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One Friday night a lack of indecision of where to eat brought us to Bistro du Vin on Dean St in Soho. Part of the Hotel du Vin chain, they are perhaps 2, maybe 3 bistros scattered around. Serving classic French food, the interior is clearly based on the idea of French bistros, however the inside is lacking the heart and character of true bistros.

First up was the Foie Gras & chicken liver pate. I am a true foie gras fiend. I understand the ethics side of the controversial ingredient, but it is my true weakness. There is no way I could NOT order this dish in a French restaurant. Creamy, velvety and rich, I happily spooned this up and shovelled it into my gob once the toast slices ran out. Served with a sweet jammy-date like chutney, it helped to cut through the richness of the fois gras.

 

Breaking the ordering rules I set myself to, I ordered another heavy dish for my main. Stomach space, be dammned! It was cold and I feel like Beef Bourguignon. I had to look up how to spell that. Not a great choice after the pate – I was so full I couldn’t finish it. Sad face. The beef was slowly cooked; pulling away easily with just a prod of my fork. My only complaint about the parsnip puree is that it was piped onto the plate. It weirds me out when places do that. WHY? The gravy had a slight burnt taste to it, but as whole the dish was inoffensive. Everything tasted fine, it was just – too clean, too neat. There was no heart to it, and I’m starting to realise that is what makes a dish great.

Bistro du vin was a pleasant place to eat – food was cooked well, service was friendly, I just don’t think I am their target market. The whole place felt a little clinical. The best way I can think to describe it, was if it were a band, they would be Coldplay: they do what they do well, but they’re not for me. When you hear them, it’s easy listening, but sometimes you want more from what you listen to.

And thus begins an effective way (thought up on the spot, no less) of describing how I feel about various meals: pop culture references. My 2 favourite things: food and pop culture. Now, back to flavorwire.

http://www.hotelduvin.com/

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