FOG - Ebullience and Finery in Prahran
FOG is an impressive fine dining restaurant in Prahran with modern upmarket decor and sexy cuisine with American influences. After an epic night at their monthly regional dinner celebrating the tastes of New England I left FOG ebullient and on a high.
My ebullience was partly due to the dreamy decor and the dreamy music being played. This place elicited the Great American Dream, even though we were in Prahran.
Walk past the Veuve display and up the stairs into a world of finery. The red chandelier is a highlight. Heavy dark timbers, funky pendants, and tables with crisp white napkins are alluring. Even the pillars are classic and chic. We are reminded that not all fine dining needs to be grungy.
Owner Sam Frantzeskos is a seasoned if not charasmatic restaurateur with culinary interests in America. His love for the tastes of America led him to import talented Head Chef Jeremy Sutphin and his brother as the Sous Chef. Jeremy Sutphin was one of the first to bring Mexican excellence to Melbourne pre the current Mexican wave.
Waiters are attentive and work the tables with discretion looking elegant in their black uniforms with white aprons.
The guests at our table included renowned Melbourne artists, journalists, international male model and fashionistas, media and business leaders. Lively conversation was enhanced by this dreamy, elegant and sophisticated ambience.
The menu was all about New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island). All the options on the menu looked amazing but I selected the "left hand side" of the menu all the way down. The Corn and smoked bacon chowder with lobster meat and chive oil was spectacular. I remember consuming loads of chowder in San Francisco... This chowder was a power hit - can I say I'm a big fan of rich food (why does everything need to be subtle and delicate?).
The Maryland style crab cakes also looked amazing - with acclamation around our long table.
The Grilled New York strip steak, succotash, braised chard and "old bay" demi glace was another superb dish. The steak was of generous portion and top quality cut, cooked perfectly. But it was the accompaniments that really accentuated the steak. Refreshing corn amd lima beans of the succotash were so perfect with the meat. As was the leafy braised chard.
Pan seared cod fillets were also sublime with lobster and sweet potato hash, baby spinach and maple vinaigrette.
Dessert was a classic version of Boston Pie - layers of sponge cake filled with vanilla custard and topped with chocolate ganache. This was delectable without being overbearing. The Baked apple pie was a hit around our table - American style apple pie is something else.
All of these dishes were top notch and well presented.
FOG brings together the sorts of things you want to see in a fine dining restaurant - superb decor and ambience, impressive wait staff, a super talented chef, and cuisine that captures the imagination and is executed brilliantly. With fine dining I believe you need to feel a sense of occasion and FOG provides this in spades. Feelings of ebullience as you leave.
With Marco Pierre-White visiting FOG several times, this would seem a nod of note to FOG and its team.
The World Loves Melbourne dined courtesy of FOG.