PROFILED BY DE GROOTS MEDIA
This is the sort of small, family-run restaurant you might happily discover off the grand Boulevards and facing picturesque village squares in France. The sort of place where the patron is in the kitchen and madame on the floor, where families, friends and neighbours gather to celebrate life’s little successes and memorable occasions. Which is exactly how masses of Hobart locals treat it too. Almost 14 years after opening their doors, Jean-Claude and Julie Rival’s restaurant has been elevated to that state of culinary grace, an institution, and is more popular than ever.
Their secret? Nothing more than honest, unpretentious, unfussed, perfectly cooked French provincial food, consistency, charming service and Jean-Claude’s skills honed at his grandmother’s stoves in Alsace and subsequently in Michelin-starred bistros in Paris. Hand-made ravioli pillows might come with sweet onion and sage filling. Terrines are truly rustic, mellow and deeply flavoured. Sweet golden carrots accompany a shin of beef simply moistened with the braising stock. And you won’t find a better bearnaise sauce anywhere. All you need to complete the meal is a bottle or three of chunky red wine and a sticky for the wonderful desserts.