There are lots of places that fall in to the category of “been meaning to go there for a while”, but Bia Bistrot is probably top of that list. Not only have many people sung its praises to me, but I’ve also walked past it countless times on my travels.
Today, I timed it perfectly to arrive in its vicinity when its smart bistro stylings were exactly what I was after, so was delighted to take a corner table, rest my feet, and contemplate the menu.
With attractive looking value, in the shape of their lunchtime set menu, offering two courses for £9.50, I liked what I saw. Indeed, I had quite a task to make my choices, as I would have been happy to eat any and all of the starters and mains.
The lovely waitress helped me out, by offering more detailed descriptions of each dish. I settled upon the soup, a potato and rosemary, then a gnochhi dish, featuring butternut squash.
The soup soon arrived. A rather thin potato potage, the promised notes of rosemary were completely obliterated by fresh tarragon shredded on top, theoretically as a garnish. It was a little under-seasoned, too, so left me very unconvinced.
The main course was similarly underwhelming. The homemade gnochhi had been rather unevenly crisped, with some of the little, soft potato parcels verging on the burnt. The creamy sauce and sweet squash came together for quite tasty mouthfuls, but again the seasoning was too light, and lacked the required boldness.
So overall, so much of what was on offer at Bia Bistrot, from their menu, to the delightful service and smart surroundings, said that this was going to be an enjoyable and perhaps excellent restaurant experience. However, the execution of both dishes I sampled was very sloppy, and entirely let things down.
I’ll need to come back before reaching a firm verdict, as I’m almost certain that what I had today was not a representative experience. Next time I’ll bring MJ, who, like me, will be lured in by the sound of the dishes on the menu. I hope we find the kitchen on much finer form.
Today’s quester was: Blythe
I ate: potato and rosemary soup; gnochhi
I drank: water
I wore: walking attire
Total bill: £9.50