One of my favourite things about Manchester is the food scene. Coming from a small north east town with only a handful of eateries to choose from, I feel like (the biggest) kid in a candy shop with all that Manchester has to offer.
The city literally has every cuisine you could ever dribble over. Which is just a dream for foodies like myself.
So when I was kindly invited to check out Bistrot Pierre’s newest restaurant – nestled in one of the cuter areas of Manchester; Altrincham – I obviously accepted with open arms and an empty belly!
I must admit, I don’t often leave the city centre, so it’s always nice for me to get away from the noise and enjoy the quieter parts of one of my favourite cities. And it’s so easy to get too – just hop on a tram and away you go… (Can you believe this was my second tram ever – and I’ve lived in Manchester for over 4 years now. I know. I am an outrage.)
… however, we were sprinting around the tram station on the way back trying to get on buses, trains, and in taxis because we thought the tram had stopped. And harassing men in hi-vis for advice, when all they wanted to do was enjoy their coffees in peace. So perhaps, not that easy :’)
But that’s that… let’s talk about the food!
Bistrot Pierre, Altrincham
Right on the doorstep of the tram station – perfect if you’re visiting from the city centre – the restaurant is sat in the middle of the Stamford Quarter. And is really easy to find… unless you are a 6ft food blogger who likes a little drama in her life.
After walking around for an extra 15 minutes than we should’ve been, we finally bounced through the doors of the restaurant and into a very welcoming embrace.
Now, let’s just forget the food for a second (said no one, ever). I would just like to comment on how fab the staff were. We had an amazing waitress, who could’ve pulled up a chair and joined us without complaints.
When in France…
… do as the french do. Right?
We started the evening with a carafe of white wine and an intense browse through the menu. There were so many options, and such a wide variety too.
I will say there wasn’t a great deal of vegetarian/pescetarian options, but what they did have sounded great.
We went straight in and ordered starters whilst we decided on our mains.
Butternut squash and gruyère ravioli in a light cream sauce with sage, thyme and pumpkin seeds.
If that doesn’t make you weak at the knees, I don’t know what will. It was sensational. So much so, I wish I’d ordered it as my main instead – which was an option. CURSES!
I chose it because it sounded quite like a pasta dish I’ve made myself – Lemon and Parsley Ravioli with Sage and Brown Butter Sauce. And it’s a favourite of mine, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong.
I am obsessed with having seeds on everything at the moment. As small as they are, they add texture and a little burst of extra flavour that quickly transforms any dish. And alongside the sweetness of the butternut squash, they were certainly a welcomed addition to the dish.
The pasta was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was divine!
On the other side of the table, my friend enjoyed a grilled portobello mushroom and goats’ cheese, wrapped in bayonne ham and served with a green herb and caper dressing and croûton.
Again, no complaints!
I don’t often choose French food when I’m out. So I completely forgot how rich it can be – especially when you’re enjoying hearty portion sizes! But every bite was worth it, and worth the guilt!
The menu has a section of dedicated to ‘lighter options’ – all of which are suitable for vegetarian/pescetarian. Which was amazing to see. But I wanted epic plates of calorie goodness. So stuck to the classic mains.
There were two options suitable for pescetarians and in the end I opted for the Parmentier de poisson; smoked haddock, king prawns, mussels, salmon and tarragon in a white wine cream sauce, topped with aged gruyère mashed potato.
Ultimately, a fish pie. But a really good, gimme another bowl, fish pie.
The fish was cooked perfectly, and the mash wasn’t too overpowering with the cheese. And despite finding one or two bones (eeeeek!), this was a pretty top notch choice. I just wasn’t expecting soooooo much of it. *eats every morsel*
My friend indulged in Médaillons de porc; slow-cooked marinated medallions of pork with a honey mustard glaze, Morteau sausage, caramelised apples and Dijon beurre blanc. And not a crumb was left on her plate. They took a classic – pork and apple – and made it something really special.
By this point, the jean buttons were undone, we were that low down in our chairs we were basically on the floor, and we were mopping some serious food sweat brows…
After two courses, we were both incredibly full.
Must… wait… 30… minutes… and… then… order… biggest… dessert… in… all… the… land…
Which ended up being French-style bread and butter pudding with warm spiced blackberry compôte, served with vanilla ice cream and raspberry and cream ice cream with fresh raspberries, crushed meringue, soft marshmallows, pistachios, raspberry coulis and crème Chantilly.
The bread and butter pudding melted the soul. Truly. Warm, indulgent, melt in the mouth, give us 5 more! And the ice cream was a nice refreshing break from intense, rich flavours!
There were so many things I wanted to try, like the sticky honey cake with ginger ice cream, and the Bouillabaisse maison – but they’re for another time, when I know I’m not going to be inhaling three courses!
All in all, we had a fabulous evening with friendly staff, great food, and in a gorgeous environment!
Have you been?
Thanks so much to Bistrot Pierre for inviting me to enjoy a complimentary three course meal. All opinions expressed are my own, and truthful.