Bistro Terroir, which opened in Daylesford last week, is the dream project of owner-chef Matthew Carnell, and it's as Gallic as it gets outside Europe: textbook bistro setting, classical French dishes, a French front-of-house team and a simple vision.
The intimate room is bistro-chic: dark wooden floorboards, exposed brick and bistro furniture, with seating for 22, plus six at the bar and two at the chef's table.
"I wanted to create a neighbourhood bistro that is affordable to locals and out-of-towners," says Carnell. "I'm not looking for hats but to be known as that place that is consistent and tasty."
Carnell clearly knows a thing or deux about French cooking. Before manning the pans at Belvedere Social up the road, he worked at Michelin two-starred Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx in France. But he's embraced the tree change and the chance to make Bistro Terroir a real family affair.
"My family are heavily involved. My father, Darren Carnell was the architect, sister Lisa Carnell the interior designer and my mother is our accountant/macaron maker."
Matthew takes on sommelier duties too.
Entrees including gougeres, house-made charcuterie, steak tartare, and a choice of six hearty mains including duck, bouillabaisse, pumpkin and goat's cheese pithivier and steak frites. For dessert? You guessed it, creme brulee, and cheese. Lunch specials will be added weekly.
Open Wed-Sun 11am-11pm.
6 Howe Street, Daylesford, 0499 022 212, bistroterroir.com.au.
*An earlier version of this story mistakenly said that Belvedere Social was closed. The error was made by an editor.