The latest addition to Scott Pickett's growing Brady Bunch clan of restaurants is steeped in the romance of 1920s Paris, from a stage-set salon to please the most devout Francophile to a menu steeped in the certainties of snails, saucisson sec and soufflé. There's an extravagance about Smith St Bistrot, and we're not just talking about the $250 caviar service. Everything wears a patina of age, from the enormous, artfully distressed mirrors to the minutiae of mismatched crockery. It's beguiling – as is the wine list, which has affection for both Australia and the Old World across a huge price range.
We might be 16,760 kilometres from Paris, but geography cannot dampen Melbourne's love affair with la belle France. The city's leading French restaurants are a first-class ticket to the Old World — with just a little help from steak frites, crème brulée and all their delicious handmaidens.