I had a couple of things to do out of the office last Wednesday, so I decided to schedule a breakfast tasting and just work from outside in between my meetings.
It’s a tough call to pick between Jones the Grocer right next door with their limited but solid menu and Jazzy selection of music, vs. Bertin Bistro’s diverse menu and eclectic iPod-on-shuffle music, but I’m really glad I was at Bertin Bistro that day, because both the food and the ambiance were ideal for the amazing, AMAZING weather.
Bertin Bistro is spread across two floors; the ground floor is very French Boulangerie, and the first floor is Andalusian- both in terms of ambiance and menu. This clear divide is reflective of Bertin’s experiences in life, which is relayed to customers on their menu and on the walls.
My plus one (Z) and I started off with a Lobster Tempura Eggs Benedict and a Shakshouka. We felt that there could have been more lobster in the former, as the tiny pieces seemed to be more tempura than lobster, but it turned out that we were the first people to try this new addition to their menu, and the Manager was happy to receive our feedback. However, the “runny” eggs I asked for were borderline raw, as even the whites were runny- and while that may work for some, it’s a major buzzkill for me. The Shakshouka was a very simple dish of two eggs in a small cast-iron skillet, and while it was a good individual portion, it could have used a bit more flavour.
We also shared an Estivale Flammekkueche, but I requested them to make it with Emental cheese instead of Goat cheese (which I absolutely despise), and they generously obliged. The dough was very crispy, and I’m not sure if it was because we chose the gluten-free option, but we enjoyed it.
Having gotten the savory part of breakfast out of the way, we excitedly moved on to the desserts. We spent a great deal of time trying to shortlist our options, as they all looked equally tempting, but after several tastings we have become well aware of our stomachs’ capacities.
We decided to go for a Waffle, because (a) It WAS breakfast, and (b) We wanted to see how it would weigh up against waffles everywhere else. The presentation of this dish was beautiful (just look at it, wow), but Bertin is not the right place for a waffle.
The next two sweet items we selected however did not disappoint. Bertin’s Pain Perdu was highly recommended to us because it has been on their menu since Bertin himself perfected the recipe for his first love, Selena. We were expecting French Toast, but it was more of a custard in a (really cute) pot, with a fluffy baked layer on the top. We considered the possibility that it hadn’t been cooked fully, but it Z enjoyed it because she likes custard- it didn’t work for me because I wanted and expected French Toast. It was served with vanilla ice cream, fluer de sel and a really nice slightly bitter caramel sauce, but it could have used some texture- perhaps some caramelized banana or candied pecans.
The piece de resistance for us was another completely new item on their menu, Pistachio Fondant. THIS is a dish that is definitely worth a visit to Bertin’s. Served in a small pot as well, this was SO FLUFFY, and we were very excited with the deliciously warm pistachio sauce that came oozing out when we dug into it. This was served with candied orange peel and fleur de sel, pistachio-infused cream, and vanilla ice cream, and all these complemented the pistachio so well, it was like explosions of flavor in your mouth. While the portion of this dessert (and the Pain Perdu) was big enough for two, we agreed that we would have happily polished off the entire thing on our own.
Overall, Bertin Bistro is a good place for a simple satisfying meal in a relaxed ambiance, with some great dessert options and amazingly Instagram-able food presentation!
*This post was co-written with my plus one, the extremely awesome: @zehrazee 🙂