For those who follow my blog, you definitely know that I like to check out new restaurants and eat quality meals. When I travel, I always make it a point to google restaurants, read reviews and book them before I even land at my destination.
Luckily I live in Montreal, the city of restaurants! That is why I love MTL à TABLE, it's that time of the year when you can dine at fancy restaurants with a fixed menu at a cheaper cost. This year, I checked out four restaurants, which gave me the opportunity to let the "food snob" in me come out.
XO Le Restaurant, beautiful decor and great service. The entrées and main courses were a pleasure to eat, however I was displeased with the desserts. For such a fancy experience, I was hoping to have a more complex gastronomical ending, instead they served a nutella pizza and dark chocolate covered with raspberry sauce which lacked thought and taste.
On a positive note, we were very happy with the glamorous seating that was reserved for us and the staff was very kind. I would go back to try another round of desserts.
Red snapper tartare, grapefruit white butter, watercress
My dish: Guinea fowl Cordon Bleu style, Migneron cheese, prosciutto
His dish: Tagliatelles with chickpeas, octopus confit and red bell peppers
Main courses: 4/5 star rating
Main courses: 4/5 star rating
Desserts: 2/5 star rating
Next on the list, we went to "Chambre à part", this place has a very cozy vibe, the cool wallpaper accents and the placement of the dining area, gives a very "home sweet home" vibe yet is is still very contemporary.
I had the lavender, lemon and cassis cocktail without alcohol which was a burst of flavor in my mouth. The combination was perfect and I enjoy the fact that they offer tasty non-alcoholic cocktails.
I would give the entrées a 3.5/5 star rating. However, my main course with the codfish (not pictured) was not cooked ideally and it's texture made the dish unpleasant.
My dish: Squid, romano, cumin, avocado lime dashi
His dish: Confit lamb, mint, smoked labneh, clementine, buckwheat cracker
I felt like the restaurants participating in MTL à Table tend to just skim by the desserts and not make such an effort for a WOW factor. Given the supposed budget they may have, they obviously create a dessert that is more cost effective, however they should not forget to make the sweet ending funner for foodies.
My dessert: Iced lemon, Anicet honey financier
His dessert: Panna cotta of buffalo yogurt, hibiscus, marinated orange in vanilla, pink pepper meringue
We had already been at Bistrot La Fabrique on a regular night and had such a memorable experience, so we decided to go back for MTL à Table. It was not the same experience, the meals were obviously downgraded, lacking taste and not so fancy. However, this can come with the territory of dining out during this yearly event. But still, it's not an excuse.
Buckwheat tart, artichoke, 65° egg, Charlevoix Migneron cheese
1/5 star rating
My dish: Pan-seared Albacore tuna, papaya salad, sesame seed, confit carrot, wasabi mustard, nori risotto, cilantro
His dish: Squash, quinoa, saffron confit onion, maple syrup chili paste, Candy Cap mushroom, almond cream, red cabbage croquette
For dessert, Bistrot La Fabrique offered what I would call Quebec "comfort food" which was quaint. I was expecting more since my first visit included a more intricate and succulent ending which is why I had decided to come back for a second time. However, we were basically given an apple and french toast?
My dessert: Cortland apple cassolette topped with cheddar
His dessert: French toast, clove caramel, fleur de sel
Ouf! I didn't realize how much we ate that week, I guess I have to hit the gym to burn all these calories. Last stop, Restaurant Manitoba! It was complete madness to get a reservations here, literally everyday was booked, we finally got a table Wednesday night at 9 pm.
This was my second time at Manitoba for #MTLaTable, my last time was in 2013 and that meal was so amazing, I was stunned. This restaurant is all about having the taste of the Canadian forest in your plate with locally sourced ingredients. For this edition, their menu wasn't strong, the only thing that peaked my interest was the discovering the "Mozzarella Mousse" dessert.
Montrealers love to enjoy life and dining out is a big part of their social lives. This is why MTL à Table is so popular as it is a great opportunity for foodies at heart to discover new restaurants in the city. Bon appétit!