Our first and last girl’s night out at Bistro Arlette

Note: The week following this girl’s night out at Bistro Arlette, I was surprised to read that the bistro will be changing hands. So our first experience at this bistro was also our last.

 

Three weeks. That’s how far ahead we had this dinner planned. Our first attempt to dine at Bistro Arlette failed when we were trying to organise a little get-together of food bloggers last year. This year, we were determined to give the bistro another go.

Jessalyn of Feed Me Now Brisbane, Anthony of Food Me Up Scotty and I checked our calendars, found a date we could all lock in, I put together the Facebook event and made the table booking.

Alas, something came up and the dinner morphed into a girl’s night out with just Jessalyn and me. Not that that’s a bad thing. It had been such a long time since we last chatted away about life in general and she still hadn’t told me anything about her long holiday back in December. I was really looking forward to it.

I was first to arrive and was ushered to a table right in front of the front door. Oh dear, I thought. Other diners were coming through and I studied the menu intently, hoping none were looking at the empty table setting beside me and wondering if my date was standing me up.

A couple of messages, a phone call to let me know there was a bit of an emergency and Jessalyn finally arrived, apologetic and eager to hit the evening running. I had already studied the menu quite thoroughly and knew which options I would favour, so we picked out a bottle of wine to share and got straight into catching up.

Bistro Arlette

Crumbed Lamb brains & sauce Gribiche. AUD$18.90

Bistro Arlette

This was Jessalyn’s first time trying lamb’s brains and I tried my best to describe it, so she’d be mentally prepared for the experience. I personally like lamb’s brains and enjoy the contrasting textures of creamy brains with the crunchy breadcrumbs, but know many who cannot stand the idea, texture or flavour of the stuff. So kudos to Jess who tried a bite, but decided that the actual shape, colour and texture of the brain was just too off-putting. I had ordered the mixed mushroom tartlet with herbed creme fraiche (AUD$18.90) and traded my entree with her, since I like lambs brains and didn’t want Jess to suffer through an entree she didn’t like.

Bistro Arlette

Chicken filled with spinach & goat cheese, lentils du Puys & sauce vierge. AUD$33.00

Jess seemed to enjoy her chicken filled with spinach & goat cheese. I had a taste of the lentils, and was surprised by the heavy hand of vinegar.

Bistro Arlette

Linguini with Prawns, chilli and cognac. AUD$30.00

The first thing that hit me with my prawn pasta with garlic and chilli is the pungent aroma of garlic. Don’t get me wrong – I adore garlic and don’t mind having anti-vampire breath, but some might be turned off by this. In which case, don’t order this dish, unless your partner doesn’t mind kissing you with garlicky breath. Unfortunately nothing else about the pasta was particularly exciting.

Bistro Arlette

Chocolate tart, brandied cherries & coconut anglaise. AUD$10.90

Bistro Arlette

Crème Brulee. AUD$10.90

For dessert, Jessalyn couldn’t decide between the crème brulee or the salted caramel parfait, so left it to the maître d to decide on her behalf. What came back was a perfect ramkin of crème brulee with a hefty crisp shell of caramelised sugar protecting the soft jiggly custard underneath.

I didn’t have any qualms about what I wanted: chocolate tart, brandied cherries & coconut anglaise. The chocolate was rich and thick without being too sweet, and while the brandied cherries weren’t terribly alcoholic, the dessert in its entirety made for a very nice finish a very girly gossipy evening.

 

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About Melissa Loh

Melissa likes many things other people might find a little strange. She blogs to get her love for creative expression out of her system, and spends the rest of her time either at work facilitating connections or in the kitchen monitoring chemical reactions that result in yummeh-ness. Read more about her here.