Review: An evening at Eastbourne’s seafront Bistrot Pierre
What I loved about it:
What really sets Bistrot Pierre Eastbourne apart is its spectacular sea views across the magnificent Sussex coast. With the sun shining and waves crashing against the shore, it is an idyllic spot to escape to for dinner or drinks. Coupled with the friendly staff and flavoursome food, it’s a great choice for a relaxing meal on the coast.
Value for money (out of 10):
Spectacular seaside views, friendly staff and flavoursome food
Situated on the heart of Eastbourne’s scenic promenade with the Eastbourne Eye on one side and views of the historic Pier on the other, it’s fair to say that Bistrot Pierre has struck gold with its location. Boasting sweeping panoramas across the Sussex coast which take in the striking white cliffs of Beachy Head, the French bar and restaurant certainly has the ‘wow’ factor as a dining destination.
Arriving on a sunny April evening, I had been invited to try the Bistrot’s new set menu, “Menu Pierre”, following the renovation of the restaurant and its new, stylish “Bar Pierre”. We had lucked out with the weather as we made our way in, soaking up the blue skies and sunshine that drenched the effective glass-panelled, sea-facing terrace.
Welcomed with a professional smile by Maitre’D, Jarek (think Eastbourne’s answer to Fred Sireux from First Dates), we were taken to a lovely table next to the window to admire the spectacular seaside vista. As we walked through, I was surprised by how busy the restaurant was for a Wednesday evening, with a pleasant atmospheric buzz in the air. We also marvelled at the elegant, industrial-chic lights and Parisian style tables.
Though I didn’t visit prior to the renovation, it seems that this new layout offers a better use of the space, with full-length windows along two sides of the restaurant area, celebrating the views and allowing light to stream in from all angles. The bar area is further back, away from the windows creating a more cosy, intimate atmosphere for cocktails. However, on warm sunny days you also have the option of sipping your drinks on the al fresco terrace.
At our table, we began to peruse the menu. Offering 3 courses and a drink for £22.95, “Menu Pierre” is simple, but has a good variety of options, with 4 starters, 5 main courses and 4 desserts to choose from. Drinks wise, you can select from a (generous) glass of their Cuvée 22 wine, pint of Bière 94 or a soft drink. When our waiter arrived to take our order, we ordered three glasses of their signature red Cuvée 22 which, interestingly, is created exclusively for Bistrot Pierre in the South of France.
For my starter, I opted for the Baked Normandy Camembert, whilst my guests went for the Calamari and Fricassée de Champignons respectively. All came well presented, with the Camembert and Calamari both served on rustic wooden boards, and were delicious. The plum and ginger chutney that accompanied my Camembert was particularly good.
For main, I chose the Chicken Diane which was accompanied by dauphinoise potatoes (I can never resist dauphinoise!) and french beans. Though it wasn’t something I’d usually order (I tend to think of chicken as something I can make at home), the meat was beautifully juicy and the sauce full of flavour so I was very impressed. My guests had the classic Steak Frites served with peppercorn sauce and the Fishcake Nicoise, both of which they reported to be very tasty. I was told that the poached egg served on top of the fishcake was cooked perfectly.
Between main and dessert, the sun began to set so I popped outside onto the terrace briefly to take in the sky turning pink. The views of the pier were stunning as the sun dropped low and lights started to come on down the promenade. It would be such a romantic spot for a date, especially in the Summer months.
Despite being quite full by this point, we made room for dessert, ordering a Crème Brûlée, Pot au Chocolat and Panna Cotta between us. Whilst sumptuous and silky smooth, the Pot au Chocolat was a little too rich for me and I had to admit defeat half way through. I tried the Crème Brûlée though, and was very impressed. Often I’m disappointed by Crème Brûlées in the UK after being spoiled by the real thing in France, but this featured a deep creamy vanilla base and thin, crunchy top which definitely stood up to those I’d had over the pond. Similarly, the Panna Cotta served with a mixed berry compote had a perfect wobble and was to die for!
The service throughout was friendly yet efficient. There were no long waits between courses, but equally we never felt rushed. It’s a stunning spot and makes for a very relaxed meal with good quality food at a very reasonable price. I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in Eastbourne and fancy either a relaxed date night, family meal or sunset drink on the seafront.
Menu Pierre is served all day Sunday – Friday and Saturdays until 5pm. They also offer 3 courses for £19.95 or 2 courses for £17.95.