If names like bisque, foie gras, Puligny-Montrachet or Chateauneuf du pape get you a little hot under the collar, chances are you’re looking forward to Bastille Day this week. While the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, was seen as the beginning of the modern nation of France, the menus created by chefs around Melbourne for Bastille Day are something of a symbol of how far our wonderful, local produce has come. French restaurants around town use classic French techniques with wonderful Australian produce all year round and at this time of traditional celebration, it is also the perfect time to acknowledge a collaboration of sorts – between French history and local produce.
Libertine are celebrating their sixth Bastille Day and the North Melbourne restaurant pulls out all the stops with a lavish degustation highlighting ingredients such as Western Australian marron, wild South Australian red deer, Glenloth pheasant and magnums of wine, cracked and poured. The night has become something of a tradition, where guests dress up for a six-course feast and a lush, decadent evening.
Six courses, $185 per head all inclusive.
500 Victoria Street, North Melbourne
(03) 9329 5228
Embrasse is celebrating with a dinner titled ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ featuring a five-course dinner in which chef Nic Poeleart will play with Australian truffles, Moreton Bay bugs, cheeses and accompany all of it with wines from France.
Five courses, $210 per head all inclusive.
312 Drummond Street, Carlton
(03) 9347 3312
Phillipe Mouchel and his team have created a menu for lunch (three courses) or dinner (five courses). This is an opportunity to enjoy classic French technique in a smart, modern bistro where, among other dishes, Mouchel is serving traditional fish soup with rouille, oyster blade braised for 48 hours with mushrooms and beef jus.
Lunch: $60 per head, or $90 with matching wines.
Dinner: 6pm onwards, $110 per head or $170 with matching wines.
Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Crown Metropol is offering seven courses with 14 wines. Gisborne duck and veal from the Northern Rivers are on a menu in which French wines are matched to classic flavours and techniques.
Seven courses, 14 wines, $390 per head.
The kitchen at this classic bistro by Guillaume Brahimi is business as usual, but if you’re yearning for some Gallic flavours, like Berkshire pork with lentils and tarragon vinaigrette or steak frites, without the Bastille Day fuss then this could be the place for you.
Chef Scott Pickett, owner of The Estelle, will be getting creative in the kitchen of St Ali for Bastille Day. Using fresh Australian truffles from Madame Truffles just next door and just for July, Pickett will utilise these little gems on the 14th.