Bistro Vue is the flouncier French provincial sister of sleek gastrotemple Vue de Monde and the rustic salmon-pink dining room (which smells deliciously of melted butter) is a cosy haven on a winter’s night.

We booked our dinner as part of  Put Victoria On Your Table, a scheme running from 26 July to 9 August to encourage Victorians to eat locally produced food and wine – ‘Eat and drink where you live’. Numerous top Victorian restaurants are offering Winter Express menus, where you receive two courses, a glass of wine and coffee/tea for $35 lunch, $45 dinner.

Even though technically Winter Express hadn’t started yet,  Bistro Vue offered us an early-bird two course meal with wine (which I believe is available any time of year between 5-6pm). There were no choices for each course, but fortunately we all really enjoyed our soft confit duck leg piled on some delicate pan-fried brussels sprouts and a dessert of warm white chocolate foam topping a rhubarb and strawberry compote. We also tucked into the fresh-out-of-the-oven miniature baguettes with French butter and sipped on a fragrant Cote du Rhone with Edith Piaf in the background.

The delicious food and wine, gracious service and warm ambience made it extremely good value for $40 and Shannon Bennett continues to receive my kudos.

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