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“Disappointing when it shouldn't have been”
Review of IL Bistro

IL Bistro
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Ranked #80 of 1,217 Restaurants in Brighton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$13 - US$40
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Locally owned and locally loved, IL Bistro is the original bistro in the lanes. A family run steakhouse brasserie that specialises in the best available scotch steaks, prime cut meats and seafood dishes. IL Bistro has worked with local food suppliers since 1976 and prides itself on being one of the longest serving independent restaurants in Brighton. Set in a fisherman's cottage which dates back to the 18th century in the reign of George I the restaurant is situated in the heart of the lanes in Market street and is within walking distance from the beach, Churchill square, the Royal Pavilion and the Theatre Royal and is open for pre theatre dining, breakfast and lunches seven days a week.
Reviewed 30 August 2013

My wife and I chose to eat here for dinner. Some aspects where nice - it is a charming little restaurant, tucked quietly away from the bustling streets of Brighton. The waitress was helpful, and the main courses very good - lambs livers with bacon, and seafood risotto.

Desserts disappointing, which is a big no-no for me! A banoffee pie which lacked taste on the upper layers, while the lower layers just did not gel. How can this be?

A worse mistake: my wife is lactose intolerant, one of the main reasons why we chose Il Bistro was because there were a decent number of choices on the menu which she could safely eat. She was even more delighted to find two dairy-free desserts listed. Less pleased when her summer fruits pudding arrived covered in cream, in spite of having checked specifically about this (as well as having mentioned it when ordering her main course). This really is something restaurants should be highly attentive to; they weren't.

Finally, to sour the evening even more: we were intending to pay for the meal using some restaurant vouchers we had got in exchange for some old Nectar points. We had been guided to Il Bistro as it was listed on the Restaurant Voucher website that same morning as accepting these vouchers. When we came to pay, the proprietor wouldn't accept the vouchers, as he had left the scheme last year. Fair enough, we paid on card. But he was rude and not a little irate in explaining that to us. My wife was more than a bit upset afterwards. It's the sort of thing that, handled discretely and very gently, reinforces ones confidence in an establishment. He didn't do that, which in my view is poor.

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Thank Gareth J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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420 - 424 of 500 reviews

Reviewed 30 August 2013

A sweet place for dinner with friendly service. we tried as it was on tastecard. The menu is inexpensive anyway but obviously halving the costs is great! The food was average quality but huge portions (I had a seafood rice dish) but still enjoyable. For the price I was surprised to find such a range of fish, shellfish and veg in my main. The restaurant sells itself as Mediterranean but not sure you can tell just by reading the menu, it seemed to be quite a mix though as expected, there was a heavy tendency towards seafood/fish if that was their definition of Mediterranean. Generally an ok meal out though I'm sure there were others quite similar but of higher quality.

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1  Thank Ldn1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 August 2013

We walk by in the afternoon and was a lovely atmosphere. We came back for dinner and we sat on the window. I went for chilli gambas and was the most bland gambas I tasted in long time, probably frozen ones. The spicy sauce was lovely and I use bread to taste it. Didn't enjoy my starter. My parter had prawns and salmon I looked and tasted lovely. For entree I had lamb chops and was delicious. Tender and tasty. My partner had chicken and was average, nothing special about. The waiter was polite and very cold and distant. Should smile more and be more a host. The bill was accurate and we left after a good expresso. Overall was ok, but with some space to improve. The service took a little considering was very quiet and is a small restaurant. Some of the food need to be redone. I would come back

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Thank MonicaFonseca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2013

My boyfriend and I stumbled across this restaurant in The Lanes whilst hiding from the rain & cold. It looked inviting and warm from the outside but how far from the truth could we have been. We were warmly greeted but that’s about as far as it went. Our starters arrived - Fish Croquettes, most definitely frozen probably on special offer in Iceland. Gambas a la Pil Pil - tasteless, over cooked and poorly presented. Our mains of salmon fillet & a seafood risotto arrived, again bland and not to the quality of seafood you'd expect to get by the seaside. The creamy spinach arrived as bowl of wet leaves straight out the bag & the fries (you’d expect homemade) were virtually inedible and see-through.

On clearing our half finished plates of food the waitress asked if everything had been okay. I replied that my risotto was disappointing and wasn't even cooked with risotto rice. Her answer was that I hadn’t been the first person recently to have said that about the dish. She then went on to tell me that they were best known as a Steak House. In that case why offer a rather extensive seafood selection and corner your steaks in a box at the bottom of the menu?
This restaurant is a tourist trap and an embarrassment! Overpriced, we left feeling robbed and with a bad taste in our mouths. We should have gone to the local chippie – we would definitely have had a better meal!

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1  Thank ZBCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2013

My son and I stumbled across this little eaterie on Friday evening, lovely service and very tasty food, I had the fish,chips & mushy peas and have to say was the nicest, lightest, tastiest fish I have ever eaten, will definitely return here and recommend it to friends.

Thank kiplings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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