From Paris to Prahran, this gastropub serves up French classics alongside a few contemporary twists.
Fusing classy food with a casual pub buzz was Jacques Reymond's vision for L'Hotel Gitan. Monsieur Blanc introduced a bohemian 'gypsy' twist to his long-running Michelin-style repertoire.
Accessible and appealing, L'Hotel Gitan really is the epitome of the gastropub concept he was wanting, even ten years after first opening. It's refined dining in a smart casual setting. And the setting is certainly beautiful. The art deco bones of this stunning building have been primped and preened to produce a marble, brass, mirrored and tiled thing of beauty.
The waitstaff are smartly dressed and know their way around the food and drink offerings. As for the menu at L'Hotel Gitan, it is one that encourages sharing.
There are three sections: petite, moyen and plat principal. The petite section comprises single-serve tasters, from freshly shucked oysters to crisp cheddar and broccoli croquettes right through to jamon serrano offering. Moyen offers slightly more substantial dishes, such as the whole roasted king prawns and Gitan steak tartare: a freshly sliced beef fillet in a slightly spicy dressing, served in crisp lettuce leaves. As a plat principal, you have a choice of duck breast, a rockling colbert, a fragrant farmed Humpty Doo barramundi, a coq au vin pithivier or a grilled lamb backstrap.
Desserts at L'Hotel Gitan include a creme brûlée, a fondant au chocolat and a selection of cheeses — best enjoyed by the fireplace on a cold winter's eve.
The wine list features some local drops but has a far greater variety of European labels on offer. Beers have also been amped up lately, with a selection of Aussie and International brews on tap (and a few ciders) alongside some craft bottles and cans of beer.
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