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“First time in Falmouth......” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bistro De La Mer - CLOSED

Bistro De La Mer
Arwenack Street, Falmouth TR11 3JB, England
+44 (0)1326 316509
Website
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Price range: $65 - $65
Cuisines: French, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“First time in Falmouth......”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

We walked in off the street yesterday evening, our first time in Cornwall, and really appreciated the welcome. I had the tiger prawns which were spicy and delicious. The sea bass was tasty. My husband had the crab soup which went down a treat and the linguine was very good. I love the street level ambience and would thoroughly recommend it. Thank you!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonyBDLMward, Owner at Bistro De La Mer, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Dear Nicholas

Thank you very much for your kind review, glad you enjoyed your time with us.

Hope to see you again in the future.

Regards

Tony Ward
Chef-Proprietor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    12
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    3
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Falmouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“extraordinaire”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

This place is a must if you like seafood, all the usual sea food dishes available. Service great, a little expensive but food also fantastic.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonyBDLMward, Owner at Bistro De La Mer, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
Dear Jenny C

Thank you for your wonderful review and kind words, very much appreciated.

Regards

Tony Ward
Chef-Proprietor.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Midlands, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Ignore bitter reviewers - this is an excellent place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

This tiny little bistro restored my belief in eating out this spring!
My partner and I spent a week driving around Cornwall in March this year basing ourselves at 'The Headland' hotel in Newquay (which is excellent b.t.w.) and also in Falmouth for a couple of days.

I wanted to try lots of restaurants since food is one of my loves, and my partner, the Fistral beach surfing. I lost out! The surf was the only good thing we found, at first.
We tried lots of the famous restaurants except Jamie Olivers 15 (which I hear now is very good), and they were either closed for the off season or just disappointingly bad, the worst of which was Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.
Then the last couple of days we spent in Falmouth sight seeing and by chance on the first night, dropped into this tiny little restaurant in Arwenack Street around 8pm. They almost turned us away, but after checking with the chef, seated us. My partner had the Whitebait and I had Crab soup both of which were stunningly packed with flavour and perfectly cooked, the choice of mains was limited because we were late but were equally excellent.We were both so impressed that we booked a table there and then for the next evening at an earlier time.
The second evening, was simply, the best meal I have tasted for a very very long time. The following day (Saturday) we bought some crab and fish to take home with us from the Arwenack Fisheries fishmonger opposite the restaurant and my partner had to argue with me to prevent me from having lunch in the bistro before we drove home.
I cannot think of many good reasons to visit Falmouth again, but this restaurant is the only one I need.
The negative reviews of this restaurant appear to be from sanctimonious idiots who have not even eaten there, or diners who would probably be happier in a trendy restaurant like Stein's where you are paying (through-the-nose) for the decor and the dubious value of being able to to tell your impressionable friends that you have been there. Personally, I prefer to pay for quality food cooked by skilled and very nice people without pretensions.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonyBDLMward, Owner at Bistro De La Mer, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Englishfilipino

Wow, we defo got it right for you didn't we.

Thank you very much for your kind words and appreciation of what we do. We try as hard
as we can to give everyone the experience you had and i guess sometimes we fall short.
It's all about the flavour, less about trends and the decor and you obviously enjoy that.

Thank you for taking time to write a review and safe journeys on all your travels.

Regards
Tony Ward
Chef-Proprietor
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Lovely Food, excellent Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

While staying in Falmouth we decided to give this small restaurant a try. So glad we did! We decided to choose from the set menu - excellent value and delicious. My husband had the white bait and I had huge tiger prawns with garlic butter. Main courses were steak and a Maderia sauce with new potatoes and sea bass with similar. Steak was cooked just to my husbands request and the sea bass melted in the mouth. Dessert was Belgian waffles with vanilla bean pod ice cream and maple syrup and for me the most delicious apricot creme brulee. Wine list was good and our choice reasonably priced. Service was attentive - never felt rushed. A small establishment but just about perfect. Would definitely come again.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonyBDLMward, Owner at Bistro De La Mer, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Sueaus

Thank you for your kind words and taking the time to write your review, it is very
much appreciated.


Regards
Tony Ward
Chef- Proprietor
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Disappointing”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

After reading good reviews and seeing the Michelin stickers outside, my partner and I were very excited to try this restaurant on a rare night out. But we were unfortunately disappointed. My scallop starter was completely devoid of flavour and my partner's prawns were so-so. Overpriced at £8.50 and £9.50. Our sea bream special was likewise dull; the chilli marinade completely overpowering the fish and overcooked potatoes. The decor is likewise dull: the basement room feels a poor relation to the street side room.

On the plus side, the wine list was good and our waitress friendly. But we left feeling cheated. Nothing was done after we told the waitress. Upon leaving, we saw the restaurant's pride in a poor review with a blackboard sign: 'Come and try the worst rib-eye ever according to one of our TripAdvisor reviews.' Take our advice: don't.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TonyBDLMward, Owner at Bistro De La Mer, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Dear John

Finally after all these years I get the chance to start a letter that way. Thank you for the opportunity.

During the meal, you were asked if everything was okay to which your response was
"hmmm, yes everything is fine". Upon completion of your starters you told the waitress you felt the scallops were bland. We sell 30-40 portions of scallops a week, approprietly garnished and seasoned, but never bland. I'm not even going to justify responding to your pricing remark, other than to say we have not survived here for nine years and been recommended by Michelin for the last six by ripping people off.

Anyway I digress, as you had ordered the Bream, another very neutral tasting fish, I took the liberty of increasing the seasoning to please your palate. Again we received a favourable response from you during the meal but at the end pointed out you felt this time it was too spicy. When something is listed on the menu as Piri-Piri Spiced Grilled Whole Cornish Bream, my advise would be to expect it to be a bit spicy, but hey-ho, that's just me.

Thank you for the critique of our decor, dull is the look we are going for and you are the second person in nine years to point this out. So congratulations on your interior design nous.

"Nothing was done when we told the waitress and we left feeling cheated" smacks of an attempt to get something for nothing. We rectify any problems as soon as they are brought to our attention, if you do not like something, don't eat it. If you eat it without complaining, what are we supposed to do?

As to your last comment, that blackboard outside decrying someones taste in meat, something you are also probably an expert at critiquing, has brought in a huge amount of trade, so blatant
hatchet job reviews are obviously a double-edged sword.

Regards

Tony Ward
Chef-Proprietor
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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