It was a blustery autumnal evening when my mum and I headed for Ilkley, to spend an evening at Bistrot Pierre, which sits proudly within a stunning arch-shaped building that dates back to 1861.
The building also comprises of sister pub, The Crescent Inn, which offers B&B accommodation with all 11 rooms named after Yorkshire’s Moors and landscapes.
It was certainly a ‘come in out of the cold’ moment when we headed inside this bistro style French restaurant which is part of a large chain, but really doesn’t feel like it.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting and the welcome was friendly as we were shown to our table in a cozy corner. It was a Tuesday evening with inclement weather yet the place was buzzing with an eclectic mix of guests.
My mum chose a Kir Royal to start the evenings proceedings, a regular visitor to France and fluent in the native, I knew Bistrot Pierre had a tall order if they wished to impress her, it started very well with this classic aperitif.
To start, my mum chose Bonbons de fromage de chèvre 5.95 Goats’ cheese bonbons, served with roasted ruby and striped beetroot, chicory, hazelnut praline and honey dressing whilst I plumped for the Soupe à l’oignon 5.95, which was served with a gooey Le Saint Mont crouton. Both starters were delicious, I particularly relished the onion soup and this again had a high benchmark to meet as my mum makes a mean version every year
at Christmas. We were suitably impressed with our choices and looking forward to our main courses. Our waiter was kind enough to offer his advice on a glass of wine to suit our selections, it’s always good to know the staff know their onions, so to speak, as I am not well versed in French wine. I had ordered Croquette de poisson 12.95 which was served with sautéed spinach, a perfectly soft poached egg and a Dijon and herb beaurre blanc. This dish was really, really good. The fishcake was really very tasty and combined deliciously with the slight tang of the sauce. I was also served the vegetables and potatoes of the day, making this fairly light dish, much more hearty.
Mum chose Poulet de Normandie 14.50, a slow roasted half chicken with roasted garlic and parsley butter served with fries and dressed leaves. This looked and smelt divine, I am big into garlic so I did have a little touch of food envy about this dish, even though I was over the moon with my own choice too. I couldn’t help but ask for a fork full and I’m ruddy glad I had the cheek! The chicken was juicy and succulent with a giant kick of garlic, delicious, although re think your order if you are on a first date….
I don’t normally go in for dessert but I know my mum has a real penchant for a little something sweet so we opted to share the Tarte aux clémentines 5.95. I’m so glad we did! It was the perfect end to a delightful meal. All creamy and gooey with the tang of citrus bouncing through the crème Chantilly – I nearly whipped Avril’s last fork full right out of her hand! (Yes, she also has a very French name….)
The service was fantastic I must mention, well paced, efficient and pleasant. The team were young and chatty and made us feel very welcome. I would definitely return to Bistrot Pierre in Ilkley, given they are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it would be rude not to call in for Oeufs Benedict before a spot of shopping, or a glass of champagne with the great value prixe fixe lunch – at only £11.95 for two courses it really is a steal. Book your table today, tell them I sent you.
Written by Joanne Brook-Smith in November 2018
Brook Street , Ilkley LS29 8DG
Tel: 01943 811 250