Let’s not mince words - Pierre Gobert’s macarons are excellent. Cafe Gourmand ($10) gives you a coffee and three ‘flavours of the day’ – I’m yet to strike a bad flavour.
Debonair Head Pastry Chef Pierre Gobert gave generously of his time during my recent grilling, but he does have more time than he used to! The shiny new Baroque Bistro Patisserie kitchen is equipped with a ‘depositor’ to lay out his little lids in two hours instead of nine hand-piping hours! This leaves him with more time to come up with exciting new parfums (flavours).
After a liberal sampling, I can attest that Pierre’s macarons have an extraordinary depth of flavour. He makes the jasmine beauties from brewed jasmine tea! They transported me to my childhood - a hot summer night when the creeping waft of jasmine heralded the arrival of the southerly that would eventually cool us to sleep. It’s lucky you can buy them in boxes ($10 / 100g gives you four) because I was also captivated by both Olive Oil and Vanilla, and Salted Caramel as well. Pierre alluded to a “lemon explosion” in future months - my mouth already waters in anticipation.
Now the important stuff is out of the way; the heritage space had been kept nicely raw, accented with gleaming rose copper and expensive foreign (Italian) chairs you can see right through!
Behind the pans, Yann Fontaine (ex-Bilson’s) makes quality French bistro-style (fast) food. If that’s not enough, the handsome French waiters decked out in hand-made aprons should seal the deal – highly recommended for the ‘ladies who lunch’ set!
Married me settles for Baked Eggs with Porcini Cream and Toasted Baguette ($13) – who knew it could be an entree as well as breakfast? (The last time I had baked eggs in a restaurant I was at Thomas Keller's Bouchon in Las Vegas...)
If you’re not partial to butter and cream (and why not?) the Snail and Asparagus Salad ($13) is lovely and bright, with orange segments and a bed of baby spinach.
The wine list reads like a list of my all-time favourites. If you like to drink local, go the 2008 Crawford River ‘Young Vines’ Riesling ($10/glass, $42/bottle) or the 2009 Spring Vale Chardonnay ($9/glass, $39/bottle). If you’re partial to the foreign stuff, the 2008 Daniel Dampt Chablis ($14/glass, $64/bottle) is also lovely.
88 George Street, The Rocks
Ph: (02) 9241 4811