A newcomer to Hotel Realm in Barton, Canberra, Buvette's playlist contains more Bruni than Bardot, more Prichet than Piaf. It's in keeping with what's leaving the kitchen pass - modern, lighter and more stylised versions of French bistro classics.
Ham hock terrine, for instance is chunky and well-seasoned and served with pistachio nuts and capers, but there's also preserved lemon in the mix. Bouillabaisse may lack rustic regional charm, but compensates in a boldly flavoured broth, and gently cooked blue eye, scallops and mussels. The kitchen and floor teams are still finding their feet, but at least the wine list is firmly planted on local terroir and the charcoal and white toned digs are comfortable and intimate.
Buvette, 18 National Cct, Barton, ACT, (02) 6163 1818