Saturday, 14 June 2008

Euro 2008 - France

Next up is France. After their hiding this morning courtesy of the in-form Dutch team, things are looking a bit shaky for Les Bleus. If Romania manage to beat The Netherlands in their final group game, both France and Italy will be out.

Luckily there are plenty of French eateries in Brisbane. I won't try to list them all, but here are a few of the better ones.

Top of the tree when it comes to French food in Brisbane is Montrachet. I still haven't eaten here, but its high on my list of places to get to. There are some incredibly tempting dishes on the menu. For entree, try coquilles St Jacques sur ses beignets de crabe (char grilled sea scallops on sand crab dumplings with tarragon jus - $21) or cervelles panées aux tomates confites (deep fried crumbed lambs’ brains, semi dried Roma tomatoes with fennel and green olive tapenade - $18). Mains cover some French classics, like bouillabaisse (reef fish, Queensland scallops, fresh green prawns and Moreton Bay bugs served in a rich seafood broth with aioli and garlic French toast - $32) and steak, frites, salade (eye fillet cooked to your liking and served with green salad, homemade French fries and choice of either green peppercorn or béarnaise sauce - $38). No good French meal would be complete without a glass of wine or two, and there is a terrific wine list at Montrachet, including a lovely selection of Burgundy (as you'd expect from a restaurant named after one of its most famous vineyards).

Not far behind is Baguette, which has been operating in Brisbane for over 30 years. Bruno Loubet is now in the kitchen, putting together some great French menus. Options at Baguette include a plate of house made duck charcuteries ($26.50), roast white rabbit, preserved lemon and orange puree, breaded fennel confit ($36.50) and quail “crepinette” - corn risotto, pomegranate jus and wild rocket ($38). I had a beautiful cassoulet when we ate at Baguette last year. It was so good I still remember it vividly. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed with the wine list, which doesn't have the strength of the lists at Montrachet or La Belle Epoque.

La Belle Epoque is a relative newcomer to the Brisbane food scene. As soon as you walk in the door, you know you're in a French restaurant. La Belle Epoque has an enormous menu for any time of the day, and is more focused on classic French bistro food. The wine list is completely French, which I think is fantastic to see for a Brisbane restaurant. I've already done a couple of posts about La Belle Epoque, the main one you can read here.

Finally, if it's a patisserie that you're looking for, head to Chouquette in New Farm. You'll find beautiful breads, pastries and cakes here that will bring back memories of your favourite French patisserie or boulangerie.

224 Given Terrace
Paddington 4064
P - 07 3367 0030
W -

150 Racecourse Road
Ascot 4007
T - 07 3268 6168
E -
W -

La Belle Epoque
1000 Ann Street
Fortitude Valley 4006
P - 07 3852 1500
E -
W -

Shop 1, 19 Barker Street
New Farm 4005
P - 07 3358 6336

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