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Anyone tried the new La brasserie Brunoise?

Has anyone been to the newly opened La brasserie Brunoise (same chef as Brunoise on St-Andre) at their new downtown location on De la Montagne? If so, please comment.

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  1. www.montrealfood.com recently gave it a not so glowing review. The restaurant fared better with Lesley Chesterman who reviewed it for the Gazette and gave it 2 1/2 stars:
    http://www.canada.com/cityguides/mont...

    I ate at the restaurant before both of these reviews and had the steak/frites on which both reviewers came down hard. So if you try the restaurant, maybe you should avoid the steak. It was kind of mushy, like Lesley said, but it also took forever to chew a piece (I know it's a tougher piece of meat but it still seemed to take an eternity to chew). Both the fries and the steak were extremely salty and oily. The steak's oiliness was due to the maitre d'hotel (butter, lemon) sauce which was poured on top of the steak. The space is nice, service good but I was really disappointed with dishing out money for this piece of meat which left me 'saltified' and all greased up. I hope La brasserie Brunoise ends up working for Zach and Michel.

    1. I have eaten there several times. It is very good and convenient to downtown and the Bell Centre etc.

      For the record, Michel Ross is the chef at the original Brunoise on St. Andre and Marc Andre Royal is the chef de cuisine at the Brasserie.

      7 Replies
      1. re: eat2much

        I ate there a few weeks back, and had the steak frites - my meal was not chewy, oily, or salty (and I'm used to very little salt in food, so if I didn't find it salty, then it certainly wasn't). I was a bit confused by the MontrealFood post (chef nick, you might want to check on this one...) because one of the people I was dining with was concerned about peanuts (due to an allergy) and was assured that the fries were definitely NOT fried in peanut oil. So I'm not sure where that info came from. The steak wasn't the best I've had, but I've been disappointed with the quality of meat used in the steak frites at many local spots lately (including L'Express).

        It certainly isn't in the same league as the original Brunoise, but then it isn't supposed to be - but it compares well to a place like Holder, food-wise.

        1. re: cherylmtl

          Have to agree with cherymtl here. Not the best steak frites, but they were enjoyable. Not overly salty. Unlike the lobster bisque, which was served in a massive bowl, in fact the portion was much too large. And, unfortunately, much too salty. My companion actually sent it back, but asking that it be packaged as take-out, so that she could bring it home and dilute it with sour cream or creme fraiche.
          Zach, I guess the owner, is really personable, came by and chatted. Perhaps a bit too long, but you can tell that he's invested in the place. Oh, and they removed the price of the bisque from our tab.
          The French Onion soup was dandy and tasted different. I was told it was made from veal stock, which? I kind of like to be told when I'm devouring veal. Small quibble.
          I can't remember what else we had, but we enjoyed it.
          "A Touch of Evil" was playing on the screens, and I've never had such great service in Montreal.
          As to chefnick, well, he's just curmudgeonly these days. :)

          1. re: rillettes

            The review on montrealfood wasn't by Nick but rather a new reviewer named Huge Galdones.

            1. re: eat2much

              My bad.

            2. re: rillettes

              I posted my account of my visit back in February. Unfortunately I see the pulled rabbit (a daily special) is no longer on the menu. As for the lobster bisque, mine was more hotly seasoned than I am used to, or really like. The service was exceptional. The wines available by the glass were well chosen. I am looking forward to a return visit in a few weeks.

            3. re: cherylmtl

              Thanks Chowhounders for your replies. I will give the restaurant a try with all your advices in mind.

              1. re: Isamtl

                I loved Brunoise and have eaten there on several occasions and will eat there again. Never been disappointed. That was the reason we went to to La Brasserie. All I can say is that it was terrible all around. Not just the food but the ambiance as well. It felt like we were in some buffet room at a hospital or library. Very cold and to much blond oak. I am surprised that those talented guys came up with a concept like that.

          2. I have eaten five (or six?) meals there since it opened and have found that very few dishes were well executed. Bottom line is that there are very few good restaurants downtown that don't charge an arm and a leg...so I keep going back.

            I would actually put the steak-frites as one of the better dishes I have had there...nothing spectacular but enjoyable...let's face it...its not rocket science to make steak-frites so if you're messing that one up there are some real issues. I also enjoyed the veal liver (served on a bed of rapini) and thought it was quite solid but not exceptional. An above average liver dish (Lemeac takes the cake on liver). Another dish I like is the salade Lyonnaise (but I have soft spot for this dish and must admit this version is nothing special...unlike M sur Masson). I also really like the chocolate beignets with caramel although I can understand its not a dessert that would suit everyone.

            The lobster bisque was a huge disappointment a couple days after I got my wisdom teeth taken out. It tasted like dishwater (I am not exagerating). The braised lamb shank and a white fish dish (was it Halibut?) were ok but the real issue with these was the choice or execution of the veg and starch that accompanied them. I thought the inspiration behind these dishes was a little flawed. Sorry for not being more specific--but I'm working from memory.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thelonious777

              Ever since the Gazette’s food critic, Leslie Chesterman, favorably mentioned Brasserie Brunoise’s “macaroni and cheese with smoked ham” I have had a nagging curiosity what a $16 plate of macaroni and cheese might taste like. I happened to be nearby on a grey drizzly, cool day so I thought now might be the time to try it.

              The pasta is a standard macaroni shape with cheddar, parmesan and brie the cheeses; there are lots and lots of little smoked ham cubes and the whole is baked with a slightly crisp top. The serving is very large indeed. I ordered a glass of red Mercurey which proved to be the perfect accompaniment. The size of the serving required a second glass and I chose a Rubicone “Liano” – a very robust red, perhaps too robust for the food. The conclusion: an interesting comfort food but given the price and size it is something best shared with a friend. In the gourmet macaroni and cheese sweepstakes: I would have to give the prize to Suite 701’s macaroni with melted camembert sauce with fresh crab.

              There were only a half dozen people there at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. As with my first visit, service was friendly, attentive and personable (maybe even amusing).