With its glimmering candlelight, black-and-white tiling and clutter of junk shop finds, this charming venue has the feel of a Left Bank bistro that hasn’t changed in decades. Moth-eaten stags’ heads peer across the dimly lit dining room; vintage Orangina posters adorn the walls. All that’s missing is an authentic soupçon of superiority; the waiters are far friendlier than their Parisian counterparts, if considerably slower. Appealing brasserie standards are on the carte: half a dozen oysters or rouille-topped fish soup to start, say, followed by slow-roasted pork belly with braised red cabbage, or rack of lamb with lyonnaise potatoes. The smart money is on the compact set menu, though, which offers sterling value (though no vegetarian mains on our visit). A delicately dressed smoked chicken salad, and a wedge of deep-fried brie with blackcurrant coulis, were artfully assembled and generously portioned. Star main course was a tender, perfectly pink Argentinian steak with pepper sauce and crunchy, matchstick-thin frites – a steal, even taking a £3 supplement into account. Le Bistro isn’t perfect (a side dish of vegetables was under-seasoned and overcooked), but easy charm and modest prices make it an ideal neighbourhood bolt-hole.
|Venue name:||Le Bistro||Contact:|
36 High Street
|Opening hours:||Brunch served 12.30-5pm Sun. Dinner served 6.30-11pm Mon-Sat; 5-10pm Sun.|
|Transport:||Tube: Turnpike Lane tube/Hornsey rail/41, W3 bus|
|Price:||Main courses £11.95-£20. Set meal £10.95 2 courses, £12.95 3 courses.|
Average User Rating
2.8 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:2
We have eaten at Le Bistro several times over the last few years. I believe they did go through a change of management but appear to be back on track. We have always eaten well here, sometimes very well. We really like the atmosphere, good range of wines, and a reasonable a la carte. The menu is great value, although a little too limited to truly be called a menu. I'm not sure I'd agree with Sion below that most of the food isn't French, although it is true that I've never seen belly of pork on a menu in France (but the best belly of pork I've had was here!). They were very open to feedback that we gave them on one of our dishes (which was fine but indeed could have been better) and I think are trying hard to ensure that customers get a good all round experience. I've only given three as I think some of the dishes could be improved for the price, but really I'd give 4 for atmosphere and just being able to dine somewhere where they owners are around trying to give good service, local accessibility and not overly loud!
I really like this place and it's my favourite in N8. It just has a great atmosphere and the fact that the manager Arnaud is back at the helm makes all the difference to the ambiance cordiale. The food is really well prepared and the wine list is excellent. I always come away thinking it was expensive but then I find their menu hard to resist! Go there if you are in the neighbourhood and you won't regret it.
Avoid the steak, billed as ribeye but what appears on the plate is a tired bit of rump that tasted of burnt fish. Really terrible and a shame as it could be a lovely place.