A relaxed French bistro called Chez Blue is opening in Sydney’s inner west this week, featuring a sensational cocktail list that includes a croissant-washed mini martini. Bravo!
Located in Rozelle, the 90-seater bistro, operated by Solotel, features a Parisian-style intimate cocktail bar with the leather banquette.
Cocktails are a mix of modern and reworked French classics. The croissant-washed mini martini is one of three mini martinis on Chez Blue’s aperitif menu, this one is made using Four Pillars gin that’s croissant-washed in-house, vermouth and then garnished with spice oil (vanilla, cinnamon, allspice). The flavour is still very much a cold, dry martini, but with an amplified texture and hints of buttery pastry and baking spices.
The approachable, mostly French, wine list is curated by Master of Wine and Solotel’s head of beverage, Annette Lacey.
Head chef Mark Williamson (ex-Bistro Moncur) curates a menu of classic French bistro dishes, with a playful spin. To start, niçoise gets a makeover as a tuna tartare mixed with egg, green beans, a tomato vinaigrette, and a touch of tabasco for heat then topped with a crispy potato galette disc. Peach and tomato are dressed in goats curd, fennel, and almonds for a light and savoury play on a French peach melba dessert. Chicken liver pate is served with a brûléed top to crack accompanied by brioche, house-made marmalade, and pickles.
It wouldn’t be a bistro menu without a steak frites. Here it’s NSW grass-fed sirloin with bearnaise sauce and French fries. John Dory is topped with fresh spring asparagus, vin jaune, roe, and crispy pancetta. A saddle of White Pyrenees spring lamb is deboned, filled with chicken mousseline, wrapped in spinach, topped with French sauce verte on a bed of white bean cassoulet.
Williamson said: “French bistro style is typically individual portions, but there’s something lovely about sharing a dish with the table so we’ve also included two beautiful larger shared dishes. Firstly, a tasty, delicate, and saucy whole deboned pan-fried snapper served with clams steamed in lemon vinaigrette and mixed through with samphire and herbs. There’s also a one-kilogram NSW grass-fed ribeye that’s grilled to hero the incredible produce.”
Solotel CEO Elliot Solomon said: “We want Chez Blue to be a place where people feel like they can pop in for all occasions, from casual midweek dinners through to special family and friend meals.”