McAuslan Brunch anyone go ?
Last year we couldn't get reservations because they were out by late January. This year we called in advance, we got a table. Pretty sure it's happening :). Though I'm also sure that there are no more tables, unless last-minute cancellations occur (we've got until Sunday to cancel/modify, otherwise our credit card is charged 50%).
How long ago did it fill up? Because I e-mailed them like 2 months ago asking them if they were doing it again this year and if they had room. Someone responded a few days later saying it was best to call the restaurant to discuss. I called the restaurant and left a message. No one returned my call. I have been heading into Montreal for the last weekend in February for your "Nuit Blanche" event for the last few years. Been wanting to hit up APDC for this brunch for the same number of years. One year I was two late, one year decided not to do it because my friend wasn't a huge drinker... Would have really liked to go this year, oh well...
So interesting to see everyone's different opinions on this. I also attended and had an absolute ball. The dishes served (last seating at 2pm) matched the ones mentioned already, aside from a few exceptions.
My carpaccio was definitely beef, and might I add, delicious.
The beans and pheasant were spendid, although my friend found a pellet in his!!
The omelette with boudin and braised pork was definitely a stand-out, and I ate mine with one of PDC's famous plogues. Portion sizes were mentioned earlier. I definