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Ooh la la! Les Bistronomes brings a certain je ne sais quoi to Braddon

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Braddon got a certain je ne sais quoi tonight, when the doors opened on French restaurant Les Bistronomes – the new project of Clement Chauvin and Abel Bariller. The menu is a real slice of France and reads like one you’d expect to find in your typical Parisian bistro – but you’d be mistaken if you think this is simple French cuisine…this is seriously sophisticated food.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh5.ggpht.com/-EN_O9eFh75c/VC0l_xRcNpI/AAAAAAAAJb8/aLJejlTEaW4/s144-c-o/1544311_767099476666695_5708620318951049738_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546050626401938″ caption=”Escargot Et Fillet De Porc en Persillade (Garlic Snails & Pork Loin with Parsley Cream) from Les Bistronomes.” type=”image” alt=”1544311_767099476666695_5708620318951049738_n.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

The interior is inviting and cosy – forget gritty industrial finishes, this is provincial and earthy: exposed brick, comfortable padded chairs, worn timber tables and lots of metal wine racks (for all the amazing wine). French music plays in the background and the service is as warm as the ambience.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-EcSskhCfSWk/VC0mBEVInQI/AAAAAAAAJb0/2w5ayilrtFw/s144-c-o/3.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546072922037506″ caption=”The interior of Les Bistronomes is very cosy – exposed brick, comfortable chairs and worn timber tables.” type=”image” alt=”3.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

We ate dinner as a family of four, and shared entrees of Escargot Et Fillet De Porc en Persillade (Garlic Snails & Pork Loin with Parsley Cream) and Tartare De Boeuf (Beef Tartare) – both $17 (as are all entrees). Huge. HUGE. Easily main size and big on flavour. The snails packed a powerful garlic punch (which we liked), and the small mountain of beef was spicy and moreish.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-UKrDAJzZvBo/VC0l_9u2VgI/AAAAAAAAJbU/3_Zkg3mcpgQ/s144-c-o/10687097_767099493333360_5098370925073882236_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546053970974210″ caption=”Les Bistronomes’ Tartare De Boeuf (Beef Tartare):” type=”image” alt=”10687097_767099493333360_5098370925073882236_n.jpg” pe2_single_video_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

Then it was on to main. Our girls both decided they wanted Steak et Frites ($25 – not on the menu, but Abel said it was no problem for the kids to have something off the menu); I chose the Bavette De Boeuf A L’Echalotte Et Sauce Bordelaise (Grilled Hanger Steak, French Eshallots & Red Wine Jus) and Mr HerCanberra the Canard A L’Orange (Orange Duck, Carrot and Liquorice, Pickled Red Cabbage & Pistachio) ($36 each).

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-bzrwvUZWquM/VC0l-im7_nI/AAAAAAAAJbM/YuwxzIQIIx8/s144-c-o/10649620_767099513333358_1515947873312025332_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546029510164082″ caption=”Les Bistronomes was happy to accommodate the kids’ request for steak and chips.” type=”image” alt=”10649620_767099513333358_1515947873312025332_n.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

The girls’ steaks were perfectly cooked, and they wolfed down pretty much every morsel. My Hanger Steak was ridiculous. The size of my plate. I managed about half of it, but not for lack of trying. It was rich, with dollops of bone marrow dotting the steak, but that’s a hallmark of French cuisine…my only negative comment was that it was served with what I think were Jerusalem Artichokes (but I could be wrong), and the firm texture didn’t quite seem the right fit for the dish.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh4.ggpht.com/-uGSNL0C1PXo/VC0l-sqYJ3I/AAAAAAAAJa8/gAsKxk2JKPA/s144-c-o/10628258_767099540000022_3805554291401969194_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546032208947058″ caption=”Bavette De Boeuf A L’Echalotte Et Sauce Bordelaise(Grilled Hanger Steak, French Eshallots & Red Wine Jus)from Les Bistronomes.” type=”image” alt=”10628258_767099540000022_3805554291401969194_n.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

Mr HerCanberra’s duck was beautifully cooked and, in his words, ‘the licorice sausage thing was awesome’. Hey, he ain’t a food critic but he knows what he likes!

