Tastevin is a gorgeous little French bistro and wine bar tucked away in the busy end of Darlinghurst. It was my venue of choice to take the birthday boy out for a meal.
Upon arrival I was greeted by a French waitress, who turned out to be our waitress for the night. With a friendly smile she told me that my dinner companion was already there waiting for me. Yes, the birthday boy was a whole 20mins early, but he didn't seem to mind as he sat comfortably in the bar at the back working away on his laptop.
A glass of water was promptly served while I settled into my seat and looked through the wine list the bar shares with the bistro. Furnished with dark leather lounges and armchairs, the dim lighting in the bar gave a rather cosy and intimate feel to it. Come to think of it, it is the ideal place to have pre-dinner drinks if you happen to arrive before the rest of your dinner party. There is also a small bar food menu if you should get peckish while waiting.
The feel of the bistro itself is simple yet classy. 1920s art deco posters adorn the walls, white table linens are set against contrasting dark wooden chairs and comfy banquettes; the dinning space is softly lit by lamp shade chandeliers and tealight candles on the tables.
You'd think a small dinner menu would make the selection easier, but with all the dishes sounding so delicious, it ended up being a pretty tough decision. I think another visit in the near future is needed just so I can try the other dishes!
To kick start the birthday dinner I asked for two glasses of Champagne, in my book bubbles are a must at any celebration event. Since neither of us are big wine drinkers, Gosset by the glass was the perfect solution.
The highlight of my meal was the main, Confit duck leg with parsnip purée, carrots "Vichy", duck sausages and jus gras. The dish was cooked to perfection, the meat was tender and fell off the bone, its saltiness worked extremely well with the sweetness from the carrots.
The birthday boy favoured the dessert, Flambéed Grand Marinier crêpes Suzette with crème fraîche ice cream. I'm not sure if the birthday greeting and candle that came with it (special request I made during reservation) had anything to do with the favouritism, but I certainly adored the wonderful tangy, zesty and sweetness of the dish.
What we were both impressed by, without any doubt, was the consistent friendly and attentive service we received throughout the night.
It doesn't matter if you are there for a romantic dinner or a group gathering, Tastevin's traditional French cuisine with a modern Australian twist will delight your taste buds; and the excellent service simply completes a wonderful dinning experience.