A few weeks ago, I managed to win dinner for at Hotel du Vin Bistro, through a Love Brum Twitter contest. I’ve visited the pub and the Bubble bar at HDV many a time, but I’ve never eaten at the Bistro, so I was excited to try it out.
The Bistro is in a similar style to the rest of the hotel; dark woods. chic lighting, and a rustic French twist. It was quiet when we went in, but it still felt cosy. It’s classy without feeling stuffy; ideal for date night or a family gathering. Being in a hotel, it’s well set up for solo diners too, and we sure a few guests working away on laptops while they ate.
The menu is French inspired, and we both took ages to decide what to eat, as it all sounded delicious.
To start, Dave chose the Moules Marinières (£6.95), which come in steamed in white wine, shallots, cream and garlic.The portion size is massive, and the mussels were plump and juicy. There were cooked perfectly, and the accompanying broth was rich and delicious.
I chose one of my favourite dishes, Steak Tartare (£6.95). It was perfection, topped with an egg yolk for creaminess, and packed with capers and mustard for a kick. The beef was beautiful, and all but melted in the mouth.
For the main event, Dave had the Gloucester Old Spot Pork Belly (£17.50), which comes with Pomme Moussseline and jus de veau. The pork belly had an absolute doorstop of crisp, delicious crackling on top. The meat was moist and practically melted. The potato was soft, creamy and light.
I had the Cassoulet Classique (£16). This was a casserole of white beans. confit duck, toulouse sausage and pancetta. The duck fell off the bone, and the sauce was rich and thick. The sausage was a little too rich for my taste, but still very tasty.
We shared some dishes of seasonal vegetables, which were well-seasoned and very fresh.
To finish, Dave had the Crème Brûlée (£6.95). It was sweet and creamy, with a pleasing crack from the caramel crust. I’m not a fan of creamy desserts, I admit, but even I thought this was enjoyable.
The Tarte Au Citron (£6.50)that I chose was perfect. Crisp, buttery pastry, and a sharp, tangy lemon filling. The raspberry sorbet on the side was a perfect match.Gorgeous.
The staff were very attentive, without hovering, and nothing was too much trouble. I’ve had problems with competition win meals in the past, but not so this time. The win was for three courses and a bottle of house wine. Dave doesn’t drink, but there was no problem with us switching to a Prosecco, even though it was more expensive. We were also offered a glass of champagne each to start our evening, which we weren’t charged for either.
Our waitress was knowledgeable, making menu suggestions,and drink pairings. Everyone we spoke to was friendly, and took great care of us.
All in all, we had an excellent evening, of tasty food and good service. I’d definitely return!
I won our meal on Twitter, via Love Brum, so our food and drinks were complementary. I didn’t tell HDV I was a blogger, but as I won on Twitter, and I was taking pictures in a mostly empty restaurant, they were probably aware. All words, images and opinions are honest and my own.