Skip to main content

How to lunch on a budget with French flair

I just love this place, it feels like Paris announced the well-travelled Montyandme2 as we walked into Libertine Bar and Restaurant at The Barracks on Petrie Terrace.

Surrounded by walls that could tell more than a few grisly tales, the red lampshades, gold leaf and sparkling chandeliers of Libertine set the scene for dining with a touch of luxurious decadence matched by a French-Vietnamese menu.

Libertine's courtyard entrance off Petrie Terrace.

Anyone for a chandelier?

Back in 1860, when public floggings and hangings were commonplace, almost ticketed events, The Barracks was the site of Green Hill gaol. The three-story brick Arts and Craft style building that now houses the restaurant was built in 1939 as a Depression project to house unmarried police officers and those on probation. What a mix!

It was almost the lunch that didn’t happen. In a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment we both stood at the entrance alone, waiting for the other to arrive until modern phone technology provided a simple answer. So, if you didn’t know it before, Libertine has two entrances. One off the tree-shaded courtyard filled with outdoor tables and chairs ready for an alfresco feast and a long, vine-shrouded loggia with more covered dining options. The more formal entrance positioned between Peasant and Los Villanos Mexican Kitchen, opposite Coles, leads into a hallway with a rather impressive staircase and the dining room proper.

The formal entrance to Libertine

The courtyard entrance to Libertine.

Finally found and seated on a cosy semi-circular leather banquette, it wasn’t hard to get into the mood for an extended chat over a long Friday lunch. I can’t remember many times when Monty has been stuck for conversation, and she didn’t disappoint with insightful tales about the perils of house selling.

First, we spent some moments checking out the impressive décor. When Monty says she likes the look, it’s a compliment to be valued. She has artfully arranged more collectables and memorabilia in her home, which looks like a photo shoot for Vogue Living than I have collected in a lifetime.

Libertine's chic red bar

Although there are many tempting dishes on the menu, including a share plate piled with twice cooked, free-range pork belly with a cognac and chilli glace and my favourite flavours of pickled watermelon and fresh mint, with crackling – I’m taking a deep breath here – I did concur that the lunch special could not be passed by.

Now that's a lunch special!

Where else can you enjoy a share lunch banquet with four dishes and a glass of house wine or Tiger beer for $29? The menu from Thai chef  Suwisa Phoonsang changes weekly, but we tucked into blue swimmer crab croquettes, turkey san choi bao, VFC (Vietnamese fried spatchcock) and Asian slaw . These are all regular items on the street food and shared plates menu. The flavours were fresh and the portions filling.

Blue swimmer crab croquettes

Turkey san choi bao

My fave was the crisp skin of the fried spatchcock drizzled with lime juice to cut the fat and just a touch of the house-made pepper sauce. Monty couldn’t stop raving over the crisp lettuce leaves and turkey filling for the san choi bao.

VFC (Vietnamese fried spatchcock) and Asian slaw.

A nice pinot blanc from the select wine list.

Even though it verged on piggery, we indulged with dessert sharing banana beignets. These doughnut ‘holes’ dipped in cinnamon sugar came with roasted coconut ice cream, mandarin syrup and chocolate soil and were an ideal share plate.

Banana beignets

I couldn’t think of a better way to share a lunch with my friend who I have known since I was 17. Good food, good company and a great location.

Ed+bK rating 3.9/5 stars 

Libertine Restaurant and Bar offers street food with flair in a luxurious and comfortable setting.

Best tip: There are two hours of free parking available underneath The Barracks. During game nights and Lang Park events, the parking fills up quickly.

Bottom line: A great value lunch that doesn’t feel anything but special. Available Tuesday to Sunday.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Eat,drink+beKerry and Montyandme2

Libertine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Popular posts from this blog

Brisbane's top 10 'chew with a view' restaurants and cafes

It's a beautiful day! Where can you go and dine in the warm sun with a view that you'll never want to leave?

Here are ten top places in and around Brisbane to while away a lunch hour or a whole afternoon when the weather is warm and the skies are blue .

