Baguette Bistrot + Bar is a Brisbane institution.
Opening in 1976, husband and wife duo, Marilyn and Francis Domenech, are clearly passionate about good food and excellent service. For this very reason my husband and I long ago decided Baguette was our favourite restaurant in Brisbane. In fact, we dine at Baguette so often (around once per month) it’s now like visiting friends for dinner, albeit with a bill at the end. We are always welcomed by name and escorted to our favourite table, a romantic little nook in the booth area at the front of the restaurant.
On this visit we came for lunch, which is in fact my favourite time to eat out. There is always something so decadent, and relaxing about going out for lunch, as opposed to dinner, at least for me, and lunch is also a perfect time to take advantage of the great lunch special offered at Baguette of two courses for $38 per person.
Sadly, on this occasion, Scott, Baguette’s sommelier of 21 years, was not present. Baguette is not only a destination for it’s food, but to be amazed by Scott’s detailed and passionate knowledge of wine. He also has the most amazing memory and recalls what wines my husband and I have enjoyed on previous visits when we are stuck for the name of something we’ve enjoyed previously. If you do happen to visit Baguette do yourself a favour and ask for Scott to match a wine to your food. He never gets it wrong and you’re sure to learn more about wine in the process.
After sitting down my husband and I quickly settled on a glass of wine each to enjoy with our lunch. For me a Rose from France, and Troy his absolute favourite, a glass of the Robert Chanon Cabernet Sauvignon. Matt, who is the master cocktail maker behind the bar at Baguette, and fills in for Scott when he’s away, quickly returned with our selected wines as we perused the lunch menu. Troy, unsurprisingly selected the steak frites and cafe de Paris butter, another favourite of his, and I chose the gnocchi Parisienne made from choux pastry and served with sautéed mushrooms and a mornay sauce.
I have to let you in on a little secret. I enjoyed the gnocchi Parisienne so much on a previous visit to Baguette, that when I was asked by Australian Mushroom Growers to participate in their annual mushroom mania event, celebrating delicious mushroom dishes available at restaurants around Australia throughout July, I immediately knew I had to come back to share this delicious dish with you.
Now choux pastry gnocchi may sound a little odd, but let me tell you, it is a revelation! First cooked in a pot of boiling water, dried, and then fried in a smoking hot pan, the gnocchi are light as a feather and have the most delicious toasted flavour, and when they partnered with sautéed button mushrooms, girolles and other mushrooms, they are absolutely to die for. In fact, this dish is so good I’ve been working on recreating it at home, and thanks to a quick chat with chef Scott (who is an absolute double of Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame) I know have a few tips to recreate the dish just as it is at Baguette.
Next came dessert. As much as I don’t need dessert, I really find it difficult to resist it, and can often be found reading the dessert menu before selecting from the rest of the menu. This tactic is purely self preservation. If I know I’m going to have a dessert I’ll chose an entree instead of a main course to allow sufficient room, otherwise I’ll opt for a main course, or an entree and a side salad.
For dessert on this occasion Troy selected one of the dessert specials of the day, a chocolate and walnut pudding with chocolate sauce, and I opted for the Oeufs à la neige—floating islands of meringue served on top of a vanilla passionfruit anglaise.
Troy enjoyed his chocolate pudding, and loved the chocolate sauce. I was more than happy with my floating islands of meringue, which were as soft and cloud like as they looked, and I loved the kick of the passionfruit anglaise. As much as I adore chocolate desserts, I often prefer something with a bit of a sharp kick at the end of a meal, and the oeufs à la neige were perfect, albeit deceptively filling.
If you are planning a visit to Baguette it’s worth noting that each month they offer, in addition to their standard menu, a menu featuring the cuisine of a specific region of France. It’s a wonderful way to explore the food of France without needing a passport.
Join the Mushroom Mania fun and you could win 1 of 40 $100 dining vouchers
Mushroom Mania runs from July 1 through to July 31 and is a celebration of delicious mushroom dishes available at restaurants, cafes and bistros throughout Australia. You can join in on the mushroomy fun too and it’s easy to participate. Find out more on the Power Of Mushrooms website.
Baguette Bistrot + Bar
150 Racecourse Rd
Ascot QLD 4007
Phone: 07 3268 6168
This post was sponsored by Australian Mushrooms Growers as part of their 2013 Mushroom Mania campaign. Delicious Everyday paid for all meals.