Generous portions of soul-satisfying meals: Not the route most local French restaurants take. We’re after all a nation that loves its fine dining temples from Les Amis to Restaurant Andre. But Le Bistrot’s chef/co-owner Patrick Heuberger has never been known for prissy, played-with fare—not at his old Prinsep Street location and certainly not now at his new digs where FiftyThree used to be.
Order the beef tartare ($32) and get a hefty mound of raw parsley-flecked mince (forget the usual petite portion). Opt for the pig’s trotter ($36) and get a gutsy dish stuffed with veal sweetbreads. On the side, it’s potatoes galore with shoestring fries and silky smooth mash (likely made of equal parts tuber and butter). Heuberger is also passionate about rillettes (there’s even a dedicated rillette bar upstairs) so start with his rustic rabbit, duck, pork or salmon (from $13.50) versions. Providing a much appreciated respite from the meat onslaught is their salad ($16) of sweet tomatoes and just-blanched haricot vert dressed with tart, rosy-hued vinaigrette.
If there’s still room after, try an imposing apricot souffle ($20 for two people)—it’s tall, glee-inducing and totally worth the 20-minute wait—or profiteroles ($14) the size of a small child’s fist. Pick a few plates, a bottle of wine (from $68)—call on co-owner/sommelier Max Fedkiw for some suggestions—and hunker down in a classic space with just a few quirky details (maps of locales like Côtes du Rhône and Tourinne and a chandelier made of downturned wine glasses) listening to the house track of soothing French beats. You won’t want to leave.
Le Bistrot Du Sommelier is on Top Tables’ Top 10 Restaurants in Singapore 2014.