Firstly I have to as this post is slightly overdue. Bistro du vin or should I say Bistro “divine” are two standalone restaurants that are part of the Hotel du Vin chain. Lanky Girl and Co were lucky enough to be invited to try both resaurants just before Christmas. Watch the video below to see what I got up to.
Bistro du Vin Clerkenwell
Situated very close to Smithfield market is Bistro du vin Clerkenwell. Each of the Bistros has a theme, and this one they place an emphasis on good old fashion meat, le francais style.
A unique selling point of the Bistro is its open kitchen. Here you can sit around watching the chefs prepare the dishes before you eat them. Its also a great chance for diners to interact with chefs and share tips. Business types or private diners can choose to use the Whisky Snuggle meeting room, a windowed wall of marbled slabs where they host whisky tastings or choose the meat cellar another private dinning room that seats up to 12 people. Here you can watch the meat being aged (for a minimum of 28 days). Also Bistro du Vin have “Meat to butcher” events where diners can watch the meat being cut and receive a bit of a background on where the different cuts of meat come from, before watching it being cooked in the open kitchen.
The atmosphere when we entered Bistro du Vin warm and intimate. Staff were very accommodating, quick to attend to us and we had a fantastic sommelier who was very good at recommending wines to suit each of our courses. I was lucky enough to get a seat right overlooking the kitchen and I had a nice discussion with the head chef. It was interesting to find out that their beef comes from Cumbria and the economics of buying produce locally.
Now for my verdict on the food. To start I had the twice baked Crottin de Chavignol cheese soufflé and my dining partner the Selsey crab with toasted sourdough. The cheese souffle melted like butter in my mouth and the flavour was intense and my friend said the crab was light in consistency and very tasty.
For mains we had Chateaubriand to share [Donald Russell] served with pommes frites, & green salad. Now, I have to admit that I’m one of these annoying people who usually insists that her meat is “well-done” however I’ve realised the errors of my ways. We had the beef medium and it tasted amazing, such flavour and the meat was succulent. Definitely comparable to the offerings of my other favourite steakhouse Hawksmoor.
For Dessert we enjoyed the crepe suzette. Delicious!
All in all we were really impressed on our visit Bistro Du vin Clerkenwell and would definitely recommend visiting them if you want Michelin star treatment without the stuffiness.
Bistro du Vin Soho
The next week we were invited to sample the culinary delights of their other restaurant, Bistro du Vin Soho. Being in the heart of media land this restaurant definitely has a cool vibe to it. Visitors can choose to recieve service in secluded little booths, sit at the bar or the open seating area. The unique selling point of Bistro du vin Soho has to be the variety of wines that are on offer. if you are a bit of wine connoisseur you are going to be impressed as its one of the few restaurants where you can sample most wines by the glass. Private diners can choose to host their events in the wine cellar. I was pretty impressed by the chic cocktails that they had on offer and I got to sample their Dean Street Punch, very fruity!
Like the Clerkenwell branch staff were attentive and friendly and looking around everyone in the restaurant seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Now for my verdict on the food: For starters I had the soup of the day which was pea soup. I wasn’t overly impressed by the soup it did taste fresh but I think it could have had more flavour. For mains I had the beef Stroganoff which I have to say was so lovely that I am definitely going back soon to have it. For dessert I floated up to heaven eating a Belgian waffle with ice cream.
Watch our interview with the group Sommelier below.
Overall I would recommend both restaurants. If you are looking for somewhere chic, good for a date or for dinner with your friends choose Soho. For something a bit more formal that will be sure to impress choose Bistro du Vin Clerkenwell.
For more information please visit http://www.bistroduvinandbar.com/