Bistro du Vin Tempts You to Give French Food a TryDecember 7, 2014
When most people think of French cuisine, a fine dining establishment usually comes to mind, with white linen tablecloths, white bone china, and tiny servings of artfully plated food from a menu you can’t pronounce. Fewer people will think of the Parisian bistro, its red leather banquettes, and the homey, hearty food from a menu you still can’t pronounce. It’s this less intimidating kind of French food that Bistro Du Vin specializes in, and no, they won’t mind if you mumble and stammer your way through the French names of the food.
A franchise export from Singapore’s Les Amis group, Bistro Du Vin was brought to our shores by the ever-expanding Moment Group because, to founder Abba Napa, “I think Manila could use an old-school French bistro.” They saw an opportunity to introduce French food that wasn’t intimidating or presented in the formal, stiff settings associated with French fine dining.
The space does have a homey, old world feel to it, with marble table tops, speckled mirrors, and black and white tiled floors. The well-edited menu evokes the same feeling too, with classics that are, if not entirely familiar to people, at least very distinctly and traditionally French, like Escargot. Shipped from Burgundy, they are served (thankfully) out of the shells and in a garlic herb butter sauce that we were dipping our bread in long after the chewy mollusks were gone.
Bistro Du Vin also offers a number of blackboard specials that Moment Group’s Maita Quesada thinks are “just as strong as our a la carte (menu)…. Our blackboard specials will be ingredient-centered, what’s fresh for the day and it could also allow our chefs to be creative. It’s really the blackboard specials that I think would be exciting for us because it’s going to be constantly updated with what’s in season.”
From the day’s specials we had the steak au poivre, cooked to medium rare and very generously bathed in a thick, punchy pepper sauce.
Also distinctly French is foie gras, and Bistro Du Vin has two iterations on its menu. We tried the seared version served with the compote of the day. On the day we visited, it was a tangy fig compote, which, even in a tiny dollop, cut through the velvety richness of the foie gras.
While diners might be intimidated with a main named Cochon de lait confit, the dish itself will be familiar, as it is reminiscent of our beloved lechon. It is a confit leg of a suckling pig, with crispy skin and moist, juicy meat that will rival Cebu’s finest.
That day’s dessert special was a Don Papa Rum baba. The buttery cake, whipped cream and tart strawberries all swimming in rum make for a heady combination that kids probably shouldn’t partake in.
One dessert that adults and kids will fight over is the Le Vacherin. Even very full, slightly sleepy adults perked up as the leaning tower of confection made its way from the kitchen to the table. With its orange-scented crunchy meringue, deep chocolate syrup, creamy vanilla ice cream, and pillowy whipped cream, the dessert certainly lived up to its dramatic entrance.
With Bistro Du Vin, the Moment Group hopes to showcase a side of French food that is relatable and unintimidating. To Quesada, they hope that “when the food comes out you realize that it’s food that you know, it’s hearty and traditional. The essence really of a French bistro is food that’s contemporary comfort.” With their menu of updated classics grounded in familiar dishes, ingredients, and methods, Bistro Du Vin may be well on their way on changing the way Filipino diners see French food.
Have you tried Bistro du Vin? What’s your take on how they serve French food? Share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below!
Pepper.ph was invited to feature the above establishment. Therefore, the feature includes no rating whatsoever, which can be influenced or biased.
Bistro du Vin Philippines
Address: G/F Edades Tower & Garden Villas, Rockwell Center, Makati City
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