River Quay, South Bank

South Bank’s River Quay precinct has plenty of opportunities to relax in the sunshine and just about any restaurant at River Quay will offer a great spot for a winter lunch with a large, grassed lawn rolling down to the river bank.  You can even lie in the sun if you so desire.

Stop for champagne, oysters and more at Cove Bar and Dining, enjoy French provincial food at Aquitaine Brasserie, take in the river view from a Balinese daybed while you tuck into the contemporary menu at The Jetty, feast on Italian cuisine at Popolo or sip a long drink on the riverside deck of Stokehouse Q where the menu draws on local produce combined with bold flavours from the Mediterranean.

River Quay is the spot for Sunday …

Thar she blows - how to hunt whales the friendly way

A grunt and a spurt of seawater rising into the air show the position of a mother humpback whale and her three-week-old calf.

I'm on purpose-designed whale watching boat and we have motored for an hour over the calm seas of the great sandy straits up the coastline of Fraser Island

Captain Phil tells the 50 or so people aboard that the tip of the island is where we will see the whales and he is right.

Our first mother and calf are a little shy at first, keeping the boat at a good distance but I can clearly see the much smaller calf swimming strongly beside its mother.

I'm fascinated by the large circles of calm water that float past us and Phil tells us these are whale footprints

"They break the water tension when they flick their tails to swim down resulting in the clear circles on the water,” Phil says.

Sailors used whale footprints to track whales back in the bad old days when whales were valued more for their blubber than their beauty.

Our next mother and calf are a l…

Lunch amongst the lavender in the Scenic Rim

It was time to brush the cobwebs off the motor bike over Easter and head out of Brisbane into the beautiful Scenic Rim.

We started down the highway towards Beenleigh in beautiful autumn sunshine and stopped for a coffee at The Outpost Cafe at Canungra.  This is a well known bikies hangout but don't expect too much in the way of chains and dreadlocks - it's more favoured by the middle aged bikie enjoying the freedom of the road second time round.

The road less travelled is always our favoured route for this type of outing and we back tracked through Rathdowney before reaching our destination for the day, Kooroomba Lavender Farm about 65 minutes from Brisbane in the Scenic Rim at Mt Alford near Boonah.

Autumn is not the premium time for viewing either the vineyard or the lavender but the view across the valley to the mountains was still outstanding.  The building has a New Zealand lodge feel to it with plenty of stone walls both inside and outside, complimented by timber and ex…

Ten top things to do in Noosa Heads

It doesn't matter how many times I head down the hill on Noosa Drive towards the ocean, I still get a little shiver of excitement every time. This very special part of the world has achieved international recognition for its unique environment and I am privileged to be able to dip my toes into it on a regular basis.

Here are ten of my favourite Noosa pastimes.

1. Although it’s always tempting to sleep in, I don't like to waste a moment of the day when I wake up in Noosa. The best way to start is in the coffee queue at Sails on Hastings Street and then a stroll along the winding boardwalk to the National Park, koala spotting along the way.

Depending on my mood and energy level, I continue the walk through the park to enjoy the beachside views. Some like to run it. You can pick up a coffee at the information hut in the national park as well.

2. After a bit of exercise there's nothing like a big breakie at Aromas and a spot of people watching. With t…

Lots to explore at Brisbane's South Bank

Four markets in one day - what a way to spend a Sunday!

We started at the organic markets at Downy Park, Windsor which was not such a good idea. Why? Well we took the dog and the place was full of puddles - he's a corgi with very low legs - it all ended up being very messy.

Also, these markets definitely finish up on their advertised closing time of 10.30am.  Call me slow or just plain lazy but I find it hard to get out and about early on a Sunday morning. We arrived primed for breakfast at 10am just as everyone was shutting up - they had even run out of bread for French toast!

However, this market was just the first on our list. Next, we drove to South Bank Parklands to explore the Young Designers Market and the Granite Belt Flavours Market - both on the same day.

Several designer/clothes/jewellery purchases later, K2 subdued his inner male and agreed to look for the Granite Belt Flavours market which was not in its usual spot.  On the way, we walked through the regular South Ba…