55ième (or 55th) Has anyone been?
I'm inquiring about the restaurant that took over the location at the corner of Mont-Royal and St-Laurant formerly Savanah (and before that, Le Bouchon). I know they're open now, although it did take them a while. It's not a BYOW, although they are selling their wine at SAQ price +3$ (or is it 5$) so the formula looks interesting. They have a wonderful looking terrasse....
But I have not yet spoken to anyone who's eaten there. Has anyone been? any opinions... I'm curious.
Well, Mr F is correct. It *IS* 55° (degrees) and not the 55th as I originally thought.
So to satisfy my curiosity I finally went to check it out.
The decor remains largely unchanged from when it was Savanah. It's still quite beautiful. Plenty of wood, a large bar at one end of the restaurant, mirrors, large chairs, high ceilings and plenty of space. It's a classic "French Bistro" look, but more spacious and airy. The terrasse is pretty nice too, although we stayed indoors.
Service was a bit slow, but we were in no hurry and the staff were friendly enough, so no problems there.
We ordered from the table d'hote, although a member of our party ordered à la carte. My entrée was baked chevre in a puff pastry (baluchon) stuffed with pear. The pastry was crisp and light and the chevre, although very mild, asserted it's flavour throughout and the fruit was not overly sweet. It was a nice sized portion and relatively well presented, but I could have gone without the coulis on the plate - a nice shot of colour on the plate, but it tasted like stawberry jam and it wasn't really necessary. Another companion had a butternut squash soup, which was consistent, well-textured and flavourful. The fried calamari entrée, although presented well, was dismal. Unfortunately it was more soggy than crispy, and tasted oily.
As mains, we chose the blue marlin, a grilled (or baked perhaps) salmon, the artic char à la carte and the faux-filet (is that striploin?) from the table d'hote. The marlin filet was relatively large, with toasted poppy & sesame seeds served with basmati rice and a few vegetables. The char was slightly undercooked, the way I prefer actually, and had a nice texture. It was topped with a white sauce that was a little too rich for the delicateness of the fish - I scraped off some of the sauce and enjoyed it much more. I didn't taste the salmon, but the presentation was interesting, and it looked very appealing. The striploin was cooked medium rare as requested, and was juicy and flavourful. There was quite a bit fo fat to trim off, but that's normal for the cut - still at 40$ for the dish (table d'hote price) I would have expected something more. The general concensus was that everything was good, but nothing was spectacular.
They have an interesting policy on serving wine. All wines are sold at SAQ prices plus 3$ corkage fee. That's a great deal! You have to go to the wine rack in the front of the restaurant to choose your bottles. If you're lucky, someone will come and advise you with your choice. We chose a solid, but budget priced Malbec along with a white burgundy for those eating fish. We were also presented with a choice of water - and were explained that since the restaurant doesn't make money off the wine, they encourage their patrons to purchase bottled water. Ours cost us about 9$ - and we didn't choose an expensive water....
I didn't have any dessert, but did manage to sneak a spoonful of creme brulée. I prefer when the top has a bit more "brulée", but the serving was fine otherwise.
Overall the experience was not all bad. The dishes, though not extraordinary, were generally tasty and pleasantly presented. You certainly save money on the wine, and with their system you feel encourage to purchase a more expensive bottle of wine as opposed to paying ludicrous markups. Steer clear of buying water. Total bill ran about 60$/head including tax, tip & wine - which is quite reasonable. Would I go again? Maybe, but probably not very soon.
>>faux-filet (is that striploin?)<<
While it's sometimes called a strip steak, it's technically a rib eye.
And belated thanks for going to the trouble of writing about your visit. Very helpful, especially since it appears to be the first detailed report to be published on the Web or in print.