Rebecca Varidel
18th Aug 2023

Pistou wine bar and eat in deli sits snuggly on the St Peters end of King Street Newtown. With a distinctively French Provencial feel we were totally enarmoured on our first couple of visits. Everything hummed.

The international wine list offers some worthwhile choices by the glass. And of course, the bottle selection is even stronger. The charcuterie is sensational, freshly sliced and plated behind the low kitchen counter. Truffle and squid ink salami is still a winner. And it's always hard to resist good saucisson. Similarly cheeses offer an interesting range. There's even an oozing Baked Camembert in the selection of plates.

Pistou is a charming bistro, an excellent local gathering place, and was worth travelling for. This last visit created initial excitement with the pot plants looking healthier. But that was the only thing on its way up. Things at Pistou have slipped just a fraction from the spot-on attention to detail we enjoyed previously. At first it was hard to put our finger on why we weren't quite as in love.

Really the service was good, and there was nothing to complain about. Yet there were little things that all added up to a slip from the perfect score. Most pronounced was the pumping music, which would be terrific in a different setting, but a totally wrong fit in this style of venue. Toast skipped a beat, pale and just warm. The duck liver pate improved from its hard chilled plating as it came closer to room temperature. By which time the toast was cold. What had been a fun specials board, was all but bare. As some examples.

I'd probably go back to Pistou if I was in the area. Or if friends suggested meeting there. I was happy to pay my bill. Sadly though, I'm no longer hungering for it the way I was earlier in the year.