DC Bistro: A True Blue French Eatery
French chef Didier Corlou returns to his roots with a new restaurant that champions classic cuisine from his homeland in his adopted city of Hanoi.
A native of Brittany, France, Didier Corlou made his name by creating artful amalgamations of French haute cuisine and Vietnamese flavors at one of Hanoi’s most lauded dining establishments, Le Beaulieu of the Sofitel Legend Metropole. He then moved on to open his own flagship restaurant, La Verticale.
Corlou’s latest venture, however, focuses on no frills French cuisine in the vein of classic bistro fare. Apparently the long-held pleas of his fellow expatriates motivated him to open a true blue French eatery in Vietnam’s capital city this March.
Et voilà, enter DC Bistro: a place where the lunch menu is written by hand on a blackboard, cheese selections and steak frites arrive on wooden platters, and your dessert du jour is likely to be a toss-up between the tarte au citron and a bowl of profiteroles. In accordance with authentic bistro ambience, the seating upstairs leaves little by way of elbow room adding to the hubbub at peak hours. Downstairs the tables skirt a wall of wines and cured meats hang tantalizingly from a bar.
Above all the menu is a very good value. During lunch you can opt for a three-course meal for just under US$7. Sliced crunchy baguettes and creamy butter arrive with every starter, which might be a tomato-mozzarella salad, soupe de poissons, a thick slice of pâté and rillettes, or a portion of quiche. Your choice of main courses could include the aforementioned steak frites, or an equally iconic pork cordon bleu or beef parmentier (cottage pie a la France).
The evening set menu, served from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., is also an excellent value at $12. You can, of course, order a la carte, or simply enjoy a glass of one of the 326 varietals of wine and a selection of tapas for $8.50.
The wine pricing policy is also easy on the pocket: the bistro doubles as DC Boutique (a bottle shop by any other name) boasting wine from as far flung as Chile, Argentina, Germany, France, the United States, Hungary, New Zealand, and Australia. If you’re dining on the premises, you just pay the retail cost and a corkage fee ranging from $7 to $12, which encourages customers to order off the menu while enjoying a nice bottle of wine.
At DC Bistro the message seems clear: eat, drink, then eat and drink some more. And don’t skip dessert. Life is short, meals should be long.
15A Ngo Van So, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi; 84-4/3944-0288; verticale-hanoi.com