Having wandered around Morecambe a little, been told to f off by a local, and escaped to Lancaster, we returned to Morecambe for a spot of dinner. The Secret Bistrot is not really that secret. The name is emblazoned across the window above the Palatine pub, where the drinks from the bistrot are sourced.
St Nick and his ruby red shirt began the evening with fresh moules marinieres. These were freshly caught and beautifully cooked. They were tossed in garlic and butter and finished with a cream and parsley sauce. I do not care for seafood generally so did not sample. I can tell only from Nick’s satisfied grumbles that it was a top notch dish.
I opted for the safe chicken liver parfait. Set in chimichurri butter and served with beetroot chutney, thei was an interesting starter. I have yet to taste this dish with beetroot chutney, often this dish is served with caramelised onion chutney to have the sweetness of this contrast the savoury nature of the parfait. However, it did work on this occasion. The mild flavour of the chicken liver is not countermanded very strongly by the rich earthy flavour of the beetroot, however the combination was not offensive. Serving it in a cup was a lovely touch.
The Roasted Porchetta for my main was excellent. The portion was so generous that I had to give half of it to Nick. I particularly liked the carrot and beans wrapped in bacon. This was something one would expect to see in restaurants in cities. Certainly for the price point the Secret Bistrot did not need to put this extra touch in but I am happy they did. The porchetta itself was stuffed and rolled in sausage meat and cooked in an oven. I thought it was excellent, the consistency and the texture was almost that of pulled pork, such was the excellent cooking quality. The grainy sausage meat stuffing in the centre went very well with the aforementioned texture of the pork itself.
Nick went for the excellent steak with chips. He asked for it to be cooked rare which was an excellent choice. I had a bite and can tell you it was cooked to a high standard and absolutely rare. Putting it on what was a Bearnaise sauce, rich sauce thickened with egg yolks and flavoured with tarragon. The egg was cooked beautifully and the runny texture of the yolk mixed beautifully with the sauce and steak. Overall an excellent quality meal.
We also ate some delicious if not very salty truffle and parmesan fries. Overall this was an excellent meal at a phenomenal price. It cost us only £20 each for both courses. I was really impressed by the quality and the location, overlooking the bay in Morecambe. We will certainly be returning to the Secret Bistrot when doing the Way of the Roses in reverse.