Bistro La Barrique

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 3 reviews

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225 Gloucester Road,

(0117) 944 5500

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byTimothy James20/11/2008
A relaxed and welcoming bistro, serving excellent food and wine.

The Venue
Situated on Gloucester Road, a little way up the hill after the main drag of shops, sits this cute French restaurant - Bistro La Barrique.

Tables are laid out around the main room with space for more on the decking out front which, while pleasant enough for a quick coffee on a warm day, fails to offer customers the kind of Loire Valley-style backdrop this charming little Bistro richly deserves.

Inside the decor is warm and welcoming, intimate without feeling crowded, and understated but not plain.

The People
Bistro La Barrique succeeds in creating the kind of low-key chic to which any bistro aspires. The staff are attentive and friendly without being overbearing, and the clientele are diverse but respectful.

They don’t really do rowdy or boisterous here, but neither do customers sit around in hushed reverence. It's a place to enjoy eating and drinking well, not to dissect your meal.

The Food
At Bistro La Barrique it's all about the food. Predominantly the menu consists of Petits Plats (starting from £4.95) which together make up a sort of French tapas, featuring such interesting treats as wild mushroom flan with chive cream, venison sausage and puy lentil ragout, as well as a terrine of the day.

In addition there are standard side dishes for £2.95 including potato gratin, various salads, garlic bread, etc. And there's a daily a la carte menu, offering three conventional starters, mains and desserts.

Although the food is predominantly French, there are nuances of other European cuisines thrown into the mix to keep things interesting. These include pan-fried guinea fowl with sauerkraut.

That said, in good French tradition, a lot of the food is fairly rich – cream and butter is used fairly liberally. One of the beauties of the restaurant is that it allows you to enjoy the meal you want – there are lighter vegetable dishes to balance the menu, and the tapas-style grazing that Bistro La Barrique encourages means you never feel daunted by the portions.

The menu is expertly put together, adequately catering to all tastes and appetites. Moreover, the ingredients are always fresh and of the highest quality – the tomato salad is perhaps the best example of this.

Desserts cost £4.25 and include homemade sorbets and ice creams, mousse, as well as the obligatory cheese plate.

The Drink
If you love your wine, you’ll love Bistro La Barrique. It has a terrifically varied selection of around 53 bottles including red, white, rose and Champagne.

About half the wine is from France, the rest from all over the world. All are available by the glass, carafe or bottle.

There are delicious Syrahs and Sancerres, along with excellent examples of Merlots and Chardonnays. Bottles range from £12.95 to £32.

In addition, there is an extensive range of spirits and liqueurs (£2.50 to £4). Peroni, Stella, Budvar, Corona, Bath Ales and Weston’s Cider are available in bottles (£3 to £4), as well as a healthy selection of French ciders.

There are even Champagne cocktails for £4.95. Teas, coffees and soft drinks are also available.

The Last Word
Bistro La Barrique sets the standard, and is one which other restaurants aspire to. Reasonably priced, well staffed, delicious food and drink, combined perfectly in a charming but informal atmosphere.

Bistro La Barrique has been reviewed by 3 users

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Content updated: 04/02/2012 23:38

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