I have tried a new restaurant in Montreal.
My friend and fellow foodie, Silia emailed me about this place this past week and after looking at their site, the reviews and so on, I was excitied to try.
When I booked my reservation, I was already dreaming about what was going to order. I had decided on the Grilled Cornish Hen with Black Olive Polenta Fries. (This means absolutely nothing because I can’t decide on anything for the life of me. I will have changed my mind 65 times after this)
The parking situation on Laurier is just horrible. It almost made me wanna either park illegally or leave. If I were a restaurateur on Laurier, I would have valet or some other acceptable solution to entice people to come to my restaurant. We circled and circled…and circled again. We were at our wits end, annoyed, hungry and discouraged when we saw this couple leaving. In disbelief, we frantically sped up their spot! “Oh my God! Are they leaving or just arriving???They’re leaving!….Hurry up! Hurry up!.. Put your flasher on!!” I said… even though there were no other cars in sight. Its because you feel like you need to claim your spot before another car suddenly appears out of thin air to steal it from you!
The restaurant has an open concept, its lively (meaning it’s a little loud) and the lights are turned up a little higher than most other restaurants. It looks,feels and sounds much like a Parisian Bistro.
We were seated right away on their closed terrace which was quieter and warmer than the main restaurant. Also because the restaurant is so opened, the intense smells from the kitchen fill the restaurant. Sitting on the terrace saves you from that a little bit. Although the food smell is great, it may be bothersome for those with sensitive noses.
What to order ….what to order…..I saw someone’s rack of lamb with peas and potatoes au gratin which looked amazing…..My husband chose his usual, he doesn’t take risks on Saturday nights. He chose Fois Gras and Filet Mignon with sauce béarnaise. He ordered a side of Fries. He wasn’t crazy about the Fois Gras but loved his Filet Mignon. It was tender as can be and cooked perfectly. The bearnaise sauce was a great touch.
As my appetizer, I chose the chevre croustillant, with apple and walnuts and settled on my original choice of Cornish Hen. I wanted to try something I’ve never had plus the polenta fries sounded interesting…. The Chevre en croute was very tasty but the down side was that it was just a breaded and fried gallette of goat cheese which looked like I coulda’ bought it at Costco in the frozen foods section. Also, it was served with those salad leaves that look like branches that hardly anybody ever eats…and no apples. Maybe there was apple in the dressing? The Cornish Hen was lacking flavour and a little dry. It was served with a tomato based sauce of which frankly I cannot remember the taste. The black olive polenta fries were really good. Well, that’s what I get for being “different” I guess. Shoulda’ had the lamb…
Other options I recommend are the house specialities like the rack of lamb, short rib or filet mignon.
My dirty olive Martini cocktail was great, it really went down easy. Wish my glass was a little more chilled though.
I was definitely having dessert! Every dish we saw the waitresses zooming by with looked great! Although, my friend told me that I must try the French Toast with Caramel ice cream for dessert. This dessert is worth the trip and the parking problems! The French Toast bread was cut extremely thick , making it look tall on the plate with a large scoop of caramel ice cream. There was a light, maple syrup all over the toast making it beautifully glossy. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This is hands down, the best dessert I’ve ever had in my life…If I’ve had something better, I can’t remember because I was now blinded by this one.
Their wine list was extensive and the staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.
The service was a little slow but we didn’t mind that much..We were talking and taking it easy 🙂
Although my review seems luke warm, I partially blame myself because I think I chose something that was not for me and something that I knew was not one of their specialities. What did I expect the freakin’ hen to taste like? It tasted like grilled chicken and I wasn’t in the mood for that. Part of a great food experience is trying something that you are in the mood for. Im not saying you have to always play it safe but I think you should order what you are craving at the moment – not just what is different.. Hope that makes sense….and let’s not forget that dessert – that sweet, comforting and pleasurable thing.
I give this restaurant a favourable 3.7 on 5 because overall , I really enjoyed my experience – I felt good there and I will return. (3.5 seemed too low and 4, too high..lol)
Let me know if you try it!