FOOD+DRINK Madame Rouge interior
Poulpe: chargrilled octopus, kipflers, roast peppers and paprika
Inspired by candlelit old-style bistros in France, Madame Rouge has stolen our hearts and tastebuds, writes Christie Sutherland. E’CCO BISTRO MANAGER Mary Randle has opened a classic French-inspired restaurant in the Fortitude Valley space that once housed Gordita. Madame Rouge Bar & Bistro is a handsome and moody venue with draped curtains hiding the charismatic interiors from the outside world. Upon entry, we were met with a striking red carpet, chandeliers, cosy bench seating, dark wood tables and a marble bar. The French soundtrack drifting through the speakers takes you away within moments, filling you with excitement. The menu was created by Mary’s partner, Philip Johnson, owner of E’cco Bistro. Served up by Head Chef Matt Short, highlights on the menu include gratinated goats’ cheese soufflé that just melts in your mouth, chargrilled octopus with kipfler, slow-cooked duck leg on a bed of Puy lentils and kale, and a John Dory special. The traditional and curated cocktail list is something to be reckoned with, and it’s hard not to swoon at the sight of the cocktail bartenders; add a few nibbles while you wait and time will fly by. The predominantly French wine list hits all price points and is well matched to the food. As for the desserts... order them all. Jokes. But do not stylemagazines.com.au
leave without having tasted the crème caramel, the vanilla bean ice-cream profiteroles, and the nougat glacé with fresh raspberries. In addition to the dessert offerings, the liqueur delights are a sensation to keep you in the world of Madame Rouge even longer. I recommend the Montenegro, a digestive that will complement all of the goodness that you have savoured. In keeping with the mood of the venue, Mary Randle and Philip Johnson provide a level of hospitality like no other, and from the moment you walk in the door you are treated to service that is oh-so-French. Madame Rouge Bar & Bistro is a top-shelf addition to the Brisbane restaurant scene, and one that I will keep retreating to for an evening or lunchtime rendezvous. There is nothing old about this old-style French bistro; the infectious culture and desirable delights are yours to enjoy.
Gratinated goats’ cheese soufflé
MADAME ROUGE BAR & BISTRO 100 MCLACHLAN ST, FORTITUDE VALLEY P 3252 8881 MADAMEROUGEBISTRO.COM.AU
Goats’ cheese soufflé! 37