Posts Tagged ‘French’
7 Templestowe Road
Phone: 03 9852 2346
Day: Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-5pm
Dinner: Thurs-Sat 6pm-9pm
Catching up with the lovely ladies, we decided to try the latest addition to the Vue family – Cafe Vue @ Heide, the museum of Modern Art, tucked away in the eastern suburbs.
We opted for the Menu du jour which gives 2 courses $35, or 3 courses $45.
(We didn’t actually have a choice – we booked a table, booking ensures you have to order the menu du jour. If you take your chances and just rock up, then you can order a la carte from the cafe menu, which is a little more inexpensive).
The three of us decided to go entree + main, and bypass dessert.
Menu du jour for July was a entree choice of
The risotto was perhaps a little too ‘al dente’ for my liking, but that’s more my preference than the way it was cooked. It tasted fine, however a little too ‘healthy’ for my liking, like brown rice.
The duck and pistachio terrine looked fantastic, the flavours were good but lacked depth in flavour.
For mains, choices were the
which was slices of tender skate served ontop of mousselines of pomme purree, roasted baby beetroot, fennel, olive oil, fennel and capers
The skate was cooked to perfection, with generous slices of tender fish. However, although this dish had nice clean piquant flavours, witch each individual component being perfectly cooked, this dish lacked a certain ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’. It looked amazing, texturally it was perfect, with the nice bite from the skate, the crunch from the fennel, the tender beets and the perfectly smooth pomme purree, however it just didn’t wow me.
Similarly with the ragu. The pasta ribbons were cooked to perfection, the dish again looked amazing, but it lacked depth of flavour. The sauce was slightly watery.
Having said that, it was overall a very pleasant experience. The cafe is charming, with big open windows, the crockery delightful and the service was faultless. The food is by no means bad, but it just lacked a ‘robust-ness.’ Definitely keen to return and see what else they have on offer, and also to have the famed Café Vue Lunch Box.
Taste: 6. The flavours were almost there. It just needed to go to the next level.
Value: 6.5. $35 is a tad pricey considering the standard of the food. However, the ingredients used were of excellent quality. The cafe brunch menu is excellent value though.
Service: 8. No problems with this.
Atmosphere: 8. A great place to spend a lazy weekend afternoon.
Overall: 7. I’ve been to the other Cafe Vues and have been more impressed with the food. I’m just going to put it down to the menu not suiting my taste. Definitely will return.
500 Victoria Street
North Melbourne VIC 3003
Tel: (03) 9329 5228
Located just around the corner from the bustle of Errol Street lays this charming French restaurant is tucked away between a couple of random shops.
Blink and you could miss it.
Walk inside, and you are welcomed into this elegant dining room by the very refined but friendly staff.
This tiny restaurant is decadent in many ways, from the large gold gilded mirrors, wood-panelled walls, the chandeliers, and the gastronomic delights that are to be had.
This place is so chic, and oh so French.
The Suckling Pig Banquet is available at Libertine for groups of 10 or more. It is served á la Normande with roasted baby vegetables, presented whole and then carved by Nick for $75 per person including a choice of three entrees and three desserts. The restaurant requires a weeks notice pre-pig.
Choice of entrees were; Chevre & potato paupiette with sweet corn basil soup, terrine du jour on toasted sour dough & pear chutney, or Hervey Bay scallops with a forest and mushroom ragout.
Everyone on our table chose either the terrine or the scallops.
The terrine du jour was a venison terrine. It was very appetising, and paired well with the pear chutney it was served with.
The scallops were absolutely devine. I’m so glad I chose this dish – this was my favourite dish consumed on the night. The scallop was just- cooked, the texture was so perfect and I cannot think of another way to describe it other than ‘bouncy, yet soft.’ The forest mushrooms were a delight, in flavour and again texture, and I’m not sure what the smear of orange sauce was, but it was fricken amazing.
And then.. onto the main event.
The waitress arrived with this pig on a silver platter in all its grandeur.
The pig (although sans pomme to the dismay of some of my companions) almost looked like he had a smile on his face, that he was happy he was sacrificing his little piggy life to be delicious in our bellies.
He was paraded around for a bit of a photo-shoot (with all us foodies and bloggers pulling out our cameras and firing away), then taken back to the kitchen where he was carved and dished up.
Each portion consisted of slabs of pork and crackling served atop creamy mash and a mustard sauce with mustard leaves. The meat was deliciously tender, however the crackling was a bit leathery and tough. That would be my only criticism of this dish, because it was wickedly heavenly.
In case we needed it, we were also given sides of extra creamy mash and buttered baby veggies.
After the main event, which I do not think any of us were able to finish, dessert was served.
Our choices were;
a passionfruit marshmallow with autum fruit and a seeded shard
a chocolate pave with warm plum mousse and almond crumbs,
and a crème caramel with Calvados, accompanied by herbal tea sorbet.
I chose the marshmallow, which thankfully, as I was already stuffed, was the lightest of the offerings. It was definitely an interesting dessert, different to anything I’d had before, but in a good way. The flavours were not intense – rather they were quite restrained and highlighted with the wonderful textures – contrasting between the softness of the marshmallow, the tenderness of the fruits and the crunch of the shard.
I had a taste of the other desserts, the chocolate pave was nice however a little “dark” for my liking but would have been loved by anyone who likes intense chocolately flavours. The creme caramel was delightful.
Overall a wonderful night, and many thanks to Gem from eat drink stagger for organising us all together. Can’t wait for the next one Gem!
Several weeks later, K, my fellow food-enthusiast and I were chatting over drinks and got talking about Boullaibaise night at Libertine. Both fans of Boullaibaise, well… let’s not fool ourselves, both fans of food with a shared craving for some Boullaibaise, we decided to organise a group together for Boullaibaise night at Libertine. On Wednesday evenings during half the year, Libertine puts together a Boullaibaise for $25. We finally got together a date, and I rang to book, only to be told that they had just had their last Boullaibase night and now that it was winter, Wednesday nights would be cassoulet night.
Disappointed, but not deterred, we decided to do cassoulet night.
On offering is a traditional Toulouse-style cassoulet for $25, during all Wednesdays in the colder half of the year.
On the specials menu, was an entree of snails. Given that we were in a French restaurant, we could not resist, and six delicate little morsels of snail meat (sans shell unfortunately) were brought, lightly panfried in garlic and butter.
And then onto the main event.
Cassoulet of the night was a confit duck, pork sausage and pork belly served atop a mélange of cannellini beans and vegies.
…and a closeup.
The duck skin was crisp, its meat luxuriously tender, the sausage had wonderful spice. The stew was hearty and filling, perfect for warming our bellies on a cold winter night. The couple of bottles of Pinot we had also helped. We consumed three bottles between the five of us, two of which included the 2007 Domaine des Nugues from Beaujolais – a wonderful, light, silky wine with nice berry overtones.
We also decided we needed some greens – and ordered buttered brussel sprouts – $8.50
and young beets, fennel & parsley – $8.50.
Brussel sprouts are one of those things that many people hate – and can be bitter and disgusting, but when cooked were are delightful. Libertine did not fail to please.
And although we were stuffed, we couldn’t resist the special souffle of the day – a white chocolate souffle. It was simply perfect – light, fluffy, delcieux.
Both nights spent in this wonderful little French restaurant were wonderful. Service was impeccible, food was perfect, the wine was wonderful and the company was amazing.
Taste: 9. Food is sinfully good. Very rich, but then, live a little.
Value: 9. With mains typically priced around the $35 mark, the $25 cassoulet represents excellent value. Eating a la carte is obviously not as inexpensive, however the food represents excellent produce cooked perfectly.
Service: 9. The wait staff are attentive, very professional yet friendly at the same time.
Atmosphere: 9. Wonderful.
Overall: 9. If you haven’t done it already, gather together some friends and head over to this charming establishment. Love it!