I am not wrong in introducing La Grillade in Crows Nest as a charming, upscale French restaurant. My grading of this fine establishment is supported not only by the quality of food that is served, but also by the exceptionally good service provided by every single staff member.
An intimate space.
Hidden in a small terrace building on the quiet back roads of Sydney's Lower North Shore, La Grillade is an unassuming foodie haven. The dimly lit interior is intimate and romantic, and the ambiance created in this family owned and operated restaurant makes you want to linger a little longer. The homely feel of the outside is carried through inside and stretches right through to the restaurant's back courtyard. My guess would be that this beautiful restaurant was a private residence at some point, which only adds to the as the quaint, homely feeling the restaurant creates.
A perfect entrée.
The service provided by the waiters was lovely - there was no snobbery at all, which is often the case at many restaurants of this caliber, and the staff did not find our young kids an inconvenience in a space filled mostly with adults. This pleasant reception from the staff immediately put us all at ease and allowed us to enjoy our evening celebrating my birthday. Since I did not want to make a song and dance about my birthday we declined to mention it, yet after we were seated we were served with an apertif, compliments of the chef!
The delectable duck liver pâté.
The food, as expected, was outstanding; from the duck liver pâté to the crème brûlée - which was, without a doubt, the best I've tried in recent years. We decided to go with the set price menu, which is $59 per person for three courses – an entrée, a main and dessert. All three courses are ordered at once and then the service begins.
Each course arrived perfectly timed. My first choice of duck liver pâté ($14.00 on its own) was exceptional. Even now, as I write this, I still crave the taste. Slathered on a thin, crusty crouton, the duck liver pâté is a celebration of flavours in every bite, and the layer of sweet port jelly topping the pâté perfectly compliments the delicate flavors of the duck and ties together the whole dish.
Beef at its best.
My choice of main course, the Scotch fillet ($36.00 on its own), was all what you would expect of such a dish. The beef was done exactly the way I fancy, and this, together with the mushroom and red wine reduction was able to create a song in my mouth with every bite. The mains arrived with a dish of fresh steamed vegetables for the table, so there was no need to order any extra vegetables or salads to go with our mains.
Sizzling prawns, in butter, oil and garlic.
Creamy crunchy sweetness.
The icing on the cake for me was definitely the crème brûlée ($15.00), which was a very fitting end to our feast at La Grillade. As I mentioned before this crème brûlée was one of the best I've ever eaten and this crunchy, custard-y delight alone would be reason enough for me to return.
Needless to say I have fallen in love with La Grillade; the food, the service and the intimate ambiance all made for a memorable dinning experience and a very fitting celebration for my special day.
Where: 118 Alexander Street, Crows Nest, 2065.
Cost: $59 for a three course dinner.
When: Monday-Friday Lunch: 12pm-3pm.
Monday-Friday Dinner: 6pm-9.30pm.
Saturday- Dinner: 6pm- 9.30pm.
Closed all public holidays over Christmas and New Year.