Say bonjour to the Valley’s new French restaurant | Gourmand and Gourmet

Say bonjour to the Valley’s new French restaurant

  • Food & Booze
Say ‘au revoir’ to your typical cocktail bar and ‘bonsoir’ to the latest addition to the Valley’s food scene, a sophisticated new French restaurant Brisbane diners have never seen the likes of before. Part vintage jazz bar, part French restaurant and all class, Madame Rouge is the latest venture from Mary Randles, wife of acclaimed restaurateur, E’cco Bistro’s Philip Johnson. Prepare to be transported into an era of frivolity and whimsical French fancy the minute you step through the door, where the hustle and bustle of the street are replaced by romantic red lighting, delightful accents and a menu that embodies the glam of Paris in the 1920s. We recommend starting with a fresh baguette with Normandy butter while perusing the drinks list, although you may have some difficulty choosing from such a huge menu of French, New Zealand and Australian drops. madame-rouge-2 Sticking to the theme, their a la carte style menu is a tribute to traditional French cuisine with plenty of crowd favourites without the unnecessary embellishments. Entrees are simple and classic with the likes of duck liver parfait, boudin noir (black pudding with scallops), huitre mignonette (oysters with shallots and pepper vinaigrette), beef tartare, a confit onion tart, octopus with peppers and the gruyere beignet, a luxurious fried choux pastry filled with melted cheese. Our definite favourite, however, was the melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese soufflé, an indulgently rich but surprisingly light way to start such an occasion! madame-rouge-4 The main plates are exactly what you’d expect from a French restaurant, and they certainly live up to expectations, with the steak frites, confit duck, lamb breast or roast chicken with fricassee mushrooms sure to impress the palates of most diners. The seafood will also attract, with the rustic St Pierre (John Dory coked with butter, lemon and capers) the perfect example of why simple French cuisine is so deliciously timeless. madame-rouge-3 Make sure you save room for dessert though, which is an equally delectable affair. Try an espresso or chocolate martini, the crème caramel, apple tart, profiteroles or a cheese platter, or our recommendation of the nougat glace, a semifreddo style log with honey and raspberries. C’est magnifique! Escape to France without the long haul flight and hideous jetlag – pay a visit to Madame Rouge, a perfect piece of Parisian pleasure in our own backyard. You’ll find them in Fortitude Valley’s M&A Lane at 100 MacLachlan Street, open Monday to Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch. Words by Kat Gridley