If you’re looking for a stylish and sophisticated Parisian neighbourhood bistro that serves terrific food, I have found it. Except it’s in Hove.
And just to confuse the geography further, it’s called Bistro Nantais – after the city of Nantes, the capital of the Pays de la Loire.
It’s the latest upmarket eaterie to be opened by French chef Pascal Benamari. He made a name for himself in Brighton as head chef at the chic La Fourchette in 2002, before opening his own restaurant, Pascal’s, in 2007. Now, he’s edged a few hundred metres west into Hove for his new offering.
There, he’s stuck to dishes he knows the locals love: mostly traditional French dishes. On the menu, you’ll find foie gras, frogs’ legs, baked camembert, coq au vin…
The wine list, however, extends well beyond France.
I ate at Bistro Nantais last Saturday for the first time. I had escargots to start with, of course, followed by a delicious rack of lamb. Mind you, I looked on with envy as friends shared a medium-rare côte de boeuf.
An assiette gourmande, a sharing plate with samples of most of the desserts, rounded off the evening.
The the menu is affordable – and the two-course lunch for £8.95 looks very tempting.
I’ve already reserved a table.