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“Fabulous!”
Review of Bistro21

Bistro21
Ranked #1 of 381 Restaurants in Southport
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$11 - US$31
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: We are a small, family owned restaurant based in the heart of Southport, just off Lord Street. We offer a contemporary cuisine, using only the finest ingredients, freshly prepared each day by our award-winning chefs.
Reviewed 25 August 2014

Bistro21 hosted my mum's 70th birthday celebrations. I have been there numerous times before so knew that the food and service was excellent, but this time it was extra special. They were able to cater for her dietary needs and the whole event was relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable. I plan to celebrate my own birthday there next month. I would recommend the fish as it is fresh and beautifully cooked. And for those with a hearty appetite amongst you, the tasting menu will not disappoint!

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1  Thank Dimplesdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter A, Manager at Bistro21, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you Dimples! I'm so pleased that your Mum enjoyed her special birthday. But 70? Are you sure? She looked fabulous!!

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648 - 652 of 844 reviews

Reviewed 24 August 2014

Heard many raving reviews about this restaurant so decided to give it a try! Managed to get a table early Saturday evening as they were fully booked later on in the evening which suited us fine and gave us a good impression! Had the taster menu, prawn chorizo risotto was unbelievable, good portion sizes! For main course I had lamb and wood pigeon, the pigeon was cooked absolutely perfect, lamb which is slow braised was so tender and melt in your mouth. My partner had the fish gratin and fillet steak which she said the gratin was packed full of flavour. Service was great, the waiter couldnt do enough for you but not in a irritating way. Very professional! Had a sticky toffee pudding to share one of the best ive ever had! ambience was rather quiet as only a few tables in but can imagine a good atmosphere when full. However for the previous review complaining about the music which we witnessed as was sat on the table opposite saying about the poor choice of music, we thought the music selection was very good and felt slightly embarrassed how they could complain about it! Great price compared to other local restaurants! Cant wait to return!!!

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2  Thank cody1901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter A, Owner at Bistro21, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

Thank you for your lovely review. I'm delighted that you not only enjoyed the food and service but felt we represent good value for money. All of the staff work so hard so it still gives everyone a lift when we hear such kind words.

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Reviewed 24 August 2014

Having read the reviews on trip advisor I was both surprised and disappointed with my experience. REMEMBER any rating depends only on those who submit reviews so can be easily misleading !

The Bistro is nicely presented ,open kitchen and nice white linen.

I felt the hospitality from the waiter was cold and professional.

The Saturday night price hike of £7 supplement for the tasting menu was steep and for a 5.30 pm sitting very surprising !

The tasting menu seems to rely heavily on pre prepared food that can be simply placed in a deep fat fryer and are very hard to group together with any integrity of taste, texture and sense. You chose 3 small portions all served on the same plate a good way of saving time and washing up! Other tasting menus I have experienced serve the dishes independently and are designed to compliment each other and take the diner on a journey. Even better when accompanied by wines that are coupled with the dishes complimenting flavours This taster menu is really just small portions of the normal starters from the main menu and the establishment seems more interested in getting as many people In a night rather that giving people a full dining experience hence the time slot allocated for tables !

The main course operates on the same basis this time choosing 2 small portions of the normal menu so the same comments apply as above.

Deserts are offered at an extra cost and to be perfectly honest nothing caught my fancy as the predictable Eton mess , chocolate brownie and cream brûlée were among the few offerings at an eye watering price.

I would have expected something about sourcing of product. Are the vegetables organic and local? Where was the fish from and was it fresh? Who provides the meat and what are the welfare standards?

The price for the 2 of us with a bottle of house wine and no desert was £60 and we left still hungry!! Better food and much better value can be found in southport .

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9  Thank darren s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter A, Owner at Bistro21, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

I am curious why you both felt the need to write a review for your visit.
I have already explained our prices and the "pre-prepared" comment in your partners review.
Do you really find £5.75 for a dessert eye-watering?

I would also like to explain your time slot allocation. We were fully booked when you telephoned. It was explained to you that the only way we could fit you in was with a 5:30 table but we would need the table back for the 7:45 booking. To then be critical for trying to fit you in is harsh and unjustified.
To believe that our tasting menu has been designed to save on washing up is hysterical. Of course you are entitled to your opinion. I just happen to disagree with you. In your own words.... " REMEMBER any rating depends only on those who submit reviews so can be easily misleading ! "
How very true!!

