Forget the cheese plate, the cheese board and the cheese trolley, the new restaurant accessory is a cheese room. The newly opened Bistro du Vin in Soho has upped the ante with an entire room devoted to the stinky stuff. I was in instant heaven as soon as I spied the glassed in room at the far corner of the restaurant.
|Steak with frites from the Josper grill|
Like its sister restaurant in Clerkenwell the feel of Bistro du Vin is rather French so the cheese room fits in nicely. A long bar runs along one wall with lots of seating and room to eat then there is a lounge area lined with rows of rainbow coloured books which seems to be a nod to the restaurant’s Soho location. I was invited to try out Bistro du Vin with fellow bloggers Kavey Eats, Bistro Becs, Food for Think and Bitten and Written so we gathered in the lounge for an excellent summer fruit punch which is the signature drink of the restaurant. It tasted a little like a Pimm’s but more alcoholic (always welcome in a cocktail).
We left Bitten Written and our helpful sommelier in charge of the wine for the evening and discovered an excellent bottle of light, grassy sauvignon blanc from Menetou-Salon in the Loire Valley. There was also a machine which dispenses wine by the glass for indecisive types or those who like to mix and match their wines.
|Table settings at Bisto du Vin|
The menu is not adventurous and sticks firmly to French classics including a range of steaks to take advantage of Bistro du Vin’s famed Josper grill. To start, the delicious Paysanne salad (£6.75) was one of those salads which could double as a meal thanks to the shards of crispy bacon, potato, tiny quails eggs, shredded duck confit and beans nestled away amongst the salad leaves. Lamb sweet breads (£7.95) were also a highlight as they were crumbed and deep fried to resemble a grown up version of chicken nuggets.
From the Josper grill an onglet had a great smoky char to it which contrasted with the firm and flavoursome meat (£13.50). It was served with crunchy golden yellow steak frites and a tiny copper saucepan of smooth Hollondaise sauce. I find it almost impossible to go past steak cooked in a Josper grill when it is on offer but if I had managed some self control my next choice would have been the hot shells (£35) which was a veritable feast of lobster, crayfish and razor clams all dripping in a rich buttery sauce.
|Strawberry vacherin sundae|
I spent a blissful half an hour sniffing and inspecting in the cheese room to select my perfect cheese plate. There was a huge variety of well kept cheeses all selected by La Cave a Fromage but special mention should be made of Bistro du Vin’s signature cheese which is brushed two weeks with red wine giving it a lovely yeasty tang. Cheese and red wine combined? They had me at hello.
|All you can eat cheese!|
Details: Bistro du Vin, 36 Dean Street, Soho W1D 4PS (Ph 020 7432 4800) Tube: Tottenham Court Road
Damage: Pricey, but I did not pay on this occasion.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of Bistro du Vin.