Baguette Bistro + Bar
Food is classic French with a tweak here or there.
December 31, 2013
This year, 2014, will see Brisbane favourite Baguette Bistro + Bar enter its 38th year in business. The restaurant changed hands in late 2013, following the passing of then co-owner Francis Domenech, but its considerable reputation endures.
Upon arrival at Baguette’s entrance on Racecourse Road, you could be mistaken for thinking it is just a tiny bistro, suitable for a quick bite. However, once past the alfresco area and the lounge bar, the space opens out into a spacious dining room. Originally built in 1976 and taking up about a whole block, the restaurant makes use of glass-paned doors, skylights and a small garden/courtyard to create a bright and airy space. A lunch time trip really takes advantage of the set up.
Staff are pleasantly chatty, and sommelier Scott Du Reitz is quick to share his knowledge not only of the wine (even if it’s a BYO bottle) but also of the history of the restaurant.
Food is classic French with a tweak here or there. Entrees include escargot with crispy chicken wings, sauce Montpellier ($19.80) as well as crispy lamb’s brains with char grilled tongue and sauce verte ($22.50).
For mains try the warming and staff-recommended Classic Bistro Lyonnaise quenelles with shellfish sauce ($31.8o), or for vegetarians, the simple Provencal tomato and olive tart with goats cheese and basil ($22.5). The baba au rhum with season fruits and vanilla ice cream ($15) is a warm and syrupy option for dessert.
The best value option by far is the French Regional Special, currently showcasing Lyonnaise cuisine. It’s available for lunch Monday to Friday, or for dinner Monday to Thursday from 5.30pm. With two courses for $38, or three courses for $46 plus free corkage, the cost is significantly lower than a meal at Baguette would normally be. If you opt for the early-bird dinner, chances are you will be given the best table in the house (right next to the courtyard), but expect some gentle prodding to ensure you’re out by about 7.15pm.
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