I was making my way back to Tottenham Court Road after seeing a show at The Soho Theatre, when I walked past this delightful and unique French Bistro. What caught not only my eye but also my ears was a bustling and intimate atmosphere wonderfully animated by a live pianist playing at the entrance. Peering through the window, you could sense the buzz and excitement emanating from inside. At that moment, I decided that my next dating venture would have to be, Pierre Victoire!
Upon arrival, the restaurant was in full swing, with full tables and a vibrant ambience, this meant that my date and I had to be seated downstairs in a smaller, more quiet room which was intimate, but lacked the excitement of upstairs (it didn’t help that my seat was situated next to the kitchen door) so we asked to be moved. The waitress was lovely and obliging, once we’d ordered some large glasses of malbec, we were moved to the next available table upstairs, where our drinks were waiting for us. Unfortunately on our visit, there was no pianist. I have been told that he plays most nights throughout the summer, but I would advise checking before you book.
The restaurant has two menus, an a la carte and a set menu, which is a complete bargain. The set menu runs until 7:30pm and is virtually the same as the a la carte, but at a rock bottom price. Two courses total at £9.90 for lunch and £12.90 for dinner. Some items on the set menu have supplements but it is still a small price to pay for the quality of the food.
To begin, along with the free basket of bread and butter, I had the french onion soup and OMG it was good – rich and sweet with croutons and gruyère – I would have been happy with simply a giant bowl of it. My date had deep-fried brie which was nice but nowhere near as good as the soup. I may be somewhat biased as I’d been hankering after French onion soup for a while and it really quenched my craving!
For the main, I had the ‘Pressed Shin of Lamb’, with smoked aubergine puree, parisienne potatoes, onion and mint marmalade. This was a very generous portion of melt in the mouth meat, and at first I feared that I wouldn’t be able to finish it, but then I manned up and the lamb, along with my doubt, were quickly consumed. My date chose the ‘Roasted Honey Duck Breast’ with cream dauphinoise potatoes, steamed pak choi, fresh plum and five spice sauce. Again, this was a generous portion that eventually defeated her, but which she thoroughly enjoyed – particularly the plum itself.
For dessert, we ordered the ‘Raspberry Creme Brûlée’ and the ‘Lemon and Lime Panna Cotta’. I love creme brûlée, but I find there is never enough, it’s always served in wide but shallow ramekins that leave you wanting more. Sadly, this was the case at Pierre Victoire, however, I was so full from the lamb – I didn’t care. The lemon and lime panna cotta was scrumptious and rich but was more of a syllabub – super creamy but not set – still delicious and devoured by my date.
Pierre Victoire is an exquisite little bistro, serving heart warming dishes at excellent prices. It’s in a great location just off Oxford Street in Soho, perfect for lunch or dinner post shopping or pre theatre – a must have experience for all daters.