French. It was a word that struck fear into my heart for four years at school. This was down to one Madame who used the language as almost a weapon.
The seemingly innocuous…
Bonjour la classe
…still has a Pavlovian effect on me – one of fear
Still, getting that ‘A’ enabled me to order that parmentier de poisson in Bistrot Pierre – Altrincham last Wednesday, and know that fish pie was incoming (and how).
Small chain restaurant, Bistrot Pierre, is reassuringly no Café Rouge – which is ironic, given the red hue to all of my images, as I basked under the red neon sign .
It was already winning before a single saucisson was served (it’s not particularly a sausage based affair but alliteration- big fan).
Unveiled, the building immediately had an effect on Alty town.
The red light (predictably this is the only photograph in the whole collection without a red hue) and not forgetting the mural…
… a beautiful addition to a town under immense regeneration (anyone mentioned the regeneration?).
I think the people behind Bistrot Pierre had already won fans just by the aesthetics they’ve brought to that corner of town, not least from me…
oooh la la!
not really. I edge towards the theatrical but I’ve never had an internal thought, or even external exclamation based on a clichéd French exclamation. See also me in Italy and ‘Mamma Mia’, or, erm Liverpool…
I do like meff. It’s immense.
After tempting us with its pretty lights and mural, Bistrot Pierre finally opened its doors proper on Friday 2 December. A winning combo of its pre-opening popularity and my disorganisation, when it came to me booking I couldn’t get a table for dinner for a weekend or Thursday within at least the first fortnight, so a Wednesday evening it was. Which is the new so on and so forth.
Actually, the atmosphere was easily befitting of a weekend – busy, bustley, happy; the restaurant was thriving.
As detailed in one of my favourite Manchester blogs (ok, fair dos, it’s mine), I’m partial to a red light – Honorary Manc blog – Palace Hotel – and so was very pleased to be seated in the window right under the red light
I’ve basically done the obvious jokes in the Palace Hotel blog post, but one more never hurts.
The restaurant itself is stylish, smart and decidedly Parisian.
And the glorious red and iconic sign is the thing and leaves diners to bask in its glow (again, accounting for why all my food photographs look red. Still delicious, but red)…
The service is polite, not stuffy, attentive, not invasive, and the house glass of champagne cheap, cheerful and enjoyable (top of my wish-list – do they do a house champagne and is it reasonably priced enough to drink without abject guilt on a Wednesday when nobody’s achieved anything more that day, than managing a tram trip to town without tantrums and tears).
I’m still smarting from a couple of Mondays ago on the tram, when we were all crammed in like – well like humans in an Albert Square in December – and a lady commuter and self-appointed Tram Monitor boarded at Brooklands and started shouting at us all to move down as it’s
so unfair, oh it’s so unfair.
I should point out that since Altrincham station, us selfish standees had become closely acquainted enough to identify the brand of each’s others fabric softener, and, short of forming Cheshire’s answer to the Human Centipede, had nowhere else to go. I should secondly point out that the declarations of things being
so unfair, just so unfair
were called out from her ample and fairly roomy position ON THE TRAM.
I digress, I know, but it’s good to let things out, lest you think of them every morning, every Monday to Friday, when pulling into Brooklands station.
Back to the Bistrot, we ordered sourdough, olive oil, balsamic and a gently softened garlic bulb with which we brushed our way into garlic bread heaven. No we did. Delicious.
Starters, between us we ticked all the French staple boxes – fromage, champignons, bacon, cream and brioche.
The perfect time between courses, our magnificent mains arrived. My husband’s Boeuf Bourguignon not only tasted delightful but its presentation and make up a real surprise and treat.
After enjoying all with a bottle of Grenache/Syrah, the two of us indulged in our oft performed end of dinner tango of…
yes, we’ll take a look at the dessert menu.
it doesn’t hurt to look
followed by the predictable and well-rehearsed…
Oh it all looks so tempting, but we’re just too full!
We’re having to admit defeat!
ha ha. ha….ha.
Ever polite, ever gracious, our server joined our laughter, pretending he’d never been privy to the whole tedious routine before, and so we left. Despite the story that this image suggests, we paid before exiting…
So there we have it, Altrincham, Hale and surrounding areas (out of towners could even tram hop to it – I promise Tram Monitor only appears at peak times, Monday to Friday. At Brooklands), Bistrot Pierre is mighty fine. Bon, you might say.
Bon. C’est tres bon.
Merci Madame, for enabling me to one day round off a blog post with some basic French. And assisting me in finding my round a menu in Altrincham. Oh and I did check into that Ibis in St Omer without hilarious consequences too. Or aussi, as we say in France.