French ‘Tapas’ @ Bistro La Barrique, Bath

Dinner a Bistro La Barrique happened as a matter of coincidence. Whilst planning our Bath holiday, I had initially booked lunch and dinner reservations at ‘Hole in Wall’ and ‘Beaujolais Bistro’. As it turns out we ended at dining at neither of these restaurants, once we were captivated by the wide variety of food that Bath has to offer.

Our Good Friday meal at Bistro La Barrique was surprisingly exceptional. First off, the entire concept of eating French food in a tapas-type style strongly appealed. I am always the type who is absolutely torn between multiple entrees and generally only end up making my final decision at the last moment. And to be presented the perfect solution, made me one happy diner!

The size of the dishes at Bistro La Barrique is no reflection on the quality of the dishes. In an attempt to pace our eating, we staggered our order pairing sets of dishes with what we though were appropriate wines. (Did I mention that there are 52 wines by the glass?).

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We started off with Moules Marinares, King Prawns with Saffron rice and Pan seared Cod on mashy green peas. The mussels were cooked well, fairly plump and portioned generously.

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The King Prawns were char-grilled to a little over, and the accompanying rice a little too well done. Despite, the flavours were still there which is what counts.

The fish was a little forgettable, owing to the fact that it was slightly over-seasoned; but when washed down with a lovely French Savingnon, ended up being fairly satisfying.

img_5695Next up came the Seared Venison on roasted parsnips – absolutely beautiful. The Venison was honey seared and cooked medium rare, without being too gamey. The roasted parsnip squares were moreish having been doused in a similar honey stock liquid. In this case, I was almost a little disappointed that the portion was tapas sized – if only they offered a racion!

The duck confit was equally as nice and not too salty as I often find with Duck prepared this way. The skin was crisp, flesh moist, and was served on top of some delicious julienne braised vegetables

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The squid salad was again forgetful as it was slightly rubbery and without flavour. The mains were appreciated alongside a French Syrah which was incredible value by the glass. (All wines were 3-5 pounds by the glass).

We ended the meal sharing a chocolate and mint fondant. Unfortunately however the dessert was more of a chocolate terrine than fondant as it was cold and uncooked. Disappointing, as I was totally expecting to dig into heavenly melted chocolate.

Overall the meal was enjoyable, especially given the coldness of the night outside. And at under 50 pounds for two including wines and dessert – decent value.

Service: 8/10
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 8/10

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