Sister to Chez Jues on Hanover Street, I expected great things from Pierre Victoire. Receiving an irate reply to our requested increase in table size three days prior to our booking, it wasn’t the best start.
Walking in, it was easy to see how they struggled to accommodate everyone. With tables jammed together, the result was a rather charming café feel. I’m afraid some of the more elderly diners, understandably, did not share our views as they were frequently required to move to allow other diners to pass by.
Nevertheless, the smells emanating from the kitchen were utterly mouth-watering. Presented with bottomless baskets of bread, salami, olives and pickled onions, and lettuce, we tucked in and looked at the menu. With an a la carte option, there was also the very reasonable Les Complets which includes tapas, salad, a choice of main courses and coffee for just £10.95.
We opted out of starters which included a foie gras and ham hock terrine (£6.95), grilled mackerel fillet salad (£4.95) and the tamer tapenade and bread (£4.25). Our mains included the moules frites (£9.60) with enormous mussels, thin fries and delectable alioli. The fondue savoyarde for two with the charcuterie (£19.20 each) was a perfectly smooth mixture of cheese and wine. The terrine which formed the majority of the charcuterie board was a very unusual addition. I am still unsure as to how welcome it was. Finally the coq au vin, part of Les Complets menu, was excellently cooked and served with creamy mash. Green vegetables were noticeably absent.
Accompanying our meals we chose house red and white from an almost exclusively French menu. Both La Cadence and both at £13.95, they were fantastic offerings.
Finishing off, we had a medley of desserts, including the tarte citron (£4.60), crème caramel (£3.50) and warm apple tart tatin (£4.20). All were comforting improvements of homemade favourites.
A very reasonably priced, good quality restaurant perfect for quiet week nights or weekends with friends.
• Pierre Victoire, 18 Eyre Place, 0131-556 0006, www.pierrevictoirerestaurant.co.uk