Abel Bariller and Clement Chauvin Photo: Graham Tidy
Clement Chauvin and Abel Bariller will open the doors to their new, casual French restaurant Les Bistronomes on Thursday, bringing a touch of Paris to Canberra.
The restaurant, on the corner of Mort and Elouera Street, is in the restaurant building that formerly housed Delissio.
Inside they have gone for a casual look with red-striped, comfortable chairs and a rustic brick feature wall. Outside there's the big alfresco dining area, surrounded by planters in which Chauvin grows herbs for the kitchen and shaded with sailcloths.
The menu is simple - four entrees, four mains, four desserts and four sides. There are plenty of classic French dishes - garlic snails and pork loin, pissaladiere (a caramelised onion and anchovy tart), duck a la orange, and chocolate mousse.
"We just want good food, food that I would go out and eat myself," Chauvin says.
He also has two large dishes to share - a fish en papillote and beef Wellington a la Gordon Ramsay, which is where he perfected the dish.
"They are very old, classic French dishes but just revisited. Each dish will have a little of my touch," he says.
Les Bistronomes will be open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Friday and will do brunch and dinner on the weekend.
"We have a very simple brunch menu, so we'll do like a croque Madame… we'll do baked eggs in bacon, like speck, onion, carrots and a red wine sauce. And we'll do crepes Suzette and creme brulee and French omelette. It's simple, very French," Chauvin says.
While Chauvin is in charge in the kitchen, Bariller - formerly sommelier at Sage - will run the floor and has put together a six page wine list with a mix of French and Australian wines, calling in favours from some of his contacts to serve some wines that he says are rarely seen.
They'll be assisted by a team of all-French waitstaff on the floor, many of whom sent Chauvin and Bariller job applications when they heard about the restaurant.
Chauvin says he and Bariller are "the perfect completion", both in personality and work style.
"I'm a chef, he's a waiter, before we were colleagues we were best friends. We are very different, I'm very creative and a bit disorganised, he's very organised and meticulous."
Les Bistronomes opens on Thursday, October 2.