Tonight's menu was a little different to the normal menu at BBL where flavours are usually found to be bold and hearty, but seeking to bring the food and champagne together in a balanced way, a little more restaraint than normal was necessary in the food. Accordingly, a starter of Cornish crab, oyster leaves, apple salad and elderflower dressing showed a lighter side to Bruno's cooking, something we'll perhaps see at Bruno Loubet's new restaurant in Kings Cross, Grain Store, which opens its doors in June. Fresh and crisp with a touch of acidity, it's a dish that easily pairs with champagne, here a NV Jacquesson Cuvee 376.
Grilled quail, butternut squash and ricotta ravioli offers a perfectly delicious quail while on the main course, they pull off something which I didn't think was possible, pairing a champagne with beef. An Aberdeen Angus beef pot au feu with truffle was paired with a NV Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut, a champagne made with the red grapes that has more body and oomph to it. I was most pleasantly surprised (though I doubt I'll be swapping up my usual Sunday 'Bordeaux with beef' any time soon).
We finish the menu with poached rhubarb and strawberry jam, and some final words from Bernadette and Bruno to round out a wonderful evening. One of the reasons that we enjoy the Bistrot so much is that as well as the great food (of course), there's always such a good atmosphere there, informal but professional, friendly, and always plenty of smiles, from staff and customers alike. Eating out should be about enjoyment, and at BBL, every meal seems like a celebration, with or without champagne.