Sunday, February 17, 2008

Libertine North Melbourne

500 Victoria StreetNorth Melbourne, VIC 3051Phone: +613 9329

Now good French restaurants are hard to come by and I have to say, our experience at Libertine was a bit hit and miss. Unfortunately for me, hubby had the hits and I dudded out with the misses.

But before we move on to food- the place itself. Pretty straighty-180 dining room style- elegant and nothing flashy or showy (a good thing). Service was very friendly, though of the two waiters serving, only one seemed genuinely enthusiastic and knowledgable about the food.
So the food...our overall opinion was that they had tried hard, with a bit of a pedestrian result.
Hubby started with a entree (I was saving up for desert) of Terrine du jour, mini brioche & relishes ($17.50)- as I recall it was goose. Very nice, delicate flavours.
For our main course, we had the duck a l'orange for two (sorry childhood memory of French restaurants means I just love this dish) and the duck was dry- one of the drumsticks was actually burnt and the sauce was a bit scant. Really disappointing- I'd so been looking forward to it. Poor hubby as it means he missed out on the pork belly he thought sounded more interesting.
But my most major disappointment was in the deserts...if a French place gets everything wrong, the desert should deliver redemption.
But not in my case- I had the Rhubarb millefeuille ($13.50) and it was quite bizarre- rhubarb was baked- so really dry and still with fibers a bit intact, and it wasn't a pastry but those little lattice biscuits. Dry dry dry. And served with lemon sorbet- found that odd as the tart of the rhubarb plus the tart of the sorbet just was not a good combination- would have preferred something creamier instead of the sorbet. But Cam's Souffle au chocolat ($13.50) was delicious- everything you would want- rich chocolate flavour but light as a feather.

And the wine list is great too. Just don't order the duck!

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