If you’ve got your heart set on the Plat Pour Deux (main for two) of Filet De Boeuf en croute Au Foie Gras Et Duxelle De Champignon and Papillotte De Snapper Au Beurre Blanc ($80), make your reservation for next week – the long weekend has meant that the restaurant’s convection oven hasn’t quite made it to Canberra yet. But there’s plenty of other options to keep you happy.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-UVxsT8pmnbk/VC0l_eOcrlI/AAAAAAAAJbg/ZTej0MmwC64/s144-c-o/10671262_767099526666690_5050179229774591931_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546045513576018″ caption=”Canard A L’Orange (Orange Duck, Carrot and Liquorice, Pickled Red Cabbage & Pistachio) from Les Bistronomes” type=”image” alt=”10671262_767099526666690_5050179229774591931_n.jpg” pe2_single_video_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

By this point, we were so very very full that we just couldn’t squeeze in dessert. But we will be going back for the Crème Brulée A La Vanille, Mousse Au Chocolat et Avocat, Soufflé Au Fruit De La Passion and Charlotte A La Fraise & Sureau. Yep, all four.

On the drinks front – an impressive wine list with a lot of local players and some great Frenchies. We started with a Kir Royale and I could have settled in with a few of them if we didn’t have two kids in tow. Speaking of the littles, they were delighted by their ‘Diablos’ (traditional French drink of lemonade with a flavoured syrup), served in mason jars with stripey straws. They report both Strawberry and Rose versions were yummy.

All in all, a fantastic and satistfying meal. Service wasn’t quite seamless, with glasses empty on occasion, but for a first night it was a pretty classy performance.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/–ZNk0J7pyaY/VC0mA0OC2EI/AAAAAAAAJbk/AN-9iQXVjig/s144-c-o/1621748_767099453333364_6680268115005613550_n.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546068597332034″ caption=”Both our girls enjoyed a ‘Diablo’ – a traditional French drink of lemonade flavoured with syrup…this one is Strawberry!” type=”image” alt=”1621748_767099453333364_6680268115005613550_n.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

If brunch is more your scene, then there are some fabulous classic French dishes on offer, such as Pissaladière, Croque Madame, Oeuf Meurette, Omelette Aux Champignon & Basilic, plus salad, fish of the day, natural oysters – and tempting charcuterie and Assiete De Fromage.  And it wouldn’t be a French eatery if there weren’t sweets – Crème Brulée A La Vanille, Crêpe Suzette and some amazing pastries.

[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-uosBN0lzHlM/VC0mA3RaqjI/AAAAAAAAJbw/sgh0RKtd5zI/s144-c-o/2.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/108454826374315674707/LesBistronomes#6065546069416782386″ caption=”Les Bistronomes’ menu looks like a giant postcard.” type=”image” alt=”2.jpg” pe2_single_image_size=”w614″ pe2_img_align=”center” pe2_caption=”1″ ]

The verdict? Generous servings, knowledgeable service, great flavours, and a welcome addition to the Canberra dining scene.

The author and her family dined at their own expense.

the essentials

What: Les Bistronomes
Where: Shop 8/ 36 Mort Street Braddon
When: Lunch/ Dinner Tuesday to Friday; Brunch/Dinner Saturday; Brunch/Sunday
Bookings: 6248 8119
Cost: $$$
Web: www.lesbistronomes.net

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3 Responses to Ooh la la! Les Bistronomes brings a certain je ne sais quoi to Braddon

Shaun says: 3 October, 2014 at 9:04 am

Don’t appreciate reviewers calling portions “HUGE” unless they resemble this: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3369/3490607867_61ba66321d.jpg?v=0

The essential point of eating is nutrition, and the trend of making portions smaller and smaller makes going out to eat deeply unsatisfying for anyone with a decent appetite (e.g. young men)

Amanda Whitley says: 3 October, 2014 at 9:08 am

Shaun, my steak was the size of an average dinner plate – to me, that’s huge. It wasn’t a criticism, and if you read on, it’s clear that the generous servings are appreciated.

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