Bistrot des Halles | French Restaurant | Dijon | France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Bistrot des Halles
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch daily, dinner Mon - Sat
Price: Moderate

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +33 3 80 35 45 07
Address: 10 rue Bannelier
Country: France
Food Style: French

Bistrot des Halles is a place to go for a simple French meal in Dijon.
On a day when all of France stops to celebrate the Armistice, we were wandering the streets of Dijon looking for Bistrot des Halles because we had heard that it served simple, honest French food without the pretension of many of the restaurants that we had experienced.
We located it behind the market building in among the cluster of churches that dominate the centre of this problematic city. (Problematic because there is a fine array of beautiful buildings set among some really awful modern developments and unsympathetic commercial areas that detract from the possible grandeur of this town.)
Although it was a holiday and the town was relatively quiet, we were lucky to be seated at the last table in the restaurant. There were very few tourists.
The room was quite traditional with clusters of three lamps on the walls, large mirrors in wooden frames and wooden tables with the inevitable red check table cloths. Young, efficient and charming waiters dashed between the tables.
All the locals were ordering from the daily blackboard specials rather than from the menu. We took this to be a good sign, reflecting the fact that they came here so often they knew the menu dishes and were looking for something different.
We had some dishes from both. We started with the chicken liver salad (salad de foie de volaille) and the traditional ham and parsley terrine (jambon parsille et pieds de veau, mousse de moutarde). The chicken livers were cooked perfectly (still quite pink in the centre) and the lettuce salad had been washed thoroughly and dressed correctly (the vinegar did not overwhelm the oil as is too often the case).
The terrine was far superior to one we had eaten at a far grander restaurant the night before just outside Beaune. The mustard cream sauce that accompanied matched perfectly with the dish and was highly appropriate given the city we were in.
The next dishes were particularly good and showed that simplicity and good ingredients win every time. A slice of 'fatty' smoked pork had been caramelised to a high degree of sweetness and then served on a bed of haricot beans. This was a beautiful dish that was light of texture despite the fattiness of the main component.
Chicken sausages (boudin de volaille) were also perfectly made and perfectly cooked. This dish matched particularly well with the wine we had chosen - an Aligote made by Vincent Meunier. This 'minor' grape variety of Burgundy is a perfect lunch time wine when accompanying this type of food.
We finished the meal by sharing a very good crème brulee served in a very flat white plate.
This is a good no-nonsense bistrot where you will not have to pay a fortune for good, honest food in pleasant surroundings.
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