I was lucky enough to be invited to the newly revamped Belleville! Don’t worry, the rotisserie chicken is still there but added to the menu are a few new higher class items that I am beyond excited to try.
The inside seems to look the same, that old grungy and historic feel that I’ve grown to love about Belleville. The menu is a shock to the system though as it has gone from a full menu to only a few items separated into courses. There is a distinct change in direction as there is less American on the menu and more of a culturally diverse vibe to it.
The Rabbit and Chorizo Croquette (Gippsland rabbit & chorizo croquette, smoked carrot aioli) had the perfect crispy crumb to it with a moist and meaty inside. The inside of the croquette reminded me of a rabbit pate which was perfectly smooth and accentuated the flavour of the rabbit with some extra chewy texture from the chorizo. Chorizo is by far an undercurrent flavour to the rabbit but it was pleasant. Textural and seasoned exactly how it should be to bring out each individual flavour…I couldn’t fault this dish at all.
The Rotisserie Sweet Potato (Creme fraiche, aged gouda, chives) has been roasted to the point that it could easily be squished into a puree which I really enjoyed. I imagine the sweet potato would’ve had a nice crispy skin to it if there hadn’t been so much creme fraiche on top! As much as I loved the flavours and the sweet potato the whole thing was so overloaded with cream I couldn’t taste much else. It made all the textures a bit too soft. I would’ve liked a bit of crispiness to make it a tad more interesting and some saltiness of some more cheese as I couldn’t find any cheese as it was.
The famous Rotisserie Free Range Chicken (Roast chicken jus, miso butter) was just as I remember, perfectly moist and soooo juicy. The chicken skin is slightly burnt so its a nice bitterness to cut through the flavour of the gravy. The only downside of this otherwise perfect dish was that the roast chicken jus was a little on the watery side but it doesn’t compromise on flavour as a result though. Very good, when it comes to chicken as long as it’s moist I’m happy.
The Tasmanian Salmon (Cauliflower, golden raisins, citrus beurre blanc) was by far the fanciest dish of the night. It was very pretty. First off, the salmon was well cooked and still pink and tender and worked so well with the orange puree on the plate, also offering some tang to the plate. The addition of crispy fish skin was also a pleasant snap to the dish. Apart from these good bits…the dish was a little bit of a let down. The skin and fat on the salmon had not been rendered down enough so that part was a bit chewy to get through and fatty. In terms of flavours it wasn’t perfectly balanced as there was a brown sauce on the plate which was too salty and the cauliflower was overwhelmingly citrusy. Because of the mix of good and bad on the plate I’m undecided on the plate.
Not much to say for the Beer Battered Fries (Aioli) except YUM! Beer battered chips were crunchy and soft inside and the spicy mayo that had a creaminess to it that complemented the spices on the fries. Literally couldn’t stop eating them until they were all done.
I’ll call it…my favourite dish of the day. The Baked to order Triple Chocolate Pretzel Cookies (Vanilla malt shake) smelt SOOOOO overwhelmingly amazing as it approached the table. Warm and gooey with the perfect chew to it. I’ve never been so happy to wait for something as it had the just out of the oven feel to it. It was also quite rich with chocolate so the side of a vanilla shake was some great relief and an interesting play on milk and cookies! The perfect cookie and the perfect shake!!!
I’ve never been so happy to revisit a restaurant. They have managed to succeed at their foundation of American cuisine and the most rustic and casual flavours. With some refinement the newly revamped menu could take off but I love the traditional chips and chicken so I can definitely say hand on my heart I will be back for them again!
Presentation (5): 3.5
Taste (5): 4
Service (5): 5
Atmosphere (5): 4.5