Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Food-views - Bistro Franc, Liverpool

Food. What can I say? I really like food and I really like eating out. I’m always quizzing friends and colleagues on where they’ve eaten recently, looking for recommendations and then finding an excuse to go and investigate gastronomical offerings – though it gets a little harder when pay day is further than the horizon!

Bistro Franc, situated over on the corner of Hanover Street near the back corner of Liverpool One (The Lewis’ end) was recommended to me, specifically their Le Pre-Théâtre menu. This is a fantastic deal that really lets you experience the restaurant and what they offer for a fantastic price – 3 courses for £11.95pp (drinks not included). The menu is limited but they really do have something for everyone. I never struggle to find something and have had something different each time I’ve visited too. This menu and offer are available everyday from 4.30pm – 7pm, and until 6.30pm Fridays and Saturdays. One Sunday’s there is a roast dinner option too. The timings are perfect but it does mean come around 5.30 it really starts to pick up as people want to get in before the offer ends to if you’re going after that time, especially over the weekend, you might want to book a table!

The restaurant itself is just stunning. It has a wonderfully relaxed, dim-lighted atmosphere, wooden furniture, French prints on the walls, wrought iron work and candles in wine bottles. It’s so rustic and charming, a perfect place for date night or catch up with friends. I’ve noticed a lot of families gathering here too for birthdays and celebrations. I know some people who would steer-clear of a more family friendly location but if you are looking for something a little more intimate then ask for a table at the back or upstairs – it’s French, and anything French is romantic if you ask me!

I apologise in advance for the extremely dark photos! The lighting is really low in here and flash really distorted the images! 

pan fried mushrooms with sage butter

grilled mackerel fillet


For my starter I went with the pan fried mushrooms with sage butter, served on a garlic croûte with side salad and balsamic dressing. It was absolutely delicious. I love mushrooms and these where friend up to perfect, so soft and buttery but full of flavor. When mixed with the aged balsamic dressing they just tasted wonderful. I could have ate twice as much as they plated up for me, but as a starter this was a perfectly sized portion. The Man got himself grilled mackerel fillet, served with a fresh beetroot, caper and balsamic salsa and side salad. It was only after ordering that he told me he has never tried mackerel...or beetroot before! The mackerel was wonderful, not dry and went well with the mixed salad and beetroot – it’s not like him to clear a plate but he enjoyed it so much that nothing was left behind!

Entrecôte Diane
vegetable side skillet

For mains, we both ordered the ‘Entrecôte Diane’, a beef sirloin steak in a mushroom, brandy and mustard sauce. (Note, steak is an additional £2.95). All the mains come with a side of new potatoes, dauphinois potatoes, carrots, broccoli, shredded red cabbage and cauliflower. I absolutely love the side of vegetables they serves with all the mains! I ordered my steak medium well, Man ordered his medium rare ad both came out perfect. I have this insane phobia of my steak oozing anything blood colored related and although this was a light pink on the inside, there was nothing untoward oozing out whenever I cut through it. It tastes amazing and the sauce complemented it so well. The sauce and the dauphinois potatoes where amazing together, I could have happily eaten a bowl of just that! 

crème brûlée


We both ordered the crème brûlée – I’ve never actually ordered one before and it’s Mans all time favorite dessert. From our table we could see them blow-torching the top of the dessert too. Not knowing what to expect, I took much delight in cracking the caramelized topping of my dessert, reveling the gooeyness underneath. It was strange for me to have a dessert that didn’t actually involve cake of any kind! It was lovely, not too rich or creamy and just the right amount to finish the meal off, any more and I doubt I could have finished it. I won’t lie, I wish my tiny strawberry was a little bigger, I think a small selection of mixed berries on the side would be a perfect addition to this dish.

Our server was great, every dish came out fresh and hot from the kitchen and there was just the right amount of time between dishes. It was really busy the evening we went but we had no problem getting our servers attention for anything.

Bistro Francs has 2 sister restaurants around the city centre that I’m eager to try, though I’m sure they all offer the same menu and special offers. I really want to try their lunch menu (3 courses for £9.75) and their Christmas 2013 set menus are just as well priced with an array of festive offerings.

I would happily eat here again! If you’re in Liverpool over this festive season doing your Christmas shopping or celebrating the holidays I’d recommend you stop by!

Have you eaten at Bistro Franc or one of it’s sister restaurants? Thoughts?

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