A Parisian Winter in Carlton

August 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm (French, Victoria)

The past month has been filled with European-themed culinary escapades, starting with a A Parisian Winter to celebrate Bastille Day.   Inspired by a [J'<3Paris] T-shirt glimpsed on a chocolate- and macaron-fueled New York trip, S put together a French-themed extravaganza, no details spared.

The venue was the Wolf’s Lair, a cosy laneway bar at Carlton’s iconic Jimmy Watson’s Wine Bar, where appropriately attired guests (berets, scarves, stripes and LBDs were abundant) gathered under Napoleon’s watchful eye.  While some settled in with a copy of Le Monde and a glass of champagne, others attempted to decipher the French-themed menu put together by the Jimmy Watson’s kitchen team.

First up was soufflé au fromage et aux champignon avec de l’huile aux truffe – a light cheese and mushroom souffle with olive oil and a balsamic reduction.

We also sampled the pâté de foie de vollaille – a generous serving (two people struggled to finish this!) of rich, smooth, chicken liver paté.

Desserts included an indulgent mousse au chocolat, tarte aux pommes, crème brulée and a cheese platter.  The apple tart (no doubt a tarte tatin substitute) was served chilled with cream, and was quite refreshing, especially after that pâté.

Goodie-bags showcased some of the brilliant French products that are available in Melbourne.  La Belle Miette (Richmond and CBD) supplied some wonderful vanilla, raspberry and salted caramel macarons, specially made for the occasion in brilliant French colors.

No French dining experience is complete without chocolate and you can’t think chocolate in Melbourne without thinking Monsieur Truffe (Collingwood and Brunswick East), who supplied a selection of incredible dark chocolate truffles.

We were spoiled with more chocolate from Fitzroy’s Shocolate.  The feuilletine (crispy crèpe), chai caramel and honey thyme chocolates were just a small cross-section of chocolatier Damien Parcineau’s many French-style creations.  I highly recommend that you try the Vegemite chocolate; I know it sounds weird, but it works so well.

And finally, a bit of home-style comfort, with samples of Bon Maman berry preserves.  Time to make a batch of Monte Carlos I think 😛

Thank you to S for a brilliant night, as well as to the team at Jimmy Watson’s and all the suppliers.  Looking forward to the next event 🙂

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