Date night at Bistro Thierry

A relationship-saving ‘date night’¬†at Bistro Thierry as harvest draws to a close ūüėČ Okay, that is probably a bit drastic… but it was certainly nice for Ben and I to have a night out together at a lovely restaurant where we both got a little dressed up and Benny spoke in French all night… to the waiter…. dammit!

I find it pretty hard to go past a steak tartare when in a french restaurant, but as this ended up being the second french restaurant in a week and I had already had a decent crack at 250g of raw meat, I thought a tuna tartare would be a better… And look how pretty it looked.

Tuna Tartare with avo, radish & sesame

I had a small problem with the menu this particular night. I just wanted to eat all the entr√©es… I couldn’t go past the quail special but figured as long as we ordered a side of pommes frites it would be fine… and it was… OMG, the french fries were fantastic…

Quail entrées with richest sauce ever

We finished the night off with a brilliant creme brulee… a big cracking crunch!

Bistro Thierry is the perfect local date night restaurant, especially if you like chatting in french… with the waiters…

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French Felix fun in sunny Sydney…

Another wedding… another plane trip… this time to Sydney… The wedding was actually on the NSW Central Coast however Ben was doing a wine event at Ivy Bar on the evening before so I also flew in for a little wine tasting… or so I thought… ‘little’ would be the wrong word to describe the HUGE event Merivale put on with over 700 peeps tasting wine from a number of regions around the country… the problem was that it was so bloody busy that Ben had no time to talk to me and the other folks that I knew didn’t arrive until 8:30pm… I arrived at 6:30pm… uh oh… I’m assuming you can guess what happened… I tried to disguise my slipping sobriety by writing tasting notes as I ticked off each winery on what I called Frank’s Australian Riesling Tour…¬†As the crowd dwindled, it occurred to me I should put some food into my tummy to try to soak up some of the riesling… The next day was going to be busy (and filled with Ben’s family) and the last thing I needed was a hangover!¬†

We traipsed downstairs to¬†Felix Bar & Bistro¬†and sat on one of the ‘laneway’ tables. Ben ordered more wine… and more wine… and I ordered a bottle of mineral water – sparkling! We feasted french style…. three course of course… starting with my favourite french dish – steak tartare…

Steak Tartare

Old fashioned seafood cocktail

Beetroot and goats cheese salad

For main I order the spatchcock. It was super simple and perfectly accompanied by quite a number of french fries.

Spatchcock with iceberg lettuce & lemon

For dessert we shared profiteroles and the bombe alaska…

Profiteroles

We crashed into bed close to midnight, fed and watered (especially me) and awoke to clear heads for the sunny, special wedding day ahead of us!

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Family fun at the chocolate warehouse…

Another fabulous family field day. I call it a field day as it meant another trek across the river to East Brunswick… It is so so far… I mean I get to Victoria St and I figure I must be there already and it’s not even half way! Dammit and obviously I am already late by this stage… oops! My wonderful aunt (who lives in East Brunswick… (I wonder who chose the venue huh?) and my cousin who traveled from Perth (yes okay she wins!) were waiting… hungry! We had scheduled brunch for 12 noon as I had a wedding the day before and was worried I wouldn’t be feeling so great…. Turns out I was actually okay, unfortunately my sister visiting from London, was not so lucky and became the “bad niece” as she was so ill she was banned from my car and therefore never even made it for brunch… ha!

So, I eventually arrived at L’atelier de Monsieur Truffe AKA The Warehouse of Mr Nose (?!) according to Google. HAHA! A big open space, a chocolate warehouse, entered through a cool red door on Lygon St. I didn’t immediately see the ladies and therefore made it all the way through to the front (back) counter and chocolate retail space… Woot! I knew I would be back for some take-away choccie before I left! Anyway, I found the fam and Auntie Chrissie mentioned pork belly as soon as I sat down… She must have known my pork belly after noon rule… I had decided before I had even looked at the menu…

pork belly roll, with mango, coriander, & thinly sliced chilli

Mozzarella salad with rocket, pear & hazelnut

Both Auntie and myself had the pork belly. Lots of bread but delicious and rich, with the herbs, fruit and chilli cutting through the fat of the belly… YUM! Lil cuz had the mozzarella salad which was equally pretty but definitely not as filling. Lucky Auntie was so generous with her brunch as I definitely wasn’t.

Four and a half fabulous hours of conversation, and 3 bags of chocolate treats (including a little box for “bad niece”)¬†later… I was en route back to East St Kilda, thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have such a great family!

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French on the south bank of the Yarra

A work lunch at Bistro Guillaume was the order of this particular Friday… It was the type of lunch that started with an Aperol Spritz.. you know the type?? The type of lunch where you don’t put the delish food photos on facebook until much later in the evening when everyone else from work has had enough drinks (aperol spritz’s??) to maybe not put the timeline together..

Aperol Spritz

I hadn’t heard much about the refurbished restaurant or the new, more casual menu. I never went to the old one but heard it was VERY french and VERY expensive.

We had a lovely (long) lunch. 3 courses actually. A light steak tartare (my favourite french dish), so good that I ate it before I took a pic… oops, a light prawn salad, and then definitely the course dessert… check it out!

King prawn with avocado cream, tomato, croutons and cos lettuce

dessert trio. AMAZING

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The Brix – A trip to the Northside (darkside)

I think we visited this tiny restaurant in it’s first or second week in existence. A suggestion from a friend who had just moved to Melbourne for a dinner with her and her boyfriend and Ben and I. We found The Brix just off Brunswick St on the side of a real estate office. The restaurant had mistakenly taken our booking for eight peeps instead of four so we sat on a HUGE table under the eye-catching and slightly creepy massive mural (I actually think it might be a massive photograph) but we had a great view of the whole restaurant, through the bar and into the kitchen. The narrow space and ambience created is awesome, with polished concrete floors, a big ropey scuplture thingy, the mural/photograph and perfect mood lighting which does everything to avoid the recent common theme of…. stark…. The food is super techy french. No share plates (dammit) but we had a 5 course set menu which makes me smile as long as the servings are big enough which they were… I was perfectly full! Standout was the lamb belly. ¬†So delicious and crunchy plus juicy and tender meat!

Eel with beetroot, cucumber and horseradish

lamb belly with shallots, capers and almonds

pork with new season asparagus and radish

chocolate pudding with yogurt and figs

I like a set menu as you get to taste what are hopefully the chef’s favourites but we might need to venture back across the river to try some of the rest of the menu! Yummo!

 
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