01/05/2007 - 22:00

Cariss sets the mood at Bistro Felix

01/05/2007 - 22:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Altos fans lamenting the loss of the dimly-lit restaurant renowned for exceptional food and a comprehensive wine list may find a recent Subiaco renovation goes some way to filling the void.

Cariss sets the mood at Bistro Felix

Altos fans lamenting the loss of the dimly-lit restaurant renowned for exceptional food and a comprehensive wine list may find a recent Subiaco renovation goes some way to filling the void.

Restaurateur and sommelier Jeremy Cariss has returned to Perth after spending more than a decade on the east coast working for the Hyatt hotel group and more recently managing Adelaide’s Eros Ouzeri.

He is currently in the midst of gutting the former Atlantic Restaurant in Subiaco and aims to reopen the venue as Bistro Felix in the coming weeks.

The seafood focus will go but in its place will be a contemporary menu full of fresh produce.

Heading up the kitchen is Damien Young, who is also a relatively recent arrival to Perth.

Originally from Queensland, he worked at Brisbane’s popular Circa Restaurant before moving west with his Perth-born wife.

Mr Young spent the first eight months with Clint Nolan at Fremantle’s Harvest, before taking up the opportunity to run Mr Cariss’s kitchen at Atlantic.

He is currently training up his troop of chefs, who have spent the past couple of weeks visiting fruit and vegetable suppliers, doing balsamic vinegar tastings, attending coffee school and joining in wine tastings.

While the menu is yet to be confirmed, if the draft is anything to go by the meals dished up at Bistro Felix will have something of a wow factor.

For instance, there are plans for a risotto of chicken liver and foie gras with peas and bacon and a sherry reduction. There is also a roast beef fillet, celeriac fondant with slow cooked shallots and lentis with a red wine jus.

The lighting at Bistro Felix will be moody and reminiscent of Steve Scaffidi’s popular Altos, which underwent a massive renovation to become Rialtos when Albasio La Pegna bought the venue two years ago.

Mr Cariss said there was a “fine line” to getting the lighting right but he wanted the restaurant to have a similar feel to the former Altos and popular city noshery, Balthazar.

A special acoustic ceiling will be installed, as will soft furnishings, to get the balance right between intimacy and good looks.

“The last five years there has been a trend towards really slick restaurant looks but I really like linen; it may cost money to clean it but it is just very practical,” Mr Cariss told Gusto.

Since he bought Atlantic a year ago, Mr Cariss has amassed a cellar containing more than 400 bottles of wine.

He says the wine list will range from $28 a bottle to what is currently the most expensive at $600 a bottle.

“I want to recommend someone a great wine that has just come in and for them to trust me to know that it is a wine worth trying,” Mr Cariss says.

Another recent recruit to Bistro Felix is sommelier Takura Makadzange, who most recently worked at Ian Love’s Raffles Hotel after relocating to Perth after time at Melbourne’s Prince Hotel.

“He has such a good palate; it’s better than mine so I just had to bring him in,” Mr Cariss says.

Former Star Anise manager Tony Wallis has also been recruited to help run front-of-house.

Bistro Felix will also offer a private dining room, complete with a wall of wine bottles.

The venue is named after Mr Cariss's five-year old son, Felix.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options