A perfect end to the week
at the New Steine Bistro
Simon Lightfoot reviews the New Steine French Bistro…
I can think of few greater pleasures than finishing a long week by walking through a crisply cold evening to an enticing restaurant for some quality food. This was the great treat my partner Gill and I enjoyed last Friday, when we were so warmly welcomed at the New Steine French Bistro by the charismatic Hervé and his utterly charming team.
Situated on the western edge of Kemptown’s New Steine, the bistro offers diners an evening of elegance at exceptional value. From the art deco lighting to the bespoke art adorning the walls, the restaurant feels like a welcoming mix of piano-lounge cool and homely familiarity.
Furnished with drinks, we began choosing our starters, and with such a variety, changed our minds several times. I nearly had the crab cakes, almost had the squid, practically had the escargot, before actually having crispy chicken rolls. My dithering, however, was worthwhile: generously filled inside and wonderfully crispy outside,haya the addition of beansprouts and lettuce leaves to wrap them in before dipping in soy sauce, gave the dish a delightful freshness. Meanwhile, Gill dabbled with smoked mackerel rillette before choosing the French onion tart. Pinching a mouthful (purely research, not greed!), it was difficult not to take more, as it avoided being overpowering like many onion tarts, and was instead enjoyably delicate, whilst still full of flavour.
After more selection heartache over the wide range of mains, I elected the duck confit. Served with sautéed new potatoes and a ramekin of gravy, the duck was cooked to perfection. The skin was garida crispy and bursting with flavour and the meat itself, benefiting from slow cooking, was moist, tender, and fell from the bone with a mere nudge. Tucking into Gill’s plaice meunière (more research), I knew why she was also beaming with delight. The delicacy of the plaice, and the lemon in the sauce, were perfectly accompanied by the traditional capers and a side of beautifully seasoned crushed potatoes.
Desserts of crème brûlée and chocolate mousse were a delectable indulgence to end a delicious feast. Attractively presented, they brought what felt like a classy treat of an evening (despite my best efforts to lower the standards by spilling gravy all over the table and my thankfully-napkinned lap) to a close. Bid farewell as sincerely as we were welcomed, it really was a perfect end to the week, and ideal start to the weekend.