Mona Lisa is smirking because she knows Clement Chauvin has made a good decision moving Les Bistronomes from Braddon into the suburbs.
The famous lady (Chauvin found the print in an antique store in Yass) looks right at home in the space that previously housed Lanterne Rooms in the Campbell shops. The signature wooden louvres remain but the space has been given some French flair with street lights instead of lanterns, photographs of the Eiffel Tower, and striking chandeliers Chauvin sourced from Beacon Lighting, reduced from $600 to $60.
"I could sense the vibe of the place as soon as I started thinking about the move," says Chauvin, who parted on good-terms with co-owner Abel Bariller to set up Campbell on his own.
"This spot has been a restaurant for 35 years, and I think to move a French restaurant into a space you need a little history.
"I didn't think it would be a bad choice but I didn't think it would be such a good choice."
Chauvin said about 60 per cent of his customers are completely new, people who didn't like heading into Braddon, people who appreciate fine dining.
Chauvin said Braddon had changed since they moved into the corner of Mort and Elouera Streets in 2014, saying construction, the light rail, the number of casual eateries had changed the suburb.
"And then there was the spot we were in, the block got sold, there was uncertainty with the lease, changes needed to be made but we didn't feel as though we could.
"I'm proud of this place, it makes a difference for me to come in to the restaurant, to come out onto the floor to talk to people, knowing I have a product I'm proud of."
He said his goal is to get back into the Good Food Guide and make Les Bistronomes one of the best fine dining restaurants in Canberra.
"The move has made me see the potential of where we could be in the next few years."
Spoke for the Folk
You'll have to wait until April to try the exclusive beer BentSpoke is brewing for the National Folk Festival, aptly named BentFolk.
"The National's fun, themed bars are always a hit with festival-goers, but adding an internationally recognised, quirky local brand like BentSpoke, and a custom brew to the mix, will take things to a whole new level next Easter," said Helen Roben, the festival's newly appointed managing director.
BentSpoke head brewer and co-owner Richard Watkins said the beer will be made using a new variety of hops grown in nearby Victoria and will add a light fruity tone and bitterness to balance.
"The malt, or soul of the beer, adds the body and some toasty, bready notes in harmony with the hops creating a melody on the palate," he said.
"Not only will festival goers be able to grab a schooner of BentFolk at The National, we'll also be supplying our specialty cider and stout to the festival for all those thirsty folk."
There'll be more than 200 acts performing throughout 20 venues over five days when the festival kicks off April 9, 2020.
Great Woolley Street Feast
Pork belly bao with popcorn chicken, succulent dumplings, mouth-watering falafel and aromatic noodle soup are just some of the delicacies to indulge in during the inaugural Great Woolley Street Feast, spicing up Dickson on Saturday, November 9.
The feast is the final event of the City Renewal Authority's Woolley St. Project, a series of temporary trials designed to create a more appealing, pedestrian-focused place for the community in Dickson's best-known dining district.
The feast will feature eight quality restaurants in Dickson where diners grab a bowl, visit the participating vendors to refill, and take a seat at Canberra's banquet dining table the length of Woolley Street while enjoying live local music.
The participating restaurants include Dickson Dumpling House, Super Bao, Alara's Turkish Pide Grill House, Mekong River, Chonqing Street Noodle, Wukong Hot Pot, A Bite and Co.BAR, while drinks can be purchased from the on-street bar supplied by Ducks Nuts Bar and Grill.
First sitting at 6pm, second at 8pm. Tickets at dicksoncbr.com.au/events/
Craft Beer and Cider Fest
The Old Canberra Inn has invited all their favourite Australian Indie brewers to come down to Canberra for this year's Craft Beer and Cider Fest 2019 on November 9. There'll be more than 100 different quenching libations from more than 20 independent Australian breweries, along with a chance to meet and chat to the brewers.
There'll be live music all day and the OCI kitchen will be in overdrive. A nice green touch too with wooden cutlery, recycled sugar cane bowls and biodegradable cups. Even the wristbands are 100 per cent biodegradable seeded paper from Botanical Paperworks, plant them in your garden after the event for a truly beautiful surprise.
Breweries taking part include: Hop Nation, Badlands, New England Brewing, Yullis Brews, Hope Estate, Woolshed, 3 Ravens, Temple, Apple Thief, Riverside, Yeastie Boys, NOMAD, Bridge Road, Sailors Grave, Quiet Deeds, Batlow, Wayward, Batch Brewing, Bentspoke and Capital Brewing. Tickets $20, from noon, Mouat Street, Lyneham.
Hotel Realm won National Function/Convention Centre Caterer at the 2019 National Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering Awards for Excellence recently.
General manager Justin Higgins said it was a great thrill to win the national award.
"I am very proud of our highly dedicated and hard-working team," he said. "Congratulations and a big thank you to our kitchen and front-of-house staff for their passion in striving for excellence."
It was a great night for Canberra. Other venues to do well include National Nine (Best Chinese restaurant, gold), Raku Dining (Best Japanese restaurant, gold), Trippas White Group (Site caterer, gold, Australian War Memorial, gold), Daana (Indian restaurant, silver) and Mezzalira on London (Italian restaurant, formal, bronze).
The R&CA Awards for Excellence is a nationally recognised, independently judged awards program that celebrates exceptional service and culinary talent across the country. The awards is the only program in Australia where the judging criteria is determined by consumers who rank what is important to them in the dining experience.