Even with the tradies still in, La Lune is a good-looking space. Framed vintage liqueur and exhibition posters crowd the walls. Bentwood chairs, mirrors, frosted glass and other yesteryear flourishes are everywhere. The floor is caked with black and white tiling including a mosaic spelling out the restaurant’s name. Despite being a couple of weeks from opening, La Lune already looks like a place that’s been feeding and watering East Freo locals for years.
“Hels and I have both lived and worked in New York,” says Samuel Davies, co-owner of La Lune with wife Helen Pow. Prior to taking over the former George Street Quarters earlier this year, the couple spent their days overseeing boutique florist Little Posy Co and event space, Assembly Yard. “The little neighbourhood bistro is something they do so well there, especially in Lower Manhattan. What these places have executed in a simple, casual way is just so fun and these bistros really do support the neighbourhood. That’s what we wanted to recreate.”
In other words, team Davies-Pow wants to create an all-day venue, open from morning to late, which serves everything from coffee to crème caramel and cognac suppers. The cooking, meanwhile, won’t exactly be your grandmere’s French or something you’d expect from a worn comptoir somewhere in Paris’s 6th arrondissement; instead, it’ll be the slick brasserie cooking served at NYC establishments such as Balthazar and Buvette, as seen through the eyes of consultant chef, Jesse Blake.
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“We're going for that more New York-style bistro vibe,” says Blake, a bowerbird chef whose packed CV includes stints at Cumulus Inc (Melbourne), Petition Kitchen and Eye Heart Rabbit, a six-week pop-up he and his wife Kate Christou ran in early 2021. “We want to keep the food pretty classic. There might be some slight twists, but we don't want to stray too far from your traditional dishes.”
For those landing on La Lune for snacks and something light, expect house-made charcuterie (chicken pate, duck rillettes and rabbit and pork terrine, say) and cheese. A traditional niçoise salad and asparagus vinegarette tick the boxes for lighter lunching. For those chasing something a little more substantial, consider the entrecote (the French word for boneless ribeye) with cafe de Paris butter, hanger steak au poivre (pepper steak), or tartare. West Australian seafood will be another key part of the all-day menu.
The breakfast offering features plenty of house-baked pastries, egg dishes and French open-faced sandwiches known as tartines. Although Blake is overseeing the menu, head chef Josh Chen – a former member of the Petition Kitchen team who joins La Lune after helping open Gage Roads in Fremantle – will be running the show. The drinks list will feature French and Australian wines, on-theme cocktails and a selection of pastis, France’s famous anise-flavoured liqueurs: all excellent choices for those seated at the bar or in the terraces outdoors.
Restaurant manager Sarah Davis – once upon a time at Cook & Mason up the road – is excited about being back on George Street, while local DJ Josh Grainger has assembled a suite of playlists that reflect La Lune’s shifting moods throughout the day.
La Lune (71-75 George Street, East Fremantle is slated to open in early September.