Media Release: August 2023 (Updated 17 October)

Chez Blue, a charming and relaxed neighbourhood French bistro, opens in Rozelle on Thursday 16 November with reservations now open. Bring back fond memories of dining on the streets of Paris at this 90-seater bistro and intimate cocktail bar designed to be just as comfortable for a relaxed midweek dinner as a special long lunch catch-up with friends and family.

Arrive early to enjoy an aperitif in the front Parisian-style intimate cocktail bar, slipping into a leather banquette table. The larger bistro dining area is welcoming and warm and features cosy booths, banquette seating, bentwood chairs, mosaic floor tiling, and textured walls adorned with moody, vintage wall lighting and artwork sourced directly from a Parisian Brocante (vintage market).

Head chef Mark Williamson (ex-Bistro Moncur) curates a menu of classic French bistro dishes, with a playful spin. To start, niçoise gets a makeover as a tuna tartare mixed with egg, green beans, a tomato vinaigrette, and a touch of tabasco for heat then topped with a crispy potato galette disc. Peach and tomato are dressed in goats curd, fennel, and almonds for a light and savoury play on a French peach melba dessert. Chicken liver pate is served with a brûléed top to crack accompanied by brioche, house-made marmalade, and pickles. A croque monsieur, quartered, is paired with delicious, melted Comté cheese to dip into.

It wouldn’t be a bistro menu without a steak frites, here it’s NSW grass-fed sirloin with bearnaise sauce and French fries. John Dory is topped with fresh spring asparagus, vin jaune, roe, and crispy pancetta. A saddle of Gundagai spring lamb is deboned, filled with chicken mousseline, wrapped in spinach, and topped with French sauce verte.

Williamson says: “French bistro style is typically individual portions, but there’s something lovely about sharing a dish with the table so we’ve also included two beautiful larger shared dishes. Firstly, a tasty, delicate, and saucy whole deboned pan-fried snapper served with clams that have been steamed in lemon vinaigrette and mixed through with samphire and herbs. There’s also a one-kilogram NSW grass-fed ribeye that’s grilled to hero the incredible produce.”

A very approachable, mostly French, wine list is curated by Master of Wine and Solotel’s head of beverage, Annette Lacey. Cocktails are a mix of modern and reworked French classics. The Four Pillars Olive Leaf gin mini martini and a Brandy Crusta (Hennessy VS, pineapple rum, curacao, maraschino, citrus, and bitters) look set to prove popular.

Elliot Solomon, CEO of Solotel which operates Chez Blue, says he’s thrilled to open a welcoming and relaxed neighbourhood French bistro in Rozelle, a community that Solotel has been a part of since 1999 by way of the Sackville Hotel next door.

“We want Chez Blue to be a place where people feel like they can pop in for all occasions, from casual midweek dinners through to special family and friend meals. We also know there are plenty of young families in the area which is why there’ll be a kid’s menu too so even the littlest locals can enjoy Chez Blue hospitality.”

Chez Blue is now taking bookings and doors open on 16 November.