Nestled above a bustling Bloomsbury pub is London’s newest French eatery: Bistro Bleu.
The 36-cover bistro, which is run by Parisian born general manager Reynald Tel and head chef Bernard Dumonteil, promises an authentic, comforting and seasonal taste of French cuisine with a British edge.
The entrance to the restaurant is separate from the pub, and the cosy restaurant is a pleasant surprise at the top of the staircase, particularly on a rainy autumn evening.
The restaurant was busy, the atmosphere jovial, and the deep blue walls contrasted with the mustard-coloured curtains, and the soft glow of the brass table lamps created a homey atmosphere, somewhere you’d want to spend an evening eating and drinking.
My friend Lecsi and I pondered the menu for quite some time, taking onboard the server’s recommendations, before starting with a tartlet of burgundy escargot and oyster mushrooms and seared cornish scallops with potato carbonara.
Although we both studied French, it was our first time trying snails. The server recommended them, and on the whole they were very tasty, particularly if you’re a garlic lover.
While the tartlet itself was flavourful, and the mushroom coulis which it sat on was delicious, it was very rich and oily for a starter.
The scallops were well-cooked and melted in the mouth. The potato carbonara: a mix of shredded potatoes, lardons and cream, was very tasty but again, it was very rich and garlicky.
For our main course, we opted for the seared sea bass with wilted spinach and clam nage, and the grilled beef fillet with roquefort sauce.
The sea bass was lovely: mild in flavour and delicate in texture, which was welcomed after the richness of our starters.
The clam nage wasn’t particularly flavoursome, but the portion was very generous, and the dish was enjoyable overall.
The star of the show however, was the grilled beef fillet with roquefort sauce, french fries and a bistro salad.
The steak was cooked to perfection and the tangy, saltiness of the roquefort sauce was to die for.
The chips and the salad were simple yet delicious, and the dish encompassed everything which is right about French cooking.
We washed it all down with a glass of malbec which complimented our food well, and for pudding we shared a blueberry and almond pudding which was served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream.
While the light and fluffy texture of the sponge was satisfying, the caramel sauce overpowered the hints of blueberry.
We also tried the caramelised lemon tart which was served with a blackcurrant coulis and crème fraiche.
Unfortunately, the tart wasn’t lemony enough, the blackcurrant coulis was bitter and the sourness of the crème fraiche was also overpowering.
That being said, the overall experience was very good: the service was excellent and our servers were very attentive throughout the whole meal.
Although it is on the pricier side of things, I think it would be a lovely place to go for a special occasion or even just a post-work treat if you find yourself in Bloomsbury, and I’ll certainly be recommending it to my friends.
Featured image courtesy of Cru Comms.