I actually prefer informal bistros to trendy restaurants. Bistros are basically small restaurants. They are modest and humble in comparison to their uptight counterparts. The menu at a bistro is often minimal and the price is affordable.You will often find French classics on a bistro menu; think of dishes such as cassoulet, steak frites, beef bourguignon, bouillabaisse and ratatouille. But Brisbane bistro restaurants are somewhat different to the bistro restaurants found on the streets of Paris, namely because of our multicultural society, which has resulted in the creation of unique fusion dishes.
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Bistrot Bistro, as you can tell from the name, is a modern French establishment. Located in Woolloongabba, it is a bit fancy but it still has an affordable menu. Expect to enjoy simple but well prepared dishes here; for example a classic moules marinières served with a fresh baguette, a hearty salade niçoise with rare seared yellow fin tuna or forget the diet for one night and try the canard a l'orange (French roast duck with orange sauce). Other classic French dishes on the menu include filet mignon, steak frite with hand cut fries and galantine de poularde.
The dessert menu, like the lunch and dinner menu, once again presents a small selection of simple yet refined dishes; you can opt for a strawberry filled beignet or stick to a classic crème brûlée or profiteroles, served with ice cream and chocolate sauce. All good bistros should have an extensive wine listing and Bistrot Bistro has a fantastic selection; you are sure to find the perfect drop to compliment your chosen meal here.
Baguette Bistrot Bar is also a great Brisbane bistro put it is pricey. The average price for a main dish is at the $35 mark, but the quality of food is excellent. Like Bistrot Bistro, Baguette Bistrot Bar sticks to a French inspired menu. All the expected classics are offered; for example a carpaccio of beef with truffle mayonnaise, cured king salmon, steak tartare with grilled baguette, gruyère crumbed veal fillets, Black Angus steaks served with Café de Paris butter and char gilled pork cutlet with Montpellier butter.
Dessert of course includes crème brûlée, but there are some other unexpected dishes available; for example guava panna cotta, passionfruit soufflé and hot chocolate mousse with toasted coconut ice cream. The wine listing is equally appealing, with a wide range of cocktails, wine, beer and champagne to choose from.
One final addition, before we hand this listing over to you, is GoMA Cafe Bistro. It is causal, affordable and is situated in a beautiful location. The modern Australian menu features a range of light tasty meals; for example goat's cheese panna cotta, whole baked camembert, 100% grain fed beef and cheese burger, field mushroom and taragon risotto and roasted pork belly on spiced puy lentils. You can finish your meal with a slice of one of their specialty cakes, such as home made carrot cake with orange confit or dark chocolate and apricot oat cake. A good selection of beer and wine is also available.