A French Dining Experience in the Blue Mountains: The Rooster

Earnest Hemingway once called Paris a “moveable feast” that simply stays with you after you have had a taste. And so it has been for me. When I first went to Paris I was 17 , a young romantic, stuck in Charles De Galle Airport after my flight was cancelled due to snow. I had to stay the night in Paris but didn’t actually get to have a real taste – thank goodness I didn’t really know what I was missing out on. Many years later and on many more occasions I had the absolutely joyous experience of falling in love with, not just Paris, but with the whole of France.

Last week while contemplating where in the Blue Mountains my husband I would celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary my brother in law, a true local, recommended The Rooster restaurant in Katoomba. Knowing my love for all things French he said that I would really enjoy this place. I have to admit – I was a little sceptical and like many googled out minions of the current era I went straight to trip advisor and was happy to see that the reviews were very good.

For many Sydney siders the blue mountains has always been such a cherished spot that often makes you feel like you have escaped the grind and have somehow managed to regain a morsel of sanity as you take a deep breath and let the crisp mountain air clear your inner self of all those hustle and bustle impurities. It was only fitting then that we were spending our 9th wedding anniversary in the mountains and heading to the Rooster for dinner and even had 15 minutes to spare prior to our reservation (something I recommend anyone going to the Rooster to do). And so, as the sun made a flighty exist from our hemisphere, we stood at Echo point and looked into the blueness before us. Frankly I have been coming to the mountains for years but it was only at that very moment that the sheer beauty of the mountains hit me and I felt an inner calmness cause me to tingle and lift my spirits at the same time. I felt I was floating while also standing serenely. The mountains seemed to loose its rugged definition and was blended into one blur of blue. Almost like a steamy blue broken into deeper and darker variations of blue as it approached us.

BM3BM 1

The 15 minutes went by quickly and I walked into the Rooster with much excitement. I wasn’t disappointed – not one bit. The place was bustling with people, there were waiters rushing around and people talking at their tables waiting patiently for their food and then suddenly, like he had been waiting all this time for our entrance, the music began – a tune on the piano attracting a small gathering of dinners who had either eaten their meal or simply were passers by. This was a happy place.

From my readings it seems that the Rooster have changed management and as part of this change dinners can expect to have live music played while they select the finest of French food. And of course what is a French menu without Escargot and Beef bourguignon both of which were on their menu.

French Food
Beef Bourguignon

I selected the Scallops for the Entrée followed by the delightfully tender Beef Bourguignon and after being disappointed with the Paris Pastry running out decided to end my food adventure with a selection of amazing cheeses. Yes!

We were both also really pleased that a 3 course meal with 2 glasses of red only set us back $100 each. Great value I say. The waiters were friendly and the a gentleman whom I could only presume was the owner was incredibly attentive asking if we had any musical requests to make to the young man – who showed us that he had a talent not only for playing the piano but playing the accordion at the same time. I asked that he play an Edith Piaf tune or anything by Satchmo – and he did.

Rooster 2

What a delightful experience and one that I would highly recommend. If you want to step into a real Parisian restaurant here at your very own doorstep, well only 1.5 hours from Sydney, you must come here. After all even the French have approved – what was that expression one of the guests used recently in a review to describe their experience- “absolument merveilleuse!” – I would have to agree.

As we walked away the famous last words came to mind- “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

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