Le Bistro Beaumartin adds a French flavour to Glasgow's culinary palette
‘French’ tends to be a label that’s very loosely slapped on a restaurant in Glasgow – often truly being ‘French with a twist of this or that’. That’s changed, however, with Le Bistro Beaumartin popping onto the petite-yet-elite scene to teach Glasgow a thing or two about real French food, escargot and all.
Stylish and elegant at the front yet homely at the back, the restaurant is like a kitsch continental front room: all black and white photographs on the walls, rich thick wallpaper and retro bistro chairs.
Co-owner Richard Dupupet ran his own successful bistros in Paris for 11 years previous to deciding to come to Glasgow, bringing his Scottish-born, French-trained head chef (and co-owner), Andrew Stott, with him. The pair have recognised that France and Scotland share one key trait (apart from a mild distaste for le rosbifs): both have fine natural larders overflowing with fresh, delicious ingredients.
To start, home-cured salmon marinated in honey, dill and sparkling wine sounds fantastic, though the marinade’s flavours barely whisper in the final dish. For mains, however, the fillet of beef is among the finest steaks currently being served in Glasgow. Well-sourced from Ayrshire, you can almost smell the green grass and fresh Scottish air as tender, juicy meat dissolves on your tongue.
There are no Michel Roux-style flourishes here - the dishes come out like they would in a bistro: simple, stripped back and authentic. Don’t be disappointed, for example, when the confit duck arrives looking like a duck shepherd’s pie – once you’ve got over the ready-meal appearance (the chef assures us this is how it’s done in Burgundy) it’s a truly beautiful dish of light creamy potatoes and chunks of spiced duck in a rich, meaty sauce.
Desserts, meanwhile, are other-worldly: a black cherry flan with bulbous cherries bursting in your mouth alongside pockets of fluffy, creamy-sweet flan.
Appealingly, the restaurant a multi-dimensional set of menus, ranging from open sandwiches at lunch to post 4.30pm platters for the after-work crowd, with a modest à la carte for the evenings. The realities of the Glasgow dining scene may take a bit of getting used to for the owners – but take this restaurant for what it is, genuine French bistro-style food, and you will find some excellent eating.
+ A love affair between French flavours and Scottish ingredients
- Don’t expect fine dining, especially in terms of presentation
Le Bistro Beaumartin
161 Hope Street, City Centre, Glasgow, G2 2UQ
0141 226 4442, lebistrobeaumartin.co.uk
Mon–Sat 11am–3pm, 4.30pm–11pm. Closed Sun.
Ave. price two-course meal: £14.50 (set lunch) / £21 (dinner)