The Date: Thursday 19th January 2012
My Date: Dad. For father-daughter-dinner-and-a-movie.
What Is It: An exciting new addition toMilitary Road. More enjoyable than a traffic jam and certainly better looking, the corner cottage building that used to be just another café has been transformed into a contemporary and breezy new restaurant. Owner Sean Byrne, formerly of Jonahs atPalm Beach, has brought a beach feel and a little bit of cool & casual to this leafy ‘burb. It’s a welcome arrival, not just for the Mum’s who lunch, but for anyone who likes good food in a good looking spot.
- Entree: House-made chicken liver pate, brioche toast, Cumberland sauce & cornichons; Tempura zucchini flowers, pickled ginger, white radish, light soy and wasabi – we shared the entrees. Asian style zucchini flowers? That’s different. How could I say no? Usually they are done Italian style, oozing cheesy goodness from puffed up flowers, but these were more about being crispy & green, teamed with fresh Japanese flavours. And they were good. But I’ll stick to the cheesy Italian ones in future. The pate & brioche? I would eat over & over again. Delicious.
- Main: Roast Portobello mushrooms, crisp polenta, wilted spinach and Taleggio; Roast breast and confit leg of duck, poached peach, green peppercorns with an orange sauce; Garden salad – we saw the duck arrive at the next door table and Dad’s decision was made. I loved the look of it – the poached peach looked beautiful, like a golden squish ball and not unlike a magic peach I once saw in a movie called Simply Irresistible – but I am generally not a fan of duck and kind of got stuck on the Taleggio in the mushroom dish. I was torn though – I think it might be the first time I’ve ever ordered a vegetarian dish in a restaurant! But with a little encouragement from the waiter, I went with it and was not disappointed. Cheesy Taleggio goodness, combined with soft mushies and crispy polenta. For a meat-eater, it was actually pretty damn impressive. I did have to have a quick taste of the duck though, just to get the meat fix in… The peach was pretty magic, as expected.
- Dessert: Rich flourless chocolate torte, raspberry ice cream and coffee bean sauce – it seems we always select the chocolate dessert… Ahem. I’m not sure I can say much about it actually, except that it was gone before I’d even realised noticed that we’d been eating it.
We Drank: A couple of Peroni’s and a Sequillo 6 Shiraz fromSouth Africa.
Cost: Very reasonable for “casual” Mosman dining. Entrees $19, Mains $29, Desserts $11.
The look. If I had a cottage, I’d decorate it like Hawthorn Mosman. With less tables and chairs and with a few other essentials, like bed, couch etc, of course. But what I’m saying is, it felt like home.
Our waiter, Thomas. Friendly, knowledgeable and just lovely. Plus I loved the fact that whenever he came to the table, he seemed to have picked just the right break in conversation and always said “Excuse me for interrupting…” So polite!
Taleggio. It is absolutely my favourite cheese and the sooner it is more readily available in shops inSydney, the better all our lives will be!
The garden salad. Not restaurant like at all. Just like you’d whip up at home. Cute.
The crowd. Oldies out for a night on the town. Groups of birds having a ladies night. Young lovers on a (first) date. It’s just that kind of place.
The food. Varied and delicious. But not pretentious. It’s any-day-of-the-week food.
Loathed: The sommelier. It’s not at all that I loathed him – he was quite cute and wearing a lovely checked shirt! – it’s just that he really had no idea about wine. Not so great when you claim to be the “wine guy”.
The Final Word: I might be a little bit in love. Yes, the food is good. Yes, the service is excellent. But I’m just in love with the look. It’s so light and cool. And the wine bar (which I took a quick peak at as we left) is a funky green room, with comfy chairs and a good vibe. Anyone feel like a glass of vino (and maybe a casual meal…) in the next few weeks?
707 Military Road
MOSMAN NSW 2088
Breakfast: Sat & Sun
Lunch & Dinner: Tues-Sun