Tastevin Bistro and Wine Bar, Darlinghurst

Tastevin is one of those restaurants that I’ve walked past time and time again, each time making a mental note to myself to go there but never actually getting around to do it. After passing it several times (and exasperating Sir D with my repeated comments about wanting to eat there), I finally made a booking. This time, instead of walking past the inconspicuous door, we opened it and traipsed up the stairs into a quaint little French bistro.

It was still early on a Friday night and we were the first to arrive at the restaurant. There were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try, so we decided to get a starter, two entrees, a main and a dessert. Our waiter was friendly and chatty, and when we told him that we were sharing all the dishes, he was more than happy to have the kitchen bring them out one by one so we could savour each dish one at a time.

House made bread with French butter – $4

We started with the house made bread with French butter. A basket filled generously with bread was brought to the table along with some olive oil and balsamic and a stick of French butter wrapped in a silver foil. The butter was a bit too cold when first brought out, making it difficult to spread, but after a while it warmed up and was a lightly salted, creamy spread for the two types of bread that we were provided with. One was a plain white baguette, which had a bit of a chewy crust, and the other which we both preferred had fennel and poppy seeds and a nice crunchy crust.

Gnocchi à la Parisienne, sautéed mushrooms and white truffle mornay (entree) – $17

The first entree to be brought out was the gnocchi à la Parisienne. Instead of your usual potato gnocchi, these gnocchi are made from choux pastry and are poached in water to cook them. They’re lighter and fluffier compared to their Italian counterparts and beautiful with the mushrooms and cheesy white truffle mornay. The earthy, pungent truffle flavour is subtle but present in the dish. I almost wish I’d ordered the main size of the gnocchi because it is so delicious!

Snails Pithivier, parsnip puree with parsley and garlic butter – $19

Both Sir D and I are total pastry fiends so we can’t pass up the offer of snails pithivier on the menu. Inside the dome of puff pastry are the snails which are tender and moreish, especially with the parsley and garlic butter. The parsnip puree lends some creaminess to the dish and the curls of parsnip leaning on the pithivier are like chips – crunchy and addictive!

Pan-seared silver dory fillet on a mushroom duxelle tart fine, Jerusalem artichokes and a duck and chicken jus – $31 (half portion pictured)

For the main course we go with the special main of the day which is a pan-seared silver dory fillet on a mushroom duxelle tart fine, Jerusalem artichokes and a duck and chicken jus. They have kindly divided up this dish in half so that we each get a plate with half the portion on it. The fish is mostly soft and flaky except for some of the parts at the edges which are a bit chewy. The tart fine tastes much the same as the snails Pithivier which is what you get for ordering two pastry dishes I suppose. Not that I’m complaining though because the pastry is still flaky and light. By this stage I am getting quite full from the richness of the dishes and I’m glad I didn’t order the main size gnocchi because of the dessert.

Which includes FIRE!

Yes, I couldn’t resist the theatricality of the crepes Suzette in which a Grand Marnier sauce is poured over the crepes and set alight at the table. The fire stayed alight for quite a while as well which makes me wonder how much alcohol they put in it…

Flambéed Grand Marnier crêpes Suzette with vanilla bean ice cream – $13

But anyway, the crepes are folded into neat little triangles and drenched in the Grand Marnier sauce which has the sweetness of oranges and also a slight bitterness. The vanilla ice cream is flecked with vanilla bean and helps to overcome some of the bitterness of the Grand Marnier. Sir D doesn’t particularly take to the orange flavour but I love the layers of crepes with the orange-flavoured sauce. And I like the fire too hehe

As we’re finishing off our dinner the dining area has become full with other diners who are chatting away and enjoying a nice meal. I spy some other enticing looking dishes that other diners have ordered and wish that I had the stomach space to try them. I know I will probably say it again and again before it happens but I will definitely be back one day to sample more of their menu!

Tastevin Bistro and Wine Bar
Level 1, 292-294 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Ph: +61 2 9356 3429
Open for lunch from 12pm, Thursday to Sunday
Open for dinner from 5pm, Monday and Wednesday to Sunday

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13 thoughts on “Tastevin Bistro and Wine Bar, Darlinghurst”

  1. Oooh! Any meal that includes FIRE is an awesome meal indeed! I've been meaning to try Tastevin for the longest time, this makes me even more keen! The snail pithiver sounds so delicious.

  2. You had me at French butter… lol. I actually like my butter cold – easily slicing. lol. And yum, I love Crepes Suzette. Fire is fun :)

  3. Looks beautiful, I've read a couple of reviews of this place recently, so I think I'll have to visit!

  4. A friend has been hassling me to try Tastevin for nigh on close to 2 years now, I think! And don't worry about the alcohol – the looong fire would've burnt it all off =D

  5. Ooh fire!! That's so cool. Theatrics are always a great end to any meal :D I'm a huge pastry fiend too and I always walk past Tastevin and say 'I want to try that one day'!! Ok, I reallly have to try it now!

  6. Ooo fire… I was silly when I first had Crepe Suzette in Paris. I blew out the flame before it went out and wondered why it was so alcoholic lol

    Another restaurant to add to the list…

  7. Nice review! My parter had these Gnocchi when we visited 1 year ago and I was so jealous of it, they were to die for! I attempted to make Crepes Suzette at home recently, but the fire didn't burn nearly as long as I would have liked.. they were still pretty delicious, but I definitely gotta go back to Tastevin to have the real taste!

  8. Hi Stephcookie – Hehe FIRE is awesome!!

    Hi chocolatesuze – Am I detecting secret pyromania there? =P

    Hi Helen – Haha it makes me wonder if I'd like the Crepes Suzette as much if there wasn't the fire… it's definitely a big drawcard for me LOL

    Hi Maria – Whenever I see snails on a menu I pretty much always order them… they're so good!

    Hi Richard Elliot – Yes do go and try it!

    Hi Sara – What's not to love about gnocchi, cream and cheese? =D

    Hi Mark – Thanks! Hehe I completely agree with you about the fire =D

    Hi YaYa – I'm such a sucker for the theatrics!

    Hi mademoiselle délicieuse – Haha 2 years, that's a long time! Think it's time you paid them a visit then :) Haha yeah I know the alcohol would've been burnt off but it took forever so I was wondering if they had just gone crazy with the Grand Marnier LOL

    Hi Betty – Glad to know I'm not the only one who keeps saying that I want to try a place but never get around to it!

    Hi Phuoc'n Delicious – Hahaha maybe you should have got them to relight it for you? But Crepes Suzette in Paris, that must've been awesome!

    Hi thefrenchwench – Nice to know that the gnocchi seems like a regular fixture on their menu, I think I'll have to order that every time I visit now!

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