Hayes Street Wharf Bistro
This gold patterned little French hideaway on the sleepy streets of Neutral Bay is a hidden gem. In an age of share plates, it was nice to settle in for a three-course-meal of continental cuisine. I started with the delightful Chicken Liver Parfait ($16) with cherries, while my dining companion opted for Scallop and Crab Boudin Blanc ($18) – a kind of seafood sausage, served swimming in crab bisque and caviar, basically the south of France on a plate.
Descending the stairs of the CBD’s go-to French bistro Le Pub, this seemingly trendy, tardis-like, Parisian-style establishment opens up to reveal an odd mix of the after work drinks’ crowd, family diners, and girls’ night victims. Nonetheless, the tastefully decorated venue is quite comfortable, albeit a little raucous on the evening I dined.
Pitt St Diner
Every neighbourhood should have a little Parisian bistro. Better still, one with young French chefs from the south-west of France in the kitchen who play to their seaside strengths and offer up a clattering mound of Moules Marinières ($25) in a white wine and cream sauce, slightly smoky from a good flambé.
Nice, lying close to the Italian border on the Mediterranean coast of France has historically had more in common with Italy than France. Which is arguably the raison d'être behind Fratelli Fresh going “Fratelli French” as bartender Sebastian Vicente likes to describe it.