Les Bistronomes is the kind of French bistro you love to frequent. The best advice we can offer is to order from the shared menu, a brief list but the focus of all the energy here and to our mind, much of the excitement.
Duck a l'orange is cooked as a whole duck in ash, spectacular in appearance and a gorgeous luxury of dark duck meat with a citrusy base of red cabbage, orange and pinenuts. Boeuf en croute with mushroom duxelle and foie gras - a whole pastry-wrapped hunk of beef – is a classic retro French dish that takes us all the way back to childhood and Robert Carrier. Les Bistronomes chef and owner Clement Chauvin has a fine-dining background but eschews much of the fancy stuff in favour of simple, excellent handled classics with a firmly bistro feel.
The Braddon space is simple – it's not a place where money has been lavished on an expensive fitout, but it has a pleasant feel, with floor-to-ceiling windows as one wall, an open wine rack at one end of the room, and a decent sized outdoor space. The wine list is simple and regional French, with an emphasis on organics.
Service, too, comes with an accent and a youthful, fresh feel. And sharing works well not only in the mains, but also desserts, where you can order an entire tarte tatin, and bring six extra stomachs to help you eat it. All in all, Les Bistronomes hits so many right notes that it has become a firm favourite and regular haunt, and we count it among the top handful of Canberra restaurants.
Corner of Mort and Elouera Streets, Braddon, 6248 8119, lesbistronomes.net