Missy French Potts Point ** Has permanently closed!!

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Missy French

**  Dear readers, sadly this restaurant has permanently closed!!

Do you ever get that feeling of deja vu when walking into a restaurant for the first time? That feeling of something comforting and familiar that evokes warm emotions and memories of a chic brasserie you might have experienced in Paris.  For me, this was definitely the case, combined with the feeling that I had entered a young and sophisticated lady’s Parisian apartment or perhaps a beautifully styled Nancy Meyers movie set. Here the old world merges with new and the elegant interior of this French modern restaurant is inviting and offers a hint of what might be expected in terms of cuisine.  Opening its doors in 2015, this new addition to the Sydney French restaurant family has become another lovely contribution to the continuously evolving suburb of Potts Point. Even more exciting is the fact that it belongs to Josephine Perry, Neil Perry’s 21-year old daughter and first-time restauranteur.

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THE AMBIENCE

The over-sized arches of an old world heritage gem in Potts Point greeted us on a warm November evening as we made our way through the grand doors.  All at once I am elated and induced into a sense of calm as the gentle monochromatic grey scene before me gently unfolded and took shape.  To my left, along an expansive exposed grey brick wall, demure cloud grey linen curtains fell dramatically yet gracefully from the ceiling kissing the floor.  Minimalistic art by Noah Taylor hung distinctively around the space – black on white art pieces depicting somewhat lugubrious portraits. French brasserie chic is provided some edge with the exposed grey brick and piping of the space which is cleverly absorbed into the grey colour scheme also alluding to New York loft style.  Tables adorned in crisp white clothes and airy rattan-like dining chairs, framed in light wood, rested upon an intricately patterned tiled floor that gave the appearance of an over-sized rug.  Candles flickered throughout the space bringing the back neutral tiled wall, also a window into the kitchen, to sparkling life.  The candles together with the soft down-lighting enveloped the room in a warm soft glow.  To my far right a storage shelf played the role of a room divider and the wine glasses displayed on them seemed like animated characters as

the candle light reflected off them.  I wondered if the faces were those of Josephine Perry placed strategically around the room as if to act as a permanent reminder to her staff and guests of her gentle and attentive presence.  Diners happily conversed as they sipped on wine and eagerly disrupted elegantly presented food that rested upon glossy white expansive dishes. Chefs fluttered in the kitchen through the hole in the back wall and waiters, traditionally garbed and wrapped in dark grey knee length aprons, moved briskly throughout the room delivering plates or rushing to attend to diners.

As we are escorted to our table in a mysterious and unexpected nook to the side of the main room that took us by elegant Parisian surprise.  The theme of theatrical powdery grey linen curtains continued in this more intimate space and made even more intimately cosy by the soft linen banquet tables fitted in front of a curtained wall.  A few tables that seat four placed gracefully in front of an elongated Carrera marble topped console that displayed a bouquet of flowers still in their wrapping. From our table we had a pretty view of the restaurant and throughout the evening we watched the action being played out while kept company by the additional black on white framed portraits that added a sense of mystery to the place.

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THE FOOD

To my great joy, we were seated at the banquet table and I felt like a pampered star.  The curtains behind me enhanced the glamour factor I desired on my birthday dinner date with hubby.  If you’ve ever dined in any of the Perry Rockpool restaurants, you sense that same element of magic here at Missy French.  The innovation shone through Chef Chris Benedet’s beautifully composed menu and deliciously prepared and artfully presented food.  Like the décor of the restaurant, the French cuisine here seemed lighter and more updated – as if touched by the Perry magic wand.

For entrees we tasted the Woodside goats curd and leek tart, chicken liver parfait with accompaniments and salad frisee, ventreches, croutons and soft egg.  The parfait was lusciously silky, the salad frisee was filled with delightful contrasting flavours and the leek tart from crust to filling was a sensation not to mention beautifully presented.

For mains we enjoyed lamb shanks and steak frites with sauce béarnaise and a side of broccolini with asparagus and pistachio.  The steak frites was a French sensation. The celestial béarnaise sauce and the conveniently carved steak was cooked to glorious mouth melting perfection.  The side of broccolini a vegetarian delight and blanketed lightly in a beurre noisette and toasted pistachios complimented the vegies well and provided additional contrast in texture.

Desserts were artfully presented and the fromage platter selection impressed and excited with a variety of French cheeses from various regions of France making it a challenge to narrow it down to a few, or in our case, three.  The cheese platter was elegantly presented with our choices of Normandy blue cheese, Auverne compte and triple cream with accompaniments.  The chocolate fondant with poached pear and dash of yoghurt was a dream and quite indulgent almost like having three French dessert tastings on one plate. The divine molten chocolate oozed out onto the plate doubling as a sauce for the ruby coloured poached pears and coated the cookie crumbs around the plate with decadence.

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THE SERVICE

From the moment we arrived at the door, we were greeted politely and escorted to our table immediately and without any delay.  Our waitress for the evening was French and for me that’s a wonderful bonus as it enhances the French experience and provides me with the opportunity to squeeze in a chat every so often about France.  Our waitress was very knowledgeable and able to respond effortlessly to our questions and when it came time to selecting the best wine for the evening a sommelier made a perfect choice for hubby and I from a lovely wine list that offered a nice selection of Australian and French wine.  The food was beautifully presented and served in a well-timed fashion and service was highly attentive without being obtrusive or overbearing

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FINAL THOUGHTS

If I were to describe Missy French it would be like sipping on a Pinot Gris under moonlight, elegant Parisian decor and ladies adorned in long beige chiffon evening dresses.  If you’re in a cloud of nostalgia over that chic yet modern brasserie you dined in Paris, where the cuisine left you wanting to taste more, then don’t hesitate to make a reservation. There is nothing black or white about Missy French only dreamy shades of grey.

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