*Use code LBPXQZSN to get a free drink with your next meal at Bistrot Pierre. This is not a paid promotion*
Regular readers of our reviews will no doubt know that we’re not big fans of chain restaurants per se. So, when we were invited along to try Bistrot Pierre Restaurant and Bar in Torquay we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. However, we’re not adverse to giving everywhere an equal chance and our recent visit to The English Rivera left us thinking that there is definitely room for a little bit of variety when it comes to choosing a restaurant to book for dinner..
What is Bistrot Pierre?
Bistrot Pierre is a trendy restaurant and bar located in the award winning Abbey Sands complex in Torquay.
The ‘raison d’être’ of the chain is great value French cooking combined with regularly changing, seasonal menus. In it’s own words, Bistrot Pierre likes to ‘combine French bistrot classics such as steak-frites, boeuf bourguignon and crème brûlée with its own take on regional favourites like tarte flambée, confit de canard and pâté de campagne’.
Where is Bistrot Pierre?
With an enviable position overlooking the bay, Bistrot Pierre forms part of the contemporary Abbey Sands building, which houses restaurants such as Las Iguanas and On The Rocks. The eatery has seating for almost 200 covers over its two floors and outside terrace.
Who to go with
Whilst there is a trendy bar downstairs, the relaxed atmosphere of the second floor lends itself to dining with family, friends and couples alike. We visited on a Tuesday evening at 19.45 and we were surprised to find that the restaurant was almost at full capacity. By contrast, the bar was fairly quite during our visit.
Bistrot Pierre is open seven days a week for lunch, dinner and breakfast on the weekend. There’s everything on offer, from a two-course fixed-price lunch for £11.95 to a two course fixed-price evening menu for £15.95. You can also pick from the À la carte menu, which offers many gluten-free dishes and children’s options.
During our visit, we chose to dine from the a la carte menu and opted for the following:
Freshly Made Soup of the Day – Broccoli and Blue Cheese, £4.95
This was a thick, flavoursome soup full of fresh broccoli and a nice hint of blue cheese. The soup of the day is served with two small slices of bread, but given the portion size you may find yourself asking for more (we certainly did).
Salad de Canard, £6.95
This dish was a Vietnamese-inspired crispy duck salad with a soy, chilli, ginger, coriander & sesame seed dressing. We were surprised to discover that the duck was served cold and we would have liked to have had a little more of that tasty Vietnamese style dressing. But overall this was a lovely start to our meal.
Bouillabaisse Maison £16.95
Bistrot Pierre’s take on this classic fish stew from Marseille was a very hearty plate of food indeed. The dish contained sea bass, king prawns, mussels and smoked haddock. This was served with croutons rouille, grated parmesan and pommes frites. We thought that the bouillabaisse was very nicely cooked and we particularly liked the option to add the little extras on the side when you wanted. The mussels were a tad on the strong side and since the king prawns were served in their shells we did have to ask for a finger bowl. However, overall this is a dish I would happily order again.
Caramelised Lemon Tart with Raspberry Sorbet, £5.95
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth and you’re a fan of classic confectionery then you’ll appreciate this dessert. The lemon tart was sweet and tangy (like sherbet lemons) and the raspberry sorbet offers a lovely nostalgic flavour that is not dissimilar to fruit salad chews. Yum!
Bistrot Pierre has a trendy and relaxed vibe. The second floor has a stunning vantage point from which diners can savour a sea view whilst enjoying their meal. We rather like the restaurant’s interior design as well, as the decor is a tasteful blend of modern French bistro and industrial loft chic. There’s a nice mix of warehouse style lighting and bistro seating, with plenty of wooden features and leather elements. It’s the sort of restaurant that feels suitably laid back on a lunchtime yet transitions seamlessly into the evening.
Love them or hate them, chain restaurants are now a part of the fabric of our towns and seaside resorts. But unlike many other chains, Bistrot Pierre does offer some fairly authentic French flavours and excellent service. We’re not guaranteeing that every time you visit you’re going to be served exquisite food, but we certainly think that it’s excellent value and we recommend paying a visit the next time you’re on the lookout for somewhere to eat with family or friends. There’s lot of variety on the menu and it’s worth a visit on the basis of the lovely view alone.
*Use code LBPXQZSN to get a free drink with your next meal at Bistrot Pierre. Read T&Cs HERE*