GT reader dinner: French Saloon, Melbourne
Author: Emma Hutton
Photography: Martin Reftel & Jessica Reftel Evans
There's a new player in Melbourne's Little Bourke Street. The soft-accented French Saloon, replete with bentwood chairs, timber tables and a lofty red ceiling, set up shop inside a former apartment adjoining Kirk's Wine Bar in February. It's the seventh and latest addition to restaurant power trio Ian Curley, Con Christopoulos and Josh Brisbane's portfolio of eclectic eating spaces.
"A lot of people forget that eating is supposed to be about enjoyment," says Curley. "People get caught up with the architecture of a plate."
Head chef Todd Moses, formerly of Supernormal, describes the food as "bistronomy". "We're a modern Melbourne bistro with a European feel but we want to avoid getting locked into the classics," says Moses. Join us for dinner where the menu includes robust offerings such as crumbed and fried fromage de tête - braised and shredded pig's head - before a salade gourmande of duck served three ways: cold-smoked ham from the in-house butcher, pan-roasted offal and a quenelle of liver parfait.
A bitter dark chocolate and hazelnut shortcrust tart rounds out the sweet side with a Cognac Manhattan. As ambassador for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, Curley invites guests to wear white on the night in support of White Shirt Day on 2 May. "As it's the tenth year of OCRF, I think it's important to help stamp out this insidious disease."
Join us for dinner at 6.30pm on Monday 2 May at French Saloon, first floor, 380-384 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic. The cost of $125 includes dinner, wines and a $10 donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.
To book, visit trybooking.com/KMSW.
For more on OCRF, call 1300 OVARIAN or visit ocrf.com.au
French Saloon menu
* Anchovy toasts, guanciale and Espelette
* Yasa caviar, potato blini
* Pig's head cheese beignet
NV Bellussi Prosecco, Valdobbiadene
* Kingfish crudo, gravlax dressing, confit egg yolk and carrot
Monopole Riesling (made by Whittmann), Rheinhessen
* Duck salade gourmande, hazelnut vinaigrette
2014 Gabriel Rosé, Grenache, Bandol, France
* Short rib of beef, mustard leaf, sour onion and bone
2014 Brusset, Côtes duVentoux, Grenache Dominant, France
* Bitter chocolate tart, clotted cream Cognac Manhattan
(cocktail of Cognac, vermouth and bitters)
* Petits fours to finish