Opened in 1976, Baguette is an institution on the Brisbane dining scene. Over that time, inner-north Ascot's Racecourse Road has developed into a busy foodies' hub with Baguette owners Francis and Marilyn Domenech there from the start, bringing their passion for French food to the city at a time when there was only a handful of similar contenders.
Excellent traditional dishes and attention to contemporary trends have always been on the agenda, but chef Scott Berryman takes off in a new direction with his autumn menu. Food has been pared back-a little less delicate and refined, and tapping into the trend of more regular and casual dining. The restaurant space has been pared back, too-tablecloths have dissappeared-but the attractive room with tiled floors and glass doors still opens to a courtyard garden. A long bar area at the entry is a welcome spot for pre-dinner drinks.
Starters include a terrine of duck, veal and pork with apple and fig chutney, calamari fritti, dusted in polenta and served with a sweetish piperade (a tomato, onion and capsicum dish) and paprika aioli, petite spanner crab and citrus salad-shredded crab meat doused in almond gazpacho with a dash of truffle oil.
Duck breast on a bed of pureed sweet confir carrots and Steak Frites- a 300g slice of sirloin with a generous serve of chips, are a few of the mouth-watering mains, but the highlights of the menu come in the form of their desserts, with the Creme Brulee taking out top honours.
Some Baguette patrons arrive with their own bottles of wine-an accepted practise mid-week-for a small corkage charge.
Baguette is one of the few Brisbane restaurants still standing from the 1970s, which is testament to understanding its market and evolutionary dining trends.
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