Thursday, 25 August 2011

Part three - Montreal - Dinner

It certainly feels like I have been at Montreal a lot longer than a weekend as this blog has taken me so long to finish. This is the third and final chapter!

The first dinner in Montreal was at Chuck Hughes ( restaurant 'Garde Manger'. Chuck Hughes is a very famous Canadian chef from Montreal, I have seen a lot of him since living in Canada and I have become a big fan. He is sort of like a Jamie Oliver, passionate, inspiring and not crazy and mean like some well known chef's. I was dying to check out his restaurant and without a booking we almost did not get in. We had an amazing dinner but sadly no photos or blog as the lighting was hideous. I do recommend this restaurant but maybe book before going and definitely order the scallops, they were amazing!

The second night was the poutine aftermath so there was not much to blog about.
The third night we went to L'un Des Sens. We stumbled upon this restaurant while we were looking for a different restaurant we had researched, that was no longer around. L'un des sens had a really interesting menu where you could make your own degustation, what more could you possibly want! We had a quick cocktail at a bar called Baldwin Barmacie ( a very cool place for all the cool kids! I ordered a French Martini: Vodka, Chambord, Pineapple Juice - delicious. After the drink we went back to the restaurant for our journey through the senses. We ordered 5 courses for $55 a very reasonable price for fine dining!

First course: Quinoa and beet salad, egg runny, spinach

The idea is to mix everything together and eat. It was really delicious and had a lot of different textures. The quinoa had a nice nutty flavour and then the egg mixed through made it all so creamy.

Second course: Mackerel 

The Mackerel was cooked well, the skin was crispy and salty.

Third course: Duck, pickled quail egg, smoked duck breast, veal with rice rillettes.

The menu at times was a little lost in translation but we worked it out in the end. The rillettes was more like a terrine. The duck breast had a great smoky flavour and it came with some peanut butter, which went with some crackers and was supposed to compliment the duck. It was a weird combination but it was worked. The quail egg was good but I would have preferred a warm gooey egg not a hard boiled pickled one. 

Fourth course: Medallion of venison, panfried seasonal mushrooms with marrow. I chose this dish as I am having a venison thing at the moment and also how could anything be wrong with marrow.

It was extremely rich and delicious. It looks small but the plate was huge!

Fifth course: Frozen chocolate mousse, praline crunch, financial biscuit and custard.
I couldn’t decided on the desert course so I ended up ordering this but wish I had of gone with my other choice a lemon desert. Any way I was intrigued to know what on earth a financial biscuit was... Another thing lost in translation I suspect.

It was nice but not amazing, the biscuit was just a crumble chocolate biscuit. 
Adam ordered different things to me he was going with a foie gras theme so everything had foie gras in it, including the dessert which I managed to get a photo of.

It was creme brulee with foie gras, caramelised apple vinegar poppy, crumble and caramel. Basically a creme brulee and apple crumble all in one! Doesn’t sound like it would work but surprisingly it did and it was extremely rich and creamy.

Our final day and last supper in Montreal we went to 'Marche de la villette' a boucherie, charcuterie and restaurant that looked like it was straight out of Paris. It was constantly busy with tourists and locals. The Menu was very French consisting of French onion soup, crepes, fromage, meats etc etc.

I ordered a French onion soup followed by a Croque Madame. 

I cannot say I am a connoisseur of French onion soup but I found this one a little watery and I would have liked some more onion. 
The Croque Madame on the other hand was amazing, as you can see they were very generous with the cheese and ham.  

What a great feast that we had while in Montreal. It certainly was a nice break from the Canadian/American cuisine we are experiencing everywhere since being in Hamilton and surrounding areas (not the greatest cuisine). I recommend a trip to Montreal for everyone and make sure you do not hold back and eat as often and as much as you desire!  

The Maple Girl

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Part two - Montreal - Poutine

What can I say about Poutine. A heart attack in a snack, well the one we ordered in Montreal certainly was. Poutine originated in Quebec and it is made up of french fries, cheese curds and gravy, additional items are often added. You can find Poutine mass produced in McDonald’s and other fast food places over Canada, but it is not the same as the poutine you can find in some restaurants in Montreal. It was on the list of things to eat in Montreal and recommended in the lonely planet.
After a very long walk all around Montreal including Mont Royal (the highest part of Montreal, a small mountain overlooking the city) we were starving and in desperate need of a toilet. It was a sign, so we stopped at 'Plaisirs Coupables, Snack.Bar.Urbain', for a small snack before dinner. The menu is described as 'decadent comfort food'. We ordered the Poutine with Confit Duck and Foie Gras. It certainly was decadent and comforting however, filling and super rich we were not so sure about dinner later on.