Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar, Darlinghurst
French restaurants that capture the essence of romance of autrefois are difficult to come by in our fair city. Sydney, it seems, has fallen out of favour with French cuisine preferring a plethora of eateries offering share plates, bar food even food trucks.
Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar is not a newcomer to the dining scene. Established in 2008 by host and owner Alex Bourdon, it offers classic bistro dishes with regional and seasonal produce. The unassuming entrance along Victoria Street leads to an elegant dining room upstairs with white tablecloths. Soft lighting and French tunes add to the ambience.
The menu is classic bistro fare with modern touches. Start with freshly-shucked oysters to share ($3.50 each), served with Champagne vinegar and cracked black pepper and you can’t help but admire the laguiole fork and spoon with a dose of nostalgia for France.
L-R from top: Oysters, Champagne, Goat’s Cheese, Gnocchi, Steak Tartare, Confit Duck
The Woodside goat’s cheese wrapped in air dried wagyu with pumpkin, pine nuts & sage ($21) is creamy smooth, elegant yet simple and packs a lot of flavour.
It’s hard to pass up the signature dish of gnocchi à la parisienne with sautéed mushrooms and white truffle Mornay, available as both an entrée ($19) and main course ($30). The gnocchi is made from flour with no potatoes, and each morsel melts in the mouth with a delicate flavour of truffle in an exquisite cheese sauce.
Order the steak tartare and you’ll be asked for your preference, mild, medium or spicy. The generous portion is topped with an egg and served with pommes frites and a frisée salad. Fresh, flavoursome, and the best tartare in a long time. Equally delicious is the Grand-Mere style confit duck maryland salad with frisée, lardons and lemon vinaigrette ($33).
When it comes to dessert, the flambéed Grand Marnier crêpes Suzette with vanilla ice cream ($14) is the top pick and something to repeat on another visit.
Tastevin Bistro remains true to the classic style of French bistro cuisine. The dishes remind you of many enjoyable meals in Paris and with a cool wine bar on one side, you can even drop in for a drink or hire the space for an event. Sydney may be obsessed with the latest food trends but classic French bistro cuisine never goes out of style.
Tastevin Bistro & Wine Bar
294 Victoria St, Level 1
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
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