Restaurants & Bars

Bymark for Two

Bill | Mar 6, 2005 07:19 AM

We dined at Bymark for the first time at 8 pm on a busy Saturday evening; herewith a brief report.

Reception was warm and good-humoured; we were seated immediately at a banquette. I generally don't like the cheek-to-jowl dining next to strangers this implies, but the subdued lighting, fairly brisk noise level and general bustle of the restaurant, along with the complete absorption in each other of the couples either side of us - and the angling of the far table at banquette's edge - meant that this wasn't really a problem. We'd come from a meeting so were still in suits, but I would say the preponderance of males in the place were more casually dressed including t-shirts, women generally more upscale.

Affable waiter acted promptly to determine our interests and answer questions - water offered quickly, ditto warm bread and butter and also an amuse-gueule of veal cheeks and polenta with a chestnut sauce, rich and tasty. Also our waiter decanted a bottle of an Australian cabernet-merlot blend and left it to breathe on our table.

We started with the seared foie gras (and a glass of sauternes) and the scallop poached with foie gras; both were excellent. I then had the famed burger with yet another slice of foie gras which was accompanied by two sauces, a mayonnaise and a piri-piri, along with a cornet of fries served on a stand with yet another, spicy tomato-based sauce, underneath. It was good, very tender, cooked accurately, but maybe underseasoned a tad. My friend had venison loin and shank which he said was good though nothing exceptional.

Cheese cart was wheeled over, and a selection made for the two of us, served with grapes and figs and a once-replenished side of warm toasted brioche. Good stuff.

Final indulgence was a rich round of cheesecake on a chocolate and orange ganache for my friend, and a silken creme brulee for me - cappucinos and a few chunks of squares led to the bill - which was around $400, reasonable both for the quality and the reputation of the restaurant.

Overall: first rate, not outstandingly memorable experience - would definitely return.

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