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Reviewed 24 August 2014

I have reviewed this restaurant before, but........... it is one that since my last review, I have used soooooo many times I feel I need to mention it again.

I recently brought 20 people here on 2 consecutive nights, and then returned with my Mum and husband yet again a few days later. (I am sure they think I don't have a kitchen!)

Every time I visit there are things I notice, (or learn), that I didn't know before.

Let's just say before I go any further - that if I wanted outstanding food, served impeccably, in a warm and comfortable atmosphere, where you are well looked after and your custom appreciated....... that this is the place. The fact I can say that when married to a vegetarian who DETESTS eating out because the food he is usually offered is so boring, is a testament to the quality you get in this place for a very, VERY reasonable price.

I have had cause to eat out a LOT and am usually bored rigid by the unimaginative dross on regular menus, so the fact I return to Bistro 21 is a serious compliment from me. Usually, I'd rather eat beans on toast than go out and have yet a-n-o-t-h-e-r bad experience anywhere else. Coming here is a slam dunk if you have to entertain people.

I have even booked my hubby's birthday meal here........... what more needs to be said?

Oh YES....... this restaurant is also a sort of mini art gallery! How cool is that?

I wondered why the artwork had changed between my visits, and asked Jan why the paintings were different. This restaurant ALSO features and exhibits the work of local artists for free. Totally take my hat off to them for that, and they didn't even know that I also promote artists for free! Melted my stone heart, I can tell you!

So in addition to the scrummy food that means it is a pleasure, rather than a pain taking my hubby out for scoff????? we get a different view every month as the artist of the month changes and new paintings are displayed. Stroke of genius which helps both the venue and artist. LOVE it! 5***** for everything.

Jan's husband has also done cartoon caricatures of their staff............ budding artist her me thinks!!

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1  Thank Christine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter A, Manager at Bistro21, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Thank you for another lovely review Christine. You are a most valued customer and it means so much when we hear people recognise and appreciate the efforts of all our staff.

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Reviewed 24 August 2014

Perhaps the anticipation was too high( and this maybe increased by the 'hype' of how difficult it was to get a reservation) ,BUT how sadly this No1 Trip Advisor location failed to really deliver. Naturally, to the less discerning diner, and particularly for those used to the rather monochrome local fare(albeit quite good)- surface impressions can prove somewhat deceptive. Why, for example a £7.00 extra hyke for Saturday night diners being offered exactly the same Menu as other evenings? Yes- the Tasting Menu is quite a novelty, but it in reality is a disguise for minute, seemingly pre- prepared dishes that most certainly sound better than they actually taste! Of the combinations selected between two of us some indeed created more of an impact than others in terms of balance, flavour and style. Similarly with the 'mains'- the wood pigeon nicely cooked and with decent flavour, while the fish dishes somewhat dry and anaemic in flavour.
Why such a conventional desert selection ( eg Eaton Mess, creme brûlée, chocolate brownie etc) needs to be so overpriced- most over £7.00 seems baffling to say the least. Wines on the other hand reasonable and a good selection. Finally, the overall ambience of the rather small and overcrowded venue( tiny kitchen, and minuscule toilets) fails to hit the mark; some table candles/ lights would make a more gentle tone, and something more refined in terms of gentle music would be preferable ( instead of the inane 70s/80s 'disco selection). All in all- not what we expected- but we can see why the 'Emperor will always be safe'!

6  Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peter A, Owner at Bistro21, responded to this reviewResponded 25 August 2014

I'm sure a lot of our customers will find some of your comments rather arrogant and patronising
"for the less discerning diner" and "for those used to rather monochrome local fare". Are you really suggesting that our popularity is due to people not really knowing what good food is? Quite staggering.

Can I also clarify your "pre-prepared" comment. All of of food is cooked fresh to order. You can even see into the kitchen and watch the chefs cook your dish.
We do not "hyke" prices for a weekend we offer reduced prices for weekdays. Our desserts are not over £7. They are ALL £5.75 with an assiette for two people to share at £7.95
On to the ambiance. Yes we are a small restaurant. Most people enjoy the intimate atmosphere and individual service we provide.

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