PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Lets be honest. The Courthouse is one of the less attractive corner pubs in Melbourne with its yellow brick and brown tile exterior. If you judged a pub by its cover, you probably wouldnt bother. And in that case, you would miss out on one of Melbourne's better eating experiences. The pub has a good bar with excellent beers, and a restaurant that is a model of old-fashioned warmth. Inside, the floors are polished timber, there is timber panelling on the walls and attractive lighting which sets a relaxed mood. The place is permeated by the sense of peace that comes with good meals and service.
The food is modern without being outlandish. The cuisine is French-based and the dishes sport excellent contemporary cooking that draws on seasonal ingredients. For example, the traditional dish of snails with parsley butter is turned into a velvety parsley soup with a garnish of escargots. The spring salad, composed of white asparagus and broad beans with shaved pear and fennel and slivers of hard Pyrenees cheese, is the perfect way to begin the night. The menu is not large, but is supplemented by specials of the day, and a plat du jour is a daily dish served with a glass of wine for a quick lunch. Like most French chefs, Jocelyn Riviere has a great way with fish and poultry. The wine list has an impressive, yet fairly priced collection of boutique Australian, French, Italian and Spanish choices.