Friday 5 August 2011

Bistrot Bruno Loubet, St John's Square, Clerkenwell Road, central London

A light, airy and spacious restaurant, Bistrot Bruno Loubet mixes traditional French hospitality with a cool, contemporary interior. In August, even on a Friday lunchtime, the bistro doesn't seem that busy, giving the chatty waitors plenty of time to show off their knowledge.  There is a big selection of dishes, including specials, and the food is good, but a tad grand for a lunchtime, with main courses starting at about £13 and deserts and starters at about £6. Still, the steak is an impressive slab of meat and the summer fish cassoulet (£18), served on a bed of broad beans and other vegetables, features a fillet of salmon, a fillet of white fish and a kind of fish sausage. Although the seasoning may be excessive for some tastes, the fish is expertly-cooked and nicely-presented.  If you're hungry, you'll probably also need the mash potato and garlic side dish, which is around four quid.  Deserts include an impressive summer pudding, ringed by raspberries and three flavours of decent ice cream. Bistrot Bruno Loubet is a pleasant, but pricey, place for lunch. 7/10