So, to start at the beginning, I thought I’d choose a trustworthy old friend and I wasn’t disappointed. As ever the magnificent Claude was there to welcome me and take me through the menu as well as putting up with my ever depreciating attempts to speak French with him. Fortunately, he’s hooked up with a Welsh speaker so his rustiness with the hen iaith makes me feel a little less stressed out.
The service here has always been good and whilst it is a chain nowadays, it could well be called a bracelet of restaurants… With only a dozen links in total all over the UK and this one being the only one in Cardiff, coupled with the amiable waiters and waitresses, it hardly feels like a chain.
So, I settled in, next to a pair of pensioners and took the chance to check some emails (the free wifi code’s their phone number without the first zero: 2920345990). The menu‘s really strong at the moment, but it does change regularly, so it’s always worth checking back to the site in advance of your visit. Lunch is £10.95 for 2 courses or £12.95 for
Today, I went for the salmon special as a starter and I’m glad I did too; the combo of flaked and smoked salmon with dill and capers, sat on a plump blini and in a tart sauce. Claude might’ve thought I’d become a magician so quickly did it disappear from my plate. This was served with some lovely crusty sliced baguette and soft, salted butter.
The downside of this was that it ruled out getting the risotto, which I really fancied. I mean, read this and tell me you’re not tempted:
Risotto of broad beans, steamed leeks, wild mushrooms, tarragon and smoked paprika
The risotto and mushrooms had just the right bite to them and whilst the tarragon got slightly lost, the leeks were sweet and coupled well with the tiny broad beans.
This was washed down with a bottle of water (filtered on site, but still £1.50) and a green tea… a teabag and hot water (£2.00). Whilst these add ons do get on my wick a bit, it still felt like great value when all’s said and done.
Thanks Claude, and all the team at Le Bistrot Pierre, Cardiff: if you’re looking to take a client out for lunch in the city centre then I strongly recommend you give this place a spin.
Le Bistrot Pierre, is on Caroline Street… (yes, yes that’s Chippy Lane!), easily accessible from The Hayes or St Mary’s Street.