Situated on the picturesque Moreton Bay waterfront, The Courthouse is, as it's name suggests, an old, heritage listed Courthouse. The restaurant has based it's reputation largely upon being a highly accoladed wedding venue. It appears deceptively small from the outside but opens up inside into a rabbit warren of smaller rooms at the front (some reputedly haunted), a large stone hewn main dining room, and a delightful alfresco area.
On a Saturday night they have a live pianist to serenade guests which is lovely, however, my first recommendation to future diners would be to request a table not too close to her. The music is lovely but if you have the misfortune of being seated at one of the tables adjacent to the piano you will not be able to hear yourself think. That aside, the restaurant has a delightfully warm ambience to it and the staff add to this with their friendly and helpful demeanour.
A lot of people rate the Courthouse as a fine dining experience and I suppose in its own way it probably is. What I personally see it as would be more of a delightful experience in fairly simple fair cooked very well. If you are seeking something modern and adventurous in your dining this is probably not the restaurant for you.
Mr Carnivore was the only person at our table who opted for an entrée, trialling the Twice cooked pork belly served with Asian slaw, coriander and sticky caramel sauce. I'm pleased that I chose just to sample some of his rather than ordering an entrée of my own. The pork belly was absolutely divine and, had I ordered a plate of it myself I think I would not had room for my main course. I will never complain about large portion sizes because I would always rather leave feeling well fed than hungry. I would however, caution those who are not big eaters to pass on the first course as the portion sizes of all meals served at the Courthouse are more than generous.
Thankfully for the other half there ended up being quite the wait between entrée and main so he was still able to enjoy his second course of veal escalopes served with crispy prosciutto, white wine and mushroom veloute. The sauce on this number was seriously good and once again the portion size more than generous. By all accounts this was a meal that really had little to find fault with.
I personally opted for the filet mignon served with mixed forest mushroom jus, lightly battered onion rings. This was also a delight although I will say that my 'medium' steak was very much more towards the well done end of things. Nevertheless it was still tasty and succulent so I will not complain too much. Both meals came served with seasonal greens and mash.
The wine list is also a pleasant surprise with most bottles priced very reasonably around the $30-$40 mark. I would have loved to have followed up my main course with one of the delightful sounding deserts but I just did not have enough room.
Overall the Courthouse will certainly not be taking you to places of culinary comfort zone. What it does dish up is good, honest well cooked cuisine that I doubt will leave anyone feeling disappointed. The delightful heritage listed environment provides a touch of difference that is sure to delight and the service tops off the experience nicely. The Courthouse is well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.
Great review! I had always been curious regarding The Courthouse - we lived in Raby Bay for a while and my husband had been to this restaurant with his work a few times and always said good things. When my husband suggested a date night recently, I immediately requested The Courthouse. We were seated at the back of the hall, beside the doors. The view was nice, however I couldn't help focussing on the extension cords and power boards hanging directly in view. I was glad we weren't sitting in the front rooms as they smelled musty as we walked through. I guess it's part of the old world charm. Like you, I found the food nice and cooked well, but came away feeling underwhelmed. I agree regarding the meal sizes. I had the pork belly, barramundi and vanilla bean cheesecake for dessert. I couldn't finish the main or dessert. I actually found the dessert really bland, so it didn't bother me to leave it. My husband had the sticky date pudding, which he devoured. I was disappointed to see it was a slice cut from a bigger cake and not individual pudding.
Perhaps I am spoilt. We don't dine out a lot, but have had the good fortune to visit a few fine dining restaurants over the years. Although nice, I just didn't have any "wow" moments at The Courthouse.