How spoilt are we Wellingtonians to have so many amazing authentic French cafes on our doorstep. I have now discovered upon recommendation from some friends, that the taste of France gets even better 5km north of Greytown at Cafe Mirabelle. Blink and you will miss it. It looks a little shabby on the outside, and you probably wouldn’t give it a second thought, however trust me. As soon as you open the door, you are in France. It’s kitsch, it’s quaint, and it’s the real McCoy bistro.
As there is no written menu, the ordering process is a little confusing (typical French), so to help you; first cast your eyes over the cabinet, and then the extensive blackboard menu, before you are seated. The menu features an omelette with two fillings, grilled goat’s cheese salad, duck confit, blue cheese and walnut salad, rabbit and prune terrine, gnocchi with pesto amongst other amazing mains. It even has macaroni cheese. Good ‘ole mac and cheese. This Kiwi classic has made a comeback, but I can assure you it will be better than anyone’s.
Who ate all the pies? We did. Three of us chose the beef bourguignon pie with salad. Not being a big pie fan, I went to pie heaven. This had to be the best pie I’ve ever had in my life. The tender beef and flavours of the mushrooms, wine and garlic were sensational and the pastry absolutely crusty and buttery; just out of this world. It was perfectly balanced with a lovely, green salad with a vinaigrette dressing and a side of beetroot chutney. Hubby also had the French onion soup, which was delicious. The gruyere was dripping down the sides and the baguette croutons were crispy and soggy; parfait (perfect). The portions were very healthy and he did not expect his soup to be as large, but of course he devoured the lot and impressed Olivier.
My eyes were on radar detection the whole time and the omelette with salad beside me looked very appetising. Next time or maybe the quiche.
They are open for dinner from 7pm Friday and Saturday nights; good if you are a local or staying overnight. They are fully licenced and BYO. The selection of French and local wines (naturally being in one of our famous wine regions), was impressive as were the aperitifs and digestifs.
They do take away coffee and of course you just have to choose something fabulously delicious from the cabinet or counter (good luck in choosing though!).
Miroir (Mira) Miroir (Mira) on the wall, who is the greatest belle of them all? Cafe Mirabelle! You will understand this when you see the number of eclectic mirrors that adorn this place.