La Montee -- new location, food still excellent
We just had dinner at the new La Montee location last night. The ambiance, etc. is nothing like the old place, which is a shame. It's colder and without much character. (And they've painted the walls purple!) They have also tripled their wait staff (at least). We went on the early side and were there almost alone, but by the time we left, the place was indeed filled. So, I think they will be fine.
Now for the good news: our meal was outstanding. We has the degstation 7 course menu (for a very good price of $65- without wine) and it was virtually flawless. The service was very attentive especially for a casual feeling restaurant. The menu started with a Raspberry Point oyster- simple and straightforward. Then we had the grilled mackerel with fennel (also on the regular menu). Simple again, but very fresh and very flavorful. Next came their take on the bouillabaisse (they call it ceci ne pas un bouillabaisse). Wow. This may have been my favorite. They pour the stock over the fish at the table. I could drink that stock were it not for the approximate pound of butter in it! That was a dish that I would happily have everyday. It is saffron-y and served with a saffron paste on and a pastis granita on the side. Next up was a fois gras over a celery root and onion saute. Again-- perfect. A surprisingly light take on a traditional liver and onions. The final savory dish was the Poitrine croustillante de porcelet de lait (which I believe was on their Villeneuve menu too?). It's delicious and served with a totally superfluous mustard yogurt sauce. I opted for the chevre chaud dish for my cheese course. Maybe I was too full, but I couldn't even eat this! It was just way too rich. Mr. pb had two cheeses-- chef's choice- a morbier and another that I can't remember! It was mr. pb's birthday so we were headed home for homemade cake and champagne with friends and weren't that interested in dessert. But they did bring us their version of the napoleon-- one chocolate and one vanilla. The vanilla was very good; the chocolate just okay. In light of the chocolate-on-chocolate layer cake that was awaiting us at home, it was just as well.
Mr. pb also had a wine pairing (for $65) that was very good, with VERY generous pours and one or two outstanding selections.
This was one of the best meals we've had in Montreal. And we were just at La Chronique for the tasting menu last weekend (we've been celebrating the birthday for over a week now!) and felt that La Montee was far superior especially for the price point. They have changed their menu and pricing structure (at least since I had last been about a year ago) and now offer 4 courses for $55 or each course for $15.
I don't know the exact address but the new location is on Bishop, between st-catherine & de maisonneuve. I was at the 'old' location at the end of October and I had the 4 courses for $44. New downtown location and it looks like the prices are up 25%. I'm sure it's still with every penny though! I really enjoyed everything on the menu that night. We were four so we tasted the entire menu plus cheese for dessert.
I have to second the exemplary reviews. While the ambiance is a bit lacking, the food more than makes up for it. It was both delicious and creative. We went off the 7-course tasting menu, and had a lovely duck tartar, a perfectly cooked scallop dish, deliciously seared foie gras, a veal in stock, and a goat cheese and eggplant combo that was excellent. The only "miss" in my books was an grilled octopus tentacle with white bean salad - the octopus was a bit chewy and the beans a bit hard. Everything was spectacular, as was dessert, and it was very reasonably priced for the service, quality and amount of food. Highly recommended, one of the best places i've eaten in Montreal .
I will be going there wednesday night with my wife and have a couple of questions.
-Is there anything not to be missed?
- How does the 7-course meal compare to the à la carte menu.
Also, my wife is pregnant so is it possible to ask for no raw food only for her if we take the 7-course meal or is it even possible at all to ask for this for the whole table?
Any other useful comment?