistrot Pierre for dinner.
Usually we either do nothing (because it’s actually nonsense) or we grab a meal a few days later to avoid watching Tinder’s finest snogging, but Ian promised me carbs and wine at Bistrot Pierre so off I went. Deciding to give somewhere new to us a try, he booked a table at the venue found along the sprawling canal towpaths of Gas Street.
First impressions of the place were good; the exposed brick of the Grade II listed building gives it a rustic charm and the prints and paintings nod to the Parisian theme.
Set out over several floors, with picture-perfect views out over the water and boats moored canal-side, it’s certainly a pretty spot for an intimate supper.
Starters of Confit au Saumon and Calamari arrived quickly to the table, alongside flutes filled with fizz. A creamy combination of poached and oak-smoked salmon was piled generously over a blini. The freshness of lemon and the tang of capers cut through the rich fish, making for a moorish mouthful.
Unfortunately, I found a pretty hefty piece of bone in the final mouthful which I told staff about, but was given a drink by way of apology. Ian enjoyed his fried calamari with the punchy garlic dip.
I decided to keep it classic for the main event with Bœuf Bourguignon. Fork tender slow-braised beef accompanied pearl onions and mushrooms in a silky red wine sauce that obviously was no stranger to butter. Well seasoned, crispy bacon lardons topped the glossy coated beef, ensuring it boasted all the classic flavours you’d expect from a bourguignon.
By the time dessert arrived I was deep into the red wine. A Lemon Tart was placed in front of me which, in a moment of madness, I chose over the Three Cheese Board Ian went for. Thankfully my rookie error turned out to be my reward, and the sharp, zingy tart proved a fine end to the meal.
Whether or not it was actually made in house is another matter; I suspect not. The accompanying raspberry sorbet arrived half melted and wasn’t particularly interesting, but the tart’s crunchy caramelised sugar top and citrus flavours perked up my tastebuds enough that it was quietly left redundant.
Ian’s cheese selection included Brie and a blue cheese, a chutney he left untouched and crackers. An individual pat of beurre offered swirling French text, but ultimately reminded me of hungover breakfasts in Holiday Inn dungeons rather than fine dining in gay Paris. He enjoyed his choice though.
The set menu included three courses and fizz for £29pp but not the (copious amounts of) red wine that followed because apparently I’m married to Keith Floyd. After polishing off flutes of Veuve Devienne Rosé we settled on a bottle of Château Bovila; a spicy Malbec that was most reasonable for £20.
OK so Bistrot P is part of a chain of french inspired restaurants, but Cafe Rouge this is not. The venue itself is attractive and a great use of space in a pretty area of the city. When it’s not Valentine’s Day (the general mark up rolled out on that date pisses me off) the value for money is fair, and the service was exemplary.
Have you visited Bistrot Pierre? Are you a fan? Let me know in the comments.
Bistrot Pierre, 46 Gas Street, Birmingham, B1 2JT
Disclosure: we paid in full. All photos, words and red wine moustache are mine