Oh my Cod, what a lovely meal
After a month of enjoying the Brighton Fringe, it is nice to be heading out for a relaxing meal. Lucy and I are very excited tonight as we are heading to try the new menu at the Hotel du Vin.
We are warmly greeted at the door and taken to the dining room where we are shown to our table by the window in their impressive seating area. Our waiter is very friendly and talks us through the menu; on his suggestion we decide to try a bottle of Portuguese white wine. He is very proud of his home country’s wine and his advice is great as the wine is fruity and full of flavour.
New summer menu
As the menu is new, we ask the chef for recommendations and whilst our order is taken, we are offered some fresh baked bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For starters, we share the chicken liver parfait and the sautéed mushrooms on toast, both classic French dishes and I cannot wait to tuck in.
The chicken liver parfait is served with raisin chutney and brioche toast; the parfait is smooth and rich and the sweetness of the chutney compliments the flavour as we spread this thickly over the brioche toast. The portion is very generous so they kindly offer us extra bread to finish the parfait off and we are both very happy.
The sautéed mushrooms are served on a large slice of brioche toast with a Madeira cream. The sweetness of onions mixed through the mushrooms contrast the Madeira cream which brings the whole dish together. Sharing both this and the parfait is a very indulgent and satisfying start to a wonderful meal.
The menu is amazing and with so many classics it is hard to choose. Both being indecisive, we are happy to let the chef choose for us. For our mains, the chef has chosen the fillet steak and roast cod with lentilles du puy, both accompanied by pommes frites. The food arrives and I am very impressed at the size of the fillet steak, sat next to a garnish of watercress and slice of tomato to add colour to the plate. We opt for our favourite of peppercorn sauce from a range of choices. On recommendation, we order the steak medium rare which is perfect for the size of cut.
The steak just melts in the mouth and the peppery sauce compliments so well; every mouthful is a meat lover’s delight.
The quality of the steak is amazing and the waiter explains that all of their steaks are at a minimum 28 day aged on the bone to add to the flavour. You really can taste the difference when so much care goes in to the preparation of the meat.
Much like the fillet steak, the size of roast cod is equally as impressive, with a herb crust for colour served on a bed of puy lentils, button onions and large crisp pieces of pancetta.
The cod is cooked perfectly and just flakes away; the smokiness of the pancetta works really well with the cod and the sweetness of the onions add another dimension to the dish.
As we share both dishes, it is hard to choose a favourite. It is great to enjoy some top quality French cooking which reminds me of summers in France and we have this all right on our footsteps on Brighton, we shall definitely be returning!
We ask the waiter for a break before our desserts as we are very full from the fabulous starters and main course and sit back and relax enjoying the wonderful Portuguese wine.
Dessert the French way
For dessert, the chef has chosen a tarte au citron and the French classic, a Paris Brest. I am very intrigued about the Paris Brest as I have never heard of this before; it comes out looking like a giant doughnut oozing with sauce. The Paris Brest it is made from choux pastry which is one of my favourites and is filled with salted caramel sauce and topped with roasted almond flakes. It is very decadent but moreish and perfect for those with a sweet tooth; a dessert I will certainly be looking to have again.
However, the star of the show for us is the tarte au citron; a lemon curd tart served with the most amazing raspberry sorbet, very sharp in flavour and a great way to almost cleanse the palate to finish. It looks amazing with bright, vibrant colours and with a taste to match, it really is one of my favourite puddings I have ever had.
The service is top notch and the food is superb. Hotel du Vin should be a must on your Brighton food adventures so make sure you book your table today!See the listing for Hotel Du Vin Brighton, Restaurant and Bistro