Location: Bistro du Vin is situated on the uber fashionable St John Street (home to St John Restaurant and Vinoteca, amongst others). Adorned with it's green, classically French bistro awning out front, the restaurant has two distinct personalities - the main dining room sits in an 'L' around the open kitchen - the centre of which holds the mother of all ovens, the Josper - decked out in dark wood with leather-covered booths along the walls. The second dining room (dark wood's alter ego) is a more relaxed, lounge-style room off the side of the kitchen, and much less fun!
I was extremely pleased to be dining with some fellow burgerati from Twitter (namely @burgeracblog, @Fredsmith_, @nialldavidson, @eatingsoho, and @jingangyoung) and had heard great things about the BdV burger, so was really keen to get stuck in and give it the Burger Me! once over. (And thank you Alex for loan of a camera with a flash - it really was quite dark!)
£14.50 for the BdV Bacon Cheeseburger inc. chips
Awesome. This is how burgers should be presented. Period.
Bacon, Cheese, Onion, Tomato, Lettuce. The burger had a kind of topsy-turvy, 'under-salad' underneath the patty thing going on - no doubt to avoid taking away from the melted cheese on top, and allowing it to weld itself to the bun. Bacon was ok, but the smoked flavour wasn't great, and it got lost somewhat under the cheese. Cheese was good, American-style, classic and gooey - and lots of it!
Very good. An aged, coarsely-ground beef patty that was cooked to order (rare, of course). It was a big, fat patty, so wide I could barely fit my mouth around it, but oh joyous moment as I took my first bite, and the juices poured down my chin and hands onto the wooden burger board. The meat was beautifully drippy and beefy, a joy to masticate!
Not up to the job. Sadly, as good as this bun looked, it wasn't. It was a promising start, the bun was big, bold, and had a seared grill mark (reminiscent of a branded cow) on the crown of the bap, but this is where the bun love ended. It was too firm, almost stale, and had been inexpertly cut so the top was far bigger than the bottom. This resulted in almost immediate splittage from the lower bun, and I was grateful for the lettuce leaf holding my meat in, as it ended up as my pseudo-bun for the majority of the munch. A bit later on other burgers were served with a new, seeded bun - possibly confirming that these were left-overs from a previous service, and sadly letting the side down.
Very good. A spicy, thousand island style dressing resided in a mini copper pot, and shoe string fries served in greaseproof paper in a small pewter cup. I felt like a giant which is incredibly satisfying. Fries were fantastic, and burger sauce equally awesome - these, people, are accessories every good burger should have.
Overall rating: 7/10
With all the good things I'd heard, I wanted this burger to be good, and bits of it were very good, however on balance I was underwhelmed with the poorly executed bun, and strange 'under-salad'. Not the experience I was hoping for. To use a theatrical analogy on the elements of this - all the actors were there, but to me, the director was sleeping on the job.
Finally, honourable mention must go to the fabulous Lebanese wine we had - it was an exceptional pairing with our burgers - so a big thank you to our Sommelier.
On an unrelated note, with the aid of a certain butcher we dined with, I may be acquiring half a cow's worth of meat, but that's a story for another day...