My high expectations were not unwarranted – I and some Francophile friends have been well pleased with Pierre Victoire’s lunch menu in the past, but my first dining experience was a joy.
Other reviewers’ experiences have been diminished by an over-busy restaurant – don’t be perturbed, as I find this reflects on popularity-drawing quality rather than a poor layout. Arriving on graduation day, lovely staff ushered us past the downstairs bustle to somewhere quieter, where we could salivate in indecision at the menu. My friend’s Pâté de Volaille was delicious, smooth and light, and I will never discriminate against chicken liver parfait again. My Fromage de Chèvre en Croûte starter was more intense and quite sublime – crisp, filo pastry contrasted the goats cheese and green fig compôte. Its almost dessert-worthy sweetness was not unwelcome, the edge of which being taken off by a dash of balsamic. Gladly, my main presented more gentle flavours…
The elements of my Saumon en Papillotte were very nicely executed – salmon winningly fresh and very substantial, baby potatoes perfect enough to pleasantly surprise an Irishman. The ginger could have made more of an appearance, but the subtle deployment of chilli and Muscadet was well judged. A generous portion. My friend’s Magret de Canard was wonderfully cooked, its red wine and raspberry jus noteworthily indulgent.
Dessert brought the best cheesecake I’ve had in a long time – a compact yet impactful white chocolate and raspberry construction, the sharpness of the latter combining perfectly with a rich, dark chocolate sauce.
The restaurant’s reputation of independence and a commitment to quality is justified; even an element of the décor provided a talking point (no spoilers). Its wines, also, have been satisfactory to my admittedly non-connoisseur palate. I’ve always been pleased with the value offered by Pierre Victoire, especially its prix fixe lunch and dinner menus (the above just passing the £50 mark, for two), and I feel that any verbal gushing here is well deserved.