Pavement Whispers: Little Provence, a neighbourhood French bistro serving home-style fare, is opening next week in Eatons Hill

Pavement Whispers: Little Provence, a neighbourhood French bistro serving home-style fare, is opening next week in Eatons Hill

The co-owner of one of Brisbane’s finest French restaurants is bringing a taste of home-style French fare to the outer fringes of Brisbane. Next week, Romain Maunier, co-owner of La Cache à Vín in Spring Hill, will unveil Little Provence in Eatons Hill – an approachable bistro serving the likes of cheese souffle, beef bourguignon and Provence-style lamb shanks, with a clutch of phenomenal French wines also on the cards. Here’s what we know …

An ongoing storyline in Brisbane’s food scene this year is the resurgence of French fare as a casual cuisine. French expats might scoff at the notion that their cuisine is perceived exclusively as a pillar of fine dining but, in Australia at least, the vaunted dining rooms of high-end French bistros tend to steal the lion’s share of the limelight from its more rustic counterparts. Romain Maunier wants to help change that.

“Many people know French cuisine as being fine dining, which, in fact, is totally the opposite,” says Romain. “French cuisine is a family-oriented cuisine – my mother and my grandmother always cooked at home and they cooked simple things. We didn’t eat lobster and caviar every day.”

Romain, who co-owns revered Spring Hill dining destination La Cache à Vín alongside Dan Arnold, is looking to bring a touch of that homely approach to Eatons Hill Shopping Village with Little Provence – an warm and welcoming neighbourhood bistro that will be akin to the cosy eateries common in France.

“I decided to make it a small French bistro, as we have in France,” explains Romain. “A little place that you go in your village or in the city around the corner to have all of your classics.”

Shop fitters are currently hard at work transforming the site, giving the interior an expeditious redesign ahead of its official opening on Tuesday June 11. The end result will look to give the space a French feel, with a touch of familial warmth. “It will remind people a little bit of La Cache – obviously not with the rocks and the wood that we have a La Cache, but more in terms of pictures, bottles and olive trees,” says Romain.

For Little Provence’s menu, Romain tells us to expect hearty and warming dishes, from cheese souffle (similar to La Cache a Vin’s lauded rendition) and confit duck with orange sauce to beef bourguignon, Provence-style lamb shanks, beef tartare and escargot. There will also be plenty of wine, with Romain leveraging his connections through La Cache to source a list of vino that will suit most tastes.

“We understand that not everybody is familiar with French wine, so we will be offering a mix between Australian, New Zealand and French wine,” says Romain. “But, as I’m doing the importing for La Cache, there will be some wine that you will find at Little Provence that is available at La Cache.”

Little Provence is set to open next Tuesday June 11 – be sure to follow the venue on Instagram and Facebook for updates.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.


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