one of my most favorite restaurants of all time, this restaurant is responsible for throwing fuel to the fire of my foodie passion (think a large barrel of oil’s worth) created by chef Martin Picard, this place is a no-signage, small windowed restaurant in a little alley on the plateau. but looks are meant to be deceiving, and like their dishes, once inside you are met with packed tables, bustling waiters and an open kitchen bar with loud requests and the clatter of pan switching and the crackle of fat searing. I was lucky enough to be accompanied by two of my friends Greg and Dylan, who have never been before (I’m grateful to say this was my third visit. As always, the hostess listed a long list of daily specials, it seemed that black truffles were a common theme amongst the appetizers and a few veal dishes. they had a lobster special, 1 1/2 lb of precracked lobster and creamy goodness for $35, but none of us opted, although was later seriously regretting it.)
for first timers, I suggest ordering the fois gras cromesquis and any dish from the foie gras section. that’s what this place is known for!
foie gras crosmequis-little fried cubes of liquid foie gras (you have to wait a bit before you eat it to avoid being burned by the foie gras). these are must haves, especially if its your first time there. each cube is bursting with heavenly liquid gold.
marinated sausage-two thin sausages (greg said it reminded him of a specific type of italian sausage) on two toasted baguettes with a side of mustard
Champvallon-a hot pot filled with thickly stewed beef and topped with sliced potatoes
regular poutine-fries cooked in duck fat covered in similarly rendered gravy and generous chunks of cheese curds
foie gras hamburger-ths thing was a towering beast of foie gras, pork, a beef patty and of course a thin layer of baby greens. barely standing straight between the dense and crusty buns, it was like a fat lady in tiny high heels and a skimpy dress.
pudding chomeur-in my opinion the best dessert on the menu. a very rich version of the quebec staple. if you want sweet, this will bowl you over.
plogue a champlain
I’d heard that this is one of the restaurant’s signature dishes (which I previously thought was taken off the menu) so I had to order this. a small (relatively) piece of foie gras resting on pulled pork, pork belly and sliced baby potatoes on top of a buckwheat pancake covered in a maple syrup sauce. this thing was the best kind of mix of savoury and sweet. the maple syrup sauce was a mix of fat and pure maple syrup goodness (don’t need to go sugar shacking this season!). the foie gras was, as always, a tender piece of solid gold and the accompanying chunks of pork and potatoes fully paraded it on their shoulders. each forkful made me chew slowly, so I could enjoy every bit of this richness.
this was the surprise of the evening. one of the cheaper items on the menu, I wasn’t expecting too much, but what I got was a very generous sized tart-sized cheesecake, topped with cranberries and apple matchsticks. the tart was a thicker version of the graham cracker type crust, and the cheese cake was soft but dense (and substantial!). this one really pushed me to “FULL” level, and I was completely DONE by the time I finally finished it. very filling and just what you’d want from a cheesecake.
my dinner cost about $45 with taxes and tip, what I consider to be money well spent considering portions, quality, presentation and experience.
greg and dylan had to be rolled out of the restaurant (people ALWAYS understimate this place on the first visit). they were in pain, but very very satisfied, full and happy.
if you’re looking for a nice, delicate “fine-dining” experience. avoid this place at all costs. but if you’re up for an evening of rich, heavy, meaty, all things good and fatty comfort food, and intense kitchen entertainment (better than watching top chef on tv!), this is your place. one of the “must visit” restaurants of Montreal, people come here to live the epitome of the word “indulgence” in the true Quebecois spirit of overdone rich extravagance (in the best possible of ways )
536 Duluth Est