Since my earliest memories of the Gabba, I could always remember my parents driving me past and being curious about the shop with the Eiffel tower decorating the outside of it. Having maintained my curiosity throughout the years, it's long been top of my list for date night spots. I can't believe it's taken me so long to make my way there, but I was super excited to go with Adam last week for our mid week date night.
Walking all the way from Eagle Street, we had worked up quite an appetite. We arrived at our 6pm reservation and were the first to arrive. The restaurant has apparently been renovated of late, but still had a classic rustic charm to it. Adam said it reminded him a bit of old Montrachet.
Being seated promptly by our friendly hostess, we had cheesy amuse bouche brought out to us along with the menu. It was almost like a cheesy choux pastry. I loved the biscuit crumble on top and the cheesy filling inside.
Being as excited as I was to try this place out, I had, of course read the menu well ahead of our attendance, and my mind was definitely made up long before I even opened it. With quite a few classic French dishes, I wish I could try everything. Lucky they have Chef's Degustation for both entrees and desserts (spoilers).
Complimentary bread came after we made our order. It was a slight letdown compared to our cheesy amuse bouche. The bread was served at room temperature looking pale and undertoasted while the butter was firm and difficult to spread.
Drinks came soon after though, I had the French Spritz and he the strawberry mocktail. His strawberry mocktail was made with delectable homemade strawberry puree, fresh and tart, it complimented well with the cream. Being a fan of all bubbly things, the spritz was enjoyed thoroughly.
Kicking off, our entrees consisted of the chef's selection of entrees. Between the two of us, we had little bites of five different types of entree. A really good deal for the price of $39, essentially the price of two entrees anyway.
First up, I tried the French Onion Soup, rich and flavoursome, it had some soaked croutons for texture and melted cheese for extra stringy goodness. I would definitely get this in a full sized portion.
Next, we had one piece of escargot each to have on top of a slice of baguette. With a earthy mushroom taste but a chewy meaty texture, mixed with herb and garlic butter, it was a delectable morsel, but a little too rich for me to have in larger quantities.
We also had duck liver parfait, this was served with parfait. I really enjoyed the smooth creamy texture, almost like a meaty cream cheese, brioche was also toasty and fresh.
Last of the entrees was the quail salad. Served with two pieces of quail breast and lettuce drizzled with vinegarette, it almost felt like two dishes, I feel that shredding the meat and mixing it through would have made it more enjoyable.
Finishing off our entrees, mains arrived fairly soon after.
Always keen to try the new and unusual, Adam had the special of the day, Venison served with apple crisp. He had it cooked medium rare. His dish was more rare than it was medium rare, with a deep pink centre. Served with quite a few vegetables as well as pumpkin puree, it was a very well balanced meal and he liked how the Venison was not overly chewy, but tender without too much gamey taste to it. Trying some myself, I also agreed with his assessment and quite liked it.
As if in direct contrast, I never deviate far from my standard and ordered an Entrecote, cooked rare with pepper sauce and a side of potato gratin and rocket salad. Having ordered it rare, for once this was a little more undercooked than what I am used to. With a merely seared exterior, it was almost blue. I didn't mind this at all, It was perfectly lean and amazingly tender. Pepper sauce was creamy and rich, but could have been a little spicier for my liking. The rocket and parmesan was fresh and sharp but could have done with a little more vinegarette. Both of us enjoyed the delectable thinly layered potato gratin with its delicate slices to soak up the beef juices.
By now we all know, each date night is without a doubt rounded off with dessert and I have learned to leave room for it.
Without wanting to decide too much, we shared a dessert degustation platter for two. With a selection including creme brulee, creme caramel, meringue, cheesecake and mango tartare, Adam was in heaven. Sampling a little of each, they were a little sweet for my tastes, but out of them all, I found the cheesecake to be the tastiest with a rich, creamy texture.
Price Range: $70 - $90pp