Proctor : September 2018
48 PROCTOR | September 2018 Even though our love affair with burgers, poke bowls, tapas and all things fried is still in full swing, there’s always a place in our hearts for good-quality French food. And not the kind you can find on Uber Eats, the kind you can only experience by dining in a warm, cosy, candle-lit space filled with white tablecloths, gentle music and, of course, French wine. This one isn’t going to show up on a ‘cheap eats’ list anytime soon, but if that sounds right up your alley and the name C’est Bon doesn’t automatically come to mind, then look no further. After 10 years of offering delicious, authentic French food in the heart of Woolloongabba, C’est Bon is well worth cancelling your Saturday evening dinner date with Netflix. C’est Bon recently reopened its doors, expanding its space into a modern and chic wine bar, paired with the original intimate restaurant, the legacy of Michel Bonnet, who left France nearly 50 years ago with one dream – to become a chef. Today, his dream has well and truly come to fruition, as the godfather of C’est Bon, now owned by his protégé, Celine Damour. Celine has her work cut out for her, with aspirations of adding a new cellar, urban garden and rooftop to the establishment. The restaurant and wine bar are off Stanley Street amongst the Gabba’s heritage-listed buildings. Echoing the traditional French bistro style, the restaurant greets you with an intimate dining room over two storeys. It’s hidden behind an entrance, no wider than a doorway. The décor is understated, and tall mirrors add depth to the otherwise narrow, yet warm and charming, space. Next door old Provence meets Paris, with C’est Bon’s new wine bar (and soon-to-be café) with a chic fusion of arches, brass against brick, and wooden undertones, but most notably a full bar of French wine. Otherwise, if French- inspired cocktails and locally brewed beer or cider (brought to you by another Brisbane favourite – Aether Brewing) are more to your liking, you won’t be disappointed. Now, the stuff you’ve been waiting for. The restaurant offers the choice of à la carte or a create-your-own degustation. The menu is inspired by traditional French cuisine (incorporating food from different regions), and modern influences. A glance at the menu reveals this is not the place if you’re looking for a low-calorie, gluten-free treat; C’est Bon is traditional French dishes in the most delightful way. C’est Bon doesn’t try to reinvent French cuisine; its entrées include all of the luxurious French favourites – escargot swimming in garlic butter, melt-in-your-mouth foie gras, and freshly baked bread with whipped butter that will have you taking out a second mortgage (and signing up to F45) to eat like this every day. The wine list is quite accessible, starting out with bottles from $45 that will afford you the opportunity to sample some of France’s best wine regions, without leaving your wallet hungover. If there are too many choices for you to decide, the professional staff are well versed in recommending the perfect pairing with your food. For your main course, choose from traditional French favourites, or from a selection of modern Australian and French fusion dishes. The Le Canard à l’orange (crispy free-range duck, twice cooked and accompanied by sweet potato puree, red cabbage, orange and Grand Marnier sauce) will never disappoint. Other dishes include chicken provençal, ‘Normandie’-style pork tenderloin, lamb rump and even a kangaroo loin fillet. Of course, there is also a vegetarian option, which changes depending on the availability of fresh products. Alternatively, build your own main from the char grill selection, with garnishes and sauce. Think duck fat-roasted potatoes, truffled forest mushroom sauce, burgundy jus, garlic and herb butter, all of the best steak imaginable, veal cutlets or a fish of the day. Even if the entrées and mains have left you feeling completely satisfied, you might feel inclined to sample the dessert degustation. Or, choose from a mouth-watering selection of soufflé de la passion, crème brûlée, bombe Alaska, crêpe suzette, crème caramel or duo of chocolate mousse. Fair warning, the desserts are as visually stunning as they are scrumptious. In fact, as you see them wheeled out to the tables around you, you will find the need to try one irresistible! If you’re still not sold, head to C’est Bon’s new bar, enjoy a glass of wine and sample some of the bar menu (with your favourite C’est Bon entrées, selection of French cheeses, duck pate and the popular charcuterie board). While (at the time of writing) you can pop into C’est Bon to enjoy a selection of traditional French dinner options, soon you will be able to head down for a bistro-style lunch, or even a French-inspired breakfast menu. Be sure to book in advance, because in true French style, the restaurant is cosy and chaotic in the best way. Bon appetit! This article appears courtesy of the Queensland Law Society Early Career Lawyers Committee Proctor working group, chaired by Frances Stewart (Frances. Stewart@hyneslegal.com.au) and Adam Moschella (Adam.Moschella@justice.qld.gov.au). Amy Detheridge is a lawyer at Allens Linklaters. C’est Bon? It’s good! by Amy Detheridge Dining out Images courtesy of C’est Bon.