REVIEW : Bistro Du Vin, Hotel Du Vin, Edinburgh

Do you ever walk past a restaurant and wish you could dine there, especially in the evening when the candles are lit and it’s twinkling and romantic? A place that always looks so welcoming and always looks like people are having the best time?

Bistro Du Vin was this place. I’ve visited the hotel, the bar and the courtyard for various events in the last couple of years but never got around to dining there. A couple of weeks ago, I made it inside….

A seat right by the window – the window I always looked in.

I like Bistro Du Vin, they have their priorities right. Gin first, food second!

The menu has changed. It’s changed from being Scottish with a french twist here and there, to a full on French dining experience. The menu is full on French and lists some all time great French Classic dishes such as Steak Tartare, Croque Monsieur or Madame, Cassoulet Classique with confit duck and Escargots a la Bourguignonne or snails in garlic butter.

Whilst perusing the menu and sipping elegantly on our large G&T’s we tucked into lovely homemade bread and oils & balsamic vinegar.

The menu consists of sections : Entrees (starters), Plats Principaux (mains), Vegetarian and Salads, Oeufs Et Omelettes (eggs and omelette), Croques, Sandwiches et Tartines (toasties and sandwiches), Grillades (grill) and Plats Rapides (fast food).

First starter we ordered was the Soupe a L’oignon or Classic French onion soup. I don’t often say OMG, but on this occassion – yes it was totally OMG. This was without a doubt the star of the night and I will return to have this soup. It’s messy and hot and covered in melted bubbling cheese but it’s thick with soft onions in a rich soup and it’ll just make you so happy eating this.

Please go and eat this. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Next for starters came the sauteed Mushrooms on Brioche Toast with Madeira cream. And now I insert little ‘sighs’. These are sighs of bliss. The Madeira Sauce is AMAZING! It’s rich, slightly boozy, creamy, smooth and it clings to the button mushrooms and the brioche bread making every mouthful a joyful experience. 

Another star on the night. Both the Onion Soup and this dish, could easily be eaten at lunch time or an afternoon snack. Big enough portions to fill and fuel you up. Plus they are utterly scrumptious.

Main courses were a difficult choice. So much to choose from but happy to see a dedicated section on the menu for vegetarians. You’ll find a Superfood Salad loaded with edamame beans and quinoa; or try the Salade Frisee aux Lardons (Pancetta, croutons, poached egg with frisée and dandelion leaves).

Neither of us are vegetarian, but my dining partner really likes vegetarian dishes so she opted for the Aubergine and Halloumi Parmigiana Bake (thick sliced grilled aubergine and halloumi
with a chunky tomato sauce) and a side of Duck fat Pomme Frittes (chips with pancetta and gruyere cheese).

The bake was lovely. Served super hot, with generous layers of aubergine and halloumi. The aubergine was slightly charred and you could taste light smokiness to the dish. Halloumi is halloumi and for me the queen of all cheeses! What’s not to love about halloumi or anything with halloumi??!

These chips were super! Again, you just cant go wrong with cheese and bacon! Chips were thin and crispy, smothered in cheese all the way down to the last chips and the bacon bits crispy.

I went for the Moules Frites (mussels steamed with white wine, cream, shallots and garlic) and a side of plain chips. You need something to mop up the wine cream garlic sauce.

A large pot of steaming mussels and garlic wafting as the lid is removed. Yum! The mussels were large and plump, sweet and juicy. I spent some time de-shelling all the mussels so that I was left with the white wine garlic soup thick with the mussels and happily dunked my chips in the mussel ocean.

To accompany our mains we choose to enjoy a glass of Picpoul, after all the gin was long gone.  They have a really good selection of wine and a fab Sommelier to guide you through the choice and pairings if required.

Yes there was still room for dessert. Apple Tarte Tatin with Crème Normande and Rum Baba.

The Apple Tarte Tatin was lovely (not as good as mine though ..haha!) Soft apple slices coated in cinnamon syrup.

Unfortunately, this was the only dish that I was disappointed in. The Rum Baba is a cake saturated in a rum syrup served with cream. The cake was nice enough but for me it wasn’t a rum syrup. It tasted like it has just been soaked in cold hard rum. Maybe to some people’s taste but unfortunately not to mine.

Overall, Bistro Du Vin serves up mouthwatering dishes that we all know and feel at home eating. The French Onion Soup and the Mushrooms on Toast are without a doubt dishes I encourage everyone to go and try.

The atmosphere at Bistro Du Vin is very comfortable dining. The staff are super friendly and knowledgeable. You feel like you are out for a special occasion when there is no special occasion. The interior is cozy, warm, welcoming and very French.

I highly recommend Bistro Du Vin and I’m definitely going back for the soup…erm or maybe the mushrooms on toast.

Bisto Du Vin, 11 Bristo Place, Edinburgh.

Tel : 0131 247 4900 www.hotelduvin.com/locations/edinburgh/bistro/ 

My Spoon Award : Gold 9/10

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