The Wednesday Wine Club (sometimes Tuesdays) went to the Sentinel Bar and Grill with a bit of hesitation as I had read The Australian’s review by John Lethlean giving this Stephan Scaffidi restaurant 1 out of 5. But having been to Bar One another Scaffidi venture, more than once and always enjoyed it, we had to find out for ourselves.
Tuesday Night and the bar was near full as was the inside restaurant section. I could describe the hip décor and the ambience but wont, as this is a wine blog and not some interior design blog.
Ordered the Steak Tartare with quail egg and chips which another reviewer had described the chips as no better than a bag of chips. Followed by the Roasted duck breast, sautéed potatoes, peas “bonne Femme”, had to look up “bonne Femme” when I got home to find out what it means.
bonne femme, à la
[bohn FEHM, bohn FAM]
Literally translated as “good wife,” the term bonne femme describes food prepared in an uncomplicated, homey manner. Sole bonne femme is a simply poached fish served with a sauce of white wine and lemon juice, and often garnished with small onions and mushrooms.
Wine, we ordered the Fromm La Strada Pinot Noir 2007 and the Mont Redon Châteauneuf du Pape 2007.
So how was the food, the Steak Tartare was traditional in style, fresh, tasty and the chips were these thin crisp matchsticks that when added to the Steak gave additional texture. An enjoyable starter that matched my expectations. The Duck was a revelation, I was expecting thinly sliced Duck breast with Potatoes and Peas, what arrived was a shallow dish of cubed duck and potato surrounded by the peas in a delicious Jus. Lots of flavours all mixed together to create a rustic peasant style winter dish suitable for all seasons. I will point out that this was written before looking up the definition of “Bonne Femme”.
The other two WWC members had the French onion soup, gruyere crouton and Twice-baked goats cheese souffle, parmesan veloute as starters. For mains they had the Sirloin-black angus grain fed 300g and the Fish Special, which I didn’t write down, both were positive about their food, so the food gets a big tick.
Now if you want to drink a truly disappointing wine I strongly suggest the
Fromm La Strada Pinot Noir 2007
First my notes
“Nose of cherry and spice, sweet cherry palate that lacks the depth of fruit we have come to expect from good New Zealand Pinot Noir. This is easy drinking but requires food to round it out.”
From Bobs Wine Reviews
Cassis, plum and other dark fruit flavours with a seasoning of slightly sawdusty oak. Solid varietal wine that’s slightly tough at this stage and needs bottle age to knock off the edges. 80/100
It did nothing for the Steak Tartare, the Tartare helped hide a wine that should not be there on the list and at $75.00, we should have gone the Nanny Goat Vineyard 2008 Pinot Noir from Central Otago New Zealand at $55.00.
Saved by the Mont Redon and the waiter who pointed us in its direction, away from the more rustic as he described the L”Imposter “Vin de Pay”
Mont Redon Châteauneuf du Pape 2007.
“Soft brooding dark fruits knitted together with a deft touch of oak overlaid with Indian spice on a long finish.”
I think my notes get shorter as the wine gets better as I am more interested in drinking than writing about it! I will add, worth every penny.
On a recent visit to France, went to Châteauneuf du Pape and Mont Redon along with Roger Sabon which were the two standout wineries we visited that day. The Château is situated amongst its own vineyards atop rolling hills. Of the wines we sampled that day the Châteauneuf du Pape was the pick an 04 if I can remember, if left to sit for a short time in the glass, notes of truffle emerged which overlaid the dark brooding fruit.
The AOC “Châteauneuf du Pape” (English “The new Château of the Pope”) is situated in the Southern Rhone region of France not far from the Town of Avignon, probably the most striking thing about Châteauneuf du Pape is its soil one would call it more a collection of rocks than soil amongst which the vines are planted.