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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Bastille Day @ La Peniche, Stanmore

EDIT: La Peniche has closed

What better way to celebrate a gaol break than in the company of friends, with plenty of good food, wine and a restaurant all to ourselves?

We headed to La Peniche in Stanmore for a special Bastille week themed dinner. We've been here before, and the allure of a private venue, a French host and nil corkage was *hic*, just too good to resist.

We entered the tiny (but festively decorated) dining area in eager anticipation of our four-course meal, appetiser, glass of wine and a lemon vodka palate cleanser...all for a paltry $45.

Appetiser of quiche and rillettes on toast

Duck and pistachio pate with onion jam and toasted brioche

Bisque soup of langoustine

Lemon and vodka sorbet
The rilletes were particularly tasty and the sweet brioche was a surprisingly pleasant enhancement to the duck and pistachio pate. The lemon vodka sorbet was a particular crowd pleaser--the sorbet light and tangy, and drenched in a puddle of cheek-warming vodka.

As I've posted before, La Peniche is the application restaurant for the Paris International Cooking School. Throughout the week (and weekend), Laurent and other teachers offer a range of classes including French pastry, pates & terrines, knife skills and chocolate for cake decorating.

With the permission of chef and owner Laurent Villoing, and his assistant Richard, we snuck out the back to check out the kitchen...

Is that not an instant flashback to high school!

Gift-wrapped beans straight out of the oven.

Beef filet Forrester style with a duo of French beans and chateau-style potatoes

The beef is darker than I would expect my rare steak to be, but it is surprisingly tender and juicy. And cautious poking and diligent tasting of our French bean package confirms the "string" as leek--a great idea for your next dinner party.

Of course no meal is complete without dessert, and Laurent assures us that authentic French profiteroles are traditionally served with ice cream not custard.

Spoons are licked, wine bottles are upturned and we even get Laurent leading us in an enthusiastic rendition of La Marseillaise--facing Paris of course.

Trio of traditional chocolate profiteroles
Choux Buns with vanilla ice cream and hot chocolate sauce with toasted almonds

La Peniche (CLOSED)
216 Parramatta Road, Stanmore
Tel: 02 9518 1066

2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 7/20/2005 09:45:00 pm


  • At 7/20/2005 10:54 pm, Blogger eat stuff said…

    This looks eggshellant. LOL!
    I sooo HAVE to go.

  • At 7/22/2005 9:07 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    It all looks so good. Too bad we don't have very many French restaurants here. The last time I ate French food was at a restaurant called Bernards in New York. That was back in 1992. LOL!


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