Cafe Sopra at Fratelli Fresh, Sydney

Some say that you’re either a pasta lover or pizza fiend. Me? I have a hard time choosing one over the other – the slippery, saucy calls of al dente pasta are equally as enticing as the crisp, puffed crust and steaming oozy cheesiness of a pizza fresh from the oven.

Antoine's Grill, Concord (formerly Provence by Antoine)

Sometimes, you’ll dine at restaurants in which the atmosphere has the ability to transport you to places far and wide around the world. Eating at cheap, crowded, DIY cutlery and condiment Cantonese restaurants in Chinatown and Flemington, for example, brings back nostalgic memories of the authentic eateries lined along the sweltering streets of Hong Kong. Similarly, one step into the polished, dimly-lit space of Provence by Antoine gives the immediate impression of being immersed in the posh, tranquil restaurants of Provence.

Driving up to the restaurant at night feels like stumbling upon a warm, homely oasis in the depths of suburbia. Situated on a quiet, non-suspecting corner in Concord, this is the second venue by chef Antione Moscovitz, although on a recent drive by we notice that it has merged with his first venture, Antione’s Grill. The resulting amalgam now takes the name of the first restaurant, but features a menu that is a mix of French bistro and up-market, high quality grilled meats.

Here, you can find traditional classics such as Charcuterie, Escargot and Bouillabaise amid dry aged New York and Wagyu rib eye steaks.

Garlic Bread ($8)

Lightly charred sourdough is soft with lashings of melted garlic butter. The thin slices of bread ensure that the delicious garlic flavour spreads all the way through so that not one bit is left untouched.

Classic Ratatouille ($8)

Served in a cute enamel crockpot, a vegetable ratatouille of tomato, eggplant and capsicum is slow cooked to a luscious, silky consistency. This comes as the perfect side for one person, but as we were sharing we’d happily order another to savour the sweet, mellow tomato flavour.

Snail garden, young garlic, ragout, fresh herbs ($16)

If you have an aversion to snails, one taste of this artfully presented appetiser will surely convert you. The snails are slow cooked in an earthy, pungent mushroom ragout and have a soft, unctuous texture. There is a very generous serving of snails as they’re quite small in size and if you weren’t looking closely, one could be mistaken for a small, round mushroom. This is definitely dish we’d order again.  
Crispy seared Salmon & roasted Balmain bugs ($36)

This perfectly seared fillet of Petuna salmon has a caramelised, crunchy skin and goes well with a sweet pumpkin puree. The slightly charred flavour of the sweet, roasted Balmain bug flesh is heavenly, and the beetroot puree is deliciously silky.

Cassoulet ($38)

This traditional French hot pot features a confit duck leg, Toulouse sausage and pork belly immersed in a rich tomato sauce with lots of creamy lingo beans. The pork sausage has a coarser texture than your typical sausage, and the large piece of pork belly has a mouth-watering crackling skin. This cassoulet was large enough to share between two, with lots of tasty sauce left over perfect for mopping up with extra sourdough.

Pan-roasted Duck ($35)

Pan-roasted duck breast is cooked to a blushing pink, sitting atop a vibrant spinach puree with truffled black barley and wilted oak leaves. It is a very generous portion of duck, with the creamy puree acting as the perfect vehicle for the rich flavour of the meat.

Pork Belly ($32)

A rectangular piece of confit pork belly is doused in a rich jus with roasted carrot, spinach, star anise and pumpkin puree. It’s topped with a light, bubbly piece of what tastes like aerated crackling, which melts in the mouth. The pork itself is beautifully tender, with the perfect crackling on top, and each mouthful is soft and flavoursome. The sweet puree and greens marry well with the rich meat, and this, too, is a large serving for one.

Miniature dessert selection – dark velvet chocolate mousse, Confit apple tarte tatin, iced nougat glace, lavender panna cotta, ginger biscuit ($18 for one of each)

A platter of desserts features a mini version of each of four different desserts, perfect for any indecisive sweet lover. As we had a large group, there were 3 of each variety. The ‘tarte tatin’ comes as a small square of multiple layers of compressed, caramelised apple slices, and is quite sweet. The silky lavender panna cotta is served in a cute little half-dome, dotted with raspberry and cubes of pear on top, and the nougat is studded with a splinter of nutty praline. Also on the board is a spiced ginger biscuit, sitting under a sweet swirl of dark caramel.

It’s the dark chocolate mousse that steals our hearts, nestled in a miniature flower pot and dusted with chocolate crumbs to resemble soil. It has a smooth, velvet-like texture and just the right amount of bitterness to balance the rich chocolate flavour.

Antoine’s Grill is a great venue to enjoy exquisite French food in a quiet, tranquil location, perfect for any special night out. With its relaxed but stylish atmosphere and a range of menu items to suit both the sophisticated Francophile and grill enthusiast, we’ll surely be making a trip back to sample their decadent dry aged meats in the near future.


Antoine's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Note: this restaurant was visited under the name of Provence by Antoine, so some dishes may no longer be available on the menu, or may differ slightly.