You could be forgiven for walking past the unassuming renovated bank on Milton Street in your quest for the perfect graduation day restaurant, but you’ll have missed Le Bistrot Pierre – a charming French eatery that aims to make everyday dining special. Though perhaps not quite as intimate as some of Nottingham’s self-proclaimed upmarket establishments, the restaurant has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with such classy decor that you’ll forget that you’re mere metres from the hustle and bustle of the town centre.

The attentive and speedy service will have you zealously spreading whole roast garlic bulbs on bread before you’ve even had time to question the wisdom behind your surprisingly delicious appetiser choice. The restaurant’s relatively compact selection of mains is indicative of the quality of each dish, with a particular highlight in the form of ‘Le Bourguignon’, a sumptuous piece of beef with shallots, red wine, mushrooms and bacon. The meat is so tender it practically leaps off the bone. Considering the £10.75 price tag, you’d be very hard pressed to find more delicious or better value beef dish anywhere else. Also, for anyone who cringes at the thought of sharing food, fear not; the communal plate of seasonal vegetables and potatoes that accompany all main courses will see you reaching for your belt buckle long before you’re grabbing at your companion’s plate.

Le Bistrot Pierre’s domination of the ‘outstanding value’ category in the Nottingham Restaurant Awards over the past decade seems fully deserved. Value oozes all the way from the à la carte menu to the even more appealing lunch menu, which boasts three courses for just £11.75. Indeed, if you are lucky enough to graduate on Tuesday 12 July, you can experience the bi-monthly ‘Soirée Gastronomique’, an astonishing six courses for the ludicrous price of £21.90. As if this weren’t enough, the restaurant also runs a loyalty card system, which, though a must for any student-aware establishment, is rendered unnecessary due to the sheer quality of the bistrot that will surely see you return.

As a venue for a post-graduation celebration or nostalgic farewell to parent-funded dinners, Le Bistrot Pierre won’t disappoint you. The combination of exceptional and reasonably priced food, diligent customer care, and a stylish venue that welcomes the most refined diners (as well as our less well behaved younger siblings) results in the perfect dining experience to mark your transition from status-confused undergrad to worldly graduate.

Mim Etchells

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