Holly Heywood goes French around the left bank of Gas Street Basin.
Arriving to dine after 6pm and finding free street parking adds an extra feelgood factor in eating at Bistrot Pierre. Beautifully located on Gas Street with views over the canal to the Library of Birmingham, the restaurant is divided into a series of rooms and open terraces, making for an intimate experience. The Thursday night buzz was in full swing when we arrived, with couples, groups and families alike enjoying the atmosphere.
After making selections from a classic French menu we dallied with a bowl of excellent olives, before our starters. Prawns Provencale were plump, juicy and piquant with tomatoes. I begrudgingly allowed my dining companion to try just one. His choice of Fricassée de Champignons brought a beautiful selection of mushrooms, enveloped in sauce on crisp sourdough and topoed with bacon.
For mains, the Boeuf Bourguignon was exactly what you would hope it to be: tender meat, delicious sauce and the French comfort food of dreams. I opted for the classic steak frites, bringing back memories of holidays. The steak was flavourful, the frites wonderfully crispy (in fact pretty much pommes allumettes) and a mound of watercress the perfect simple companion. Even better, the frites came in a metal pot, meaning that they stayed hot and crisp throughout the meal. Sometimes it’s all about the little things when making a great dining experience.
Dessert was a Paris Brest. The choux case was light and crumbly, stuffed with cream, a sprinkle of nuts and a jug of chocolate sauce. Raspberry and peppercorn added an extra tingle of taste to the experience. Espresso was powerfully good.
If you, like me, have food allergies, the staff are knowledgeable and offer excellent guidance for your menu choices. There were many options for free from diners, which is always a bonus when choosing a place to eat. I commend their knowledge of ingredients and their subtle and helpful guidance.
Service throughout the evening was pleasant, attentive and personable. Staff were quickly responsive to the needs of diners, and kept a watchful presence in each of the dining spaces. Don’t forget to check out the tasting menu experiences, and also special events; when we visited there was the option of a canal boat trip and dining.
We dined as guests of Bistrot Pierre. Opinions are, as always, our own.