The Belgian-born artisan bakers sprang up around Sydney after taking off worldwide, but the Double Bay joint is special – it’s the only one serving dinner. You can tell Head Chef Vincent Girardin is proud to show off his wintery fare after sundown (lunch time is “full of prams” he confesses). Girardin’s recipes are steeped in history, like succulent Beef Cheeks ($22) served with rocket and cubes of golden polenta. As the name suggests (literally: ‘the daily bread’) their loaves are special, and our basket of mixed bread quickly disappears, especially the crusty baguette à’l’ancienne smeared in butter and dipped in Vegetable Ratatouille ($13). This is a chunky stew, very inviting and served like it belongs in a French farmhouse. Coq Au Vin ($25) is a house favourite and obviously cooked to perfection; the red wine is subtle and chunks of succulent meat and onion melt in your mouth. Walnut Bread with Melted Brie ($15) lives up to expectations – it tastes even better than it sounds – sprinkled with sun-dried tomatoes and sesame seeds. A Tiramisu Mousse ($6.50) is a light alternative for dessert after being weighed down by carbs and stews. With winter is on its way, this place will do superbly.
Le Pain Quotidien
15 Knox Street, Double Bay
Ph: (02) 9328 5542 lepainquotidien.com.au