In Burgundy there’s a folk tale about the people of Morey St Denis. Once upon a time, the people of Morey were winemakers who had few chickens and no cows and so suffered during a terrible famine.

The famine did not affect their Saint-Philibert neighbours on the other side of the Cîteaux forest, who were cow people. One day the Saint-Philibert folk noticed a  cow was missing and asked their neighbours about it. No, they had not seen their cow. But, the Saint-Philibert villagers found a cow skeleton in the forest. Are you sure you have not seen our cow they asked the Morey villagers again. No, BUT there are wolves in the area they explained. Needless to say the wily people from Saint-Philibert knew who the wolves were and since then people from Morey have been called wolves!

This folk tale, plus Steppenwolf (the type of moody novel that would stay with a young man), inspired the name of Paul McGivern’s new restaurant, Wolfe. Though the East Brisbane house-now-restaurant is softly lit, there is nothing moody about the menu, clientele or the dynamic staff. Three main

players contribute to Wolfe’s success. Front-of-house Bailee has always worked in hospitality and it shows. She is welcoming, knowledgeable and efficient. At the back of house, award-winning Paul has enjoyed restaurant successes all over Brisbane (Togninis, Rapide, Manx). He is everywhere and in everything — radio, charity events and all things wine. Accompanying Paul is Head Chef Martyn Ridings. Martyn also has an impressive resume, including Michelin-star experience. Quite the trio!

Now do not get too excited about my food descriptions – the menu changes roughly every six weeks. That certainly gives us an excellent reason to return again. And again. And again.

The amuse bouche was a mouthful of dehydrated black rice topped with a bite of kingfish, a sprinkle of salmon roe and tiny cubes of apple. It literally snapped, crackled and popped in the mouth. I had kangaroo – rare slices nestled between crispy parsnip and parsnip puree-reminders to extend my vegetable repertoire. Hubby had the biggest ever Mooloolaba scallops. The dried squid black ink looked like a fan of coral. There

were hints of cumin throughout the buttermilk and a smattering of almonds for crunchiness.

Rabbit was my main. The braised saddle had a salty richness. And the pea puree in the pancetta balanced with a touch of sweetness. It came with carrot ketchup interestingly. Is there no end of things that you can do with a vegetable? Hubby would not share his wonderful duck breast with pomegranate and watermelon radishes. Sides? I was all over the salt baked beetroot, walnuts, buffalo curd, the broccolini and Brussel sprouts. Memorable. Crunchy, crispy, great sauces.

Both desserts did not overwhelm the palate: roast pineapple with gingerbread icecream — roasting added depth of flavour in the pineapple. The gingerbread was wonderful. Be sure to sample the aerated chocolate, lavender icecream and honeycomb together to get the full effect.

Wine? Go with a quaffable pinot noir.

Definitely a night that had our mouths alive and running inside. 

 

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