Newest Review: ... impressions; there are stairs to get up to the restaurant so this is really not disability friendly at all. I presume there must be a diff... more
Stylish understated restaurant in Stafford
Member Name: joey92
Date: 19/07/12, updated on 19/07/12 (50 review reads)
Advantages: Interesting flavours, large choice for veggies&non veggies alike, reasonable prices, quality service
Disadvantages: The goats cheese overload!!
Pastiche Bistro is a medium sized restaurant situated on Mill Street in Stafford, a side street just off the main nightlife stretch. They offer various deals throughout the week including a two course lunch for £5.95 and a two course dinner for £12.95. We went on a Wednesday night for the two course £12.95 offer. I treated my boyfriend to dinner, as we take it in turns to take each other out to dinner. We hadn't visited Pastiche before, I had only been once before about four years ago and remembered that the food was nice. I understand that it's a small chain but I will be reviewing the Stafford branch.
Pricing is very reasonable as the courses are very substantial. Add ons to the £12.95 per person are drinks, sides, appetizers and desserts. If you choose certain items on the menu they come with an extra charge, probably due to cost of ingredients so watch out for this if you are on a budget! The menu is quite varied and there are a good choice of veggie options.
I booked at lunchtime on the day we were going, and they offered me a quarter to 7 slot which suited us fine as I deliberately didn't eat much lunch to make space for my three course dinner later so was very hungry by the time we arrived at Pastiche.
First impressions; there are stairs to get up to the restaurant so this is really not disability friendly at all. I presume there must be a different way to get up to the restaurant - perhaps a lift but if you're in heels, be careful! The restaurant itself was light, airy and pleasantly decorated. The waitress was very friendly and came over to take our drinks order almost straight away. Tap water is available (I think this was free), a wine list (which was reasonably priced) and the usual selection of beers and soft drinks. We had been for a night out the night before so alcohol was off the cards for me but my boyfriend opted for a peroni which came ice cold as it should be and tap water with ice and a slice. I had a sparkling apple juice (appletizer) and tap water, though I was tempted by the wine list which offered a small glass for around £2.50 and a large glass for £3.60.
The drinks arrived promptly and the waitress then took our two course order. I went for a goats cheese, red pepper and spinach tart, which in hindsight was quite adventurous seeing as I only like goats cheese in small doses, but I felt it was too hot for soup, and my boyfriend chose a smoked salmon muffin. I am veggie but experiment with eating fish so I tried a bite of his and it was very tasty. Mine was less so, as I really didn't enjoy the dressing that came with it, I felt it overpowered the spinach and red pepper notes in the dish. My starter was a huge portion of a quiche like texture on a bed of salad. The salad was fresh and tasty, yet I felt the tart itself could have done with a little more pastry and a little less goats cheese. If you are a goats cheese fan, you should definitely choose this!
For mains, my boyfriend had a steak (which had a £5 supplementary cost - trust him to pick that one!), this was a huge portion, with delicious homemade chunky chips, tasty little mushrooms and tomato. He really enjoyed this and said the steak was great quality. I had the seabass which came with loads of veggies and a white wine sauce and garlic topping. This was very tasty, though I did find that the amount of liquid in the bottom of the bowl meant that the fish broke up into little pieces quite quickly! The texture was perfect and the veggies complemented it and I particularly enjoyed the garlic/pesto based topping.
You're not allowed to go out to dinner with me without having dessert so we had a pudding each at £3 extra per person. I had a French toast with caramelised apples and sticky toffee pudding ice cream which was delicious. I was tempted to go for poached pears with bitter chocolate sauce and honeycomb ice cream as I am such a chocoholic but my other half persuaded me to go for the French toast as it sounded interesting as French toast is normally a breakfast thing. It tasted a little like pancakes with sweet apples heaped in between the two slices and a scoop of ice cream perched on top of the whole thing. Yum! My boyfriend chose a lemon cheesecake with a fruity ice cream - the cheesecake was wonderfully light and offered the perfect finale to a filling meal!
In summary, a great little place to go for an affordable dinner with a huge choice of interesting options. The service was very good throughout the meal and the music was understated which complemented the stylish atmosphere. I didn't dress up too much for dinner but wore shorts and tights with a smartish top and a nice necklace, however you could dress up or down as the restaurant is fairly informal but still "stylish".
Facilities wise, the toilets smelled like strawberries which was nice as you get some horrible restaurant toilets! Well ventilated, and prettily decorated, easy to find but not that well sign posted.
Here's a link to the menu and website: http://www.pastichebistro.co.uk/evening-menu.htm
The menu changes month on month and they offer various specials. Recommended! Give it a try if you're in the area!
Summary: Affordable stylish dining