Saturday, July 25, 2009

C'est Bon (Port Melbourne) 09

It's over a year since our last excursion to this suburban French outpost which I had remembered quite fondly. Memory refreshed it will be a long time before we go there again. The place looks pleasant but the very abrupt service set up a displeasing atmosphere. After sitting for a short time while studying the menu a request for bread, one of my favourite parts of many meals, was met with the strange statement "The bread is served after the entrees are ordered"! Eventually it arrived, hot out of the oven, and quite good. Our waitperson, waitress actually, failed to mention that they were having special regional French cuisine, this week from Lorraine, and I did not see the black board with that menu on it until I got up to leave. An amuse of slightly to cold duck meat pate with garlic on a toasted slice of a bread stick

was a very ordinary start - it didn't set any specially titivating tone for the meal. We then tried the mixed entree for two ($38)

The presentation lacked any style or subtlety and was matched by the food. Two snails in garlic sauce, two home made pumpkin gnocci, a house speciality, two scallops with an very ordinary sauce, about an ounce of duck liver pate and a tomato carpachio with some course green leaves as edible adornment presented on coarse crockery. The pate was good, the tomato very good and all down hill from there to the snails, which I usually love, on this occasion awful.
For mains the rib eye was OK,

the rabbit stew OK

and the fish stew OK

but I would never order any of them again. Cheese plate, 60 gm slices ($9/slice) included a triple Nomandy Brie, a washed rind goats cheese and a Comte.
Unfortunately for dessert we ordered the souffle early so as not to wait 20 minutes for it at the end of the meal and it was served before the cheeses. This misunderstanding didn't help ending a very ordinary meal on a too sweet note for the cheese.
Score 13/20

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