I don’t know about you, but deciding where to go to eat can be a NIGHTMARE! Going back and forth between restaurants, what you fancy to eat, Googling, checking maps for local places. There’s a lot to consider and it can be tough, well… Open Table saves the day!
I am really pleased to be partnering with Open Table to review a local restaurant of my choosing and let me tell you, the process of finding a restaurant was SO simple and easy. In minutes of opening the app I had found a gorgeous little bistro restaurant in Brighton which I had never even heard of.. and I am a foodie, living in Brighton!! Check out all the fab restaurants you can find in Brighton here.
Il Bistro is a gorgeous little independent French restaurant nestled in The Laines, in the heart of Brighton. Offering a delicious selection of dishes including steaks, garlicky prawns, and of course bread and aioli! Anyone who’s been around for a while here known I’m a fiend for bread and aioli!
What I love about booking with Open Table, is you can search for a restaurant by the date and time you want to book. For example I had a specific date and time in mind for dinner, so being able to search by that criteria meant avoiding disappointment when a restaurants booked up because I was only given results that had availability.
Il Bistro is a gorgeous little, family run restaurant tucked away in the Laines. The building itself is a old fisherman’s cottage which dates back to the 18th century and you can really feel the charm and character as soon as you arrive. Since 1976 they have worked with local suppliers and are one of the longest open independent restaurants in Brighton!
When we arrived we were greeted with smiles, warmth and by the smell of absolutely delicious meals, which really got us excited and ready to eat EVERYTHING! The whole restaurant has a home-y, cozy vibe. We sat tucked in a window booth seat looking out into the Laine we’re on, it was just so wholesome and wonderful, I could’ve stayed there all night. The staff were all absolutely lovely, very attentive and helpful with all our questions. Their wine list has a lot of lovely options but we ended up picking a bottle of the Picpoul and it was perfect with our meal.
The menu has a lovely selection of small plates and meals, while it may not be a large menu, you are definitely in for a treat with whatever you order! You’ll find classics, done really well! Fish Cassoulet, Liver & Bacon, Prawns in Butter & Garlic to name just a few. All flavours you have likely had plenty before but done to such a impressive standard!
Another standout dish on the menu for me was the fish croquettes, deliciously crispy on the outside and soft & full of flavour on the inside. You get 3 large croquettes per portion and wow, they are really Yum!! We actually shared a portion with bread & aioli and it was a dream.
For main course, I had already scoured the menu online and had my heart set on a steak! You can tell a lot by a restaurant by how good their steaks are. So with already high expectations after the delicious starters, i went for the Fillet steak cooked medium rare and WOW… it did not disappoint! In fact it actually exceeded my expectations!
The steak was cooked to absolute perfection! The flavour was beautiful and it just melted in my mouth as soon as I ate it. Honestly I haven’t stopped thinking about it since and it won’t be long till I’m back for another! We also ordered the Casio E Pepe, a really simple dish which has nowhere to hide. I rarely see it on menus actually because it’s one of those dishes you have to get spot on every time. Literally ‘Cheese and Pepper’, with just four simple ingredients – spaghetti, pepper, parmesan and butter. And it was delicious! What might sound on paper like a simple dish, was full of flavour, and felt like a real treat to eat. Even the side of fries we ordered were a standout. There was definitely some double or triple cooked magic going on there!
After all the amazing food we unfortunately didn’t have room for desert! But that just gives me more of a excuse to go back asap. Not that I needed one, let’s be honest.
It’s a rare find to find such a gorgeous, independent, family restaurant which does everything, SO well. I left feeling like I was part of the family. They haven’t overcomplicated anything or tried to reinvent the wheel with their dishes, they have focused on doing what they do, exceptionally well. Which means for a really special visit everytime. And to think, I hadn’t heard of the restaurant until I found them on Open Table opens up a whole world of possibilities, what other awesome restaurants am I going to be able to find now with Open Table?!
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you venture to Il Bistro and enjoy a delicious meal and lovely experience soon. And thank you to Open Table for working with me on this piece, I am so passionate about trying new places and sharing them with all of you and being able to do that in my home town.. it’s special!