There is nothing better than finding a wonderful restaurant on your doorstep. Living near Manly in Sydney, we are a little spoilt for choice with a plethora of great places to have coffee, brunches, long lunches with girlfriends or romantic dinners.
And now we have another go-to restaurant – Hemingway’s.
This quirky former bar/restaurant opposite the beachfront in Manly, was taken over by French couple Emmanuel and Sonia, who moved to Sydney from Val Thorens in the magnificent Le Trois Vallees ski playground of France in 2015. They own Le Montana, a Michelin-star restaurant at Val Thorens and have given Hemingway’s a French heart with traditional family recipes from the Savoyard region from which they come – no frogslegs or escargot here.
We sit downstairs and love finding the menu stuck inside an old encyclopaedia and there are floor-to-ceiling bookcases along one wall that are full of books. We have a lovely white wine, or should that be vin blanc, from France and enjoy the ambience of the welcoming interior.
The menu has a lot to like however Sonia suggests we start off with the Famous Tarte Flambee with marinated onions and bacon. It is very moreish and we polish it off without any trouble. It is lighter than bread with just the right balance of onion and bacon. Another appetiser that looked very, well, appetising, was the Assiete de Charcuterie – Smoked bresaola with salami and guanciale, or the Cheese Plate with Triple cream Brie (Australian), Fourme d’Ambert (French blue) and Comte (French).
Entrees were just as inviting and once again Sonia suggests we try the Salade Nicoise and Sauteed Spiced Squid – both excellent recommendations, although my husband could have been tempted by the Smoked Salmon.
For mains we salivated over Pork Medallion with rocket salad, potatoes and parmesan (me) and Steak Tartare (him), although it was hard to ignore the Mussels and Braised lamb. And because there is always room for dessert, especially French dessert, how could we not have the Fondant au Chocolat and the Coupe Colonel – lemon sorbet with vodka. The couple next to us chose the Tarte Flambee with Nutella/Banana and if the muffled ‘mmmmms’ and ‘yums’ were anything to go by it was pretty special.
Even the coffee is good.
What we loved – the lovely welcoming feel and the French accents transported us to France for just a while, and the selection of French wines is excellent.
Open 7am to late Monday to Sunday