Published on 3 March 2022
From the man who brought you Estelle, Matilda and Chancery Lane, Scott Pickett’s latest opening transports us to the laneways of Paris via the heaving Collingwood side of Smith Street. “It’s classic bistrot fare”, says Scott of his new French foray, served with a little northside edge and a bit of that Pickett-perfect je ne sais quoi.
“When I think of travels in Paris,” he says, “I think of caviar, oeufs mayonnaise, snail vol-au-vents, tuna tartare, whole flounder, steak au poivre, raspberry soufflé and crème caramel, so they’re naturally my favourites on the menu.”
And that ain’t even the half of it. From halfway up the spiral staircase in these richly decorated two-storey digs, here’s what Scott Pickett reckons you should order at Smith St Bistrot.
How about a drink?
I created the bistrot as more of a drinks-led venue, somewhere you can come in the afternoon and have a few drinks with friends – drinks that turn into dinner. To accompany dinner, assuming you’re starting with oysters and/or caviar, you’ll have to start with a glass of Champagne. Then for your entrée and mains explore the more bio-dynamic and hands-off wines that Smith Street Bistrot celebrates. If you like something a bit natty you could go the Three Dark Horses Fiano: a beautiful textural match with the charcuterie platter. If you’re looking for a cocktail, go for our bespoke house cocktail The SSB or a classic French cocktail with a twist – the Tuxedo Number 2.
Whay if I’m here for a good time, not a long time?
Our menu du jour – $40 with a glass of wine – is perfect if you’re just stopping by for a quick bite. Monday night is a favourite: entrecôte and pommes frites, and I can’t go past the wagyu cheeseburger on a Wednesday.
Got anything light and fresh?
For snacks: crudités and crème fraîche. Entreés: the vibrant green pea and ham soup is a crowd favourite already, and the tuna tartare melts in your mouth.
I like tasty food but I don’t eat animals
The ‘tomates héritage’ tomato and goat's curd crostini is a winner, even for those who do eat meat, and you can’t go past the summer vegetable tart for a main course.
Name the dish that is quintessentially Smith St Bistrot.
Steak au poivre. Quintessentially French bistrot and one of my all-time favourites.
Let’s go big. Let’s go crazy. What have you got for me?
Start with caviar by the tin with blini and all the classic condiments. Get a dozen oysters (a mix of natural, Rockefeller and Kilpatrick), then for the main course, the whole grilled flounder with sauce gribiche. Add a couple of sides (definitely the pommes Anna with fermented truffle) but save some room for dessert.
And to close?
We do the French classics really well – order the crème caramel and raspberry soufflé to share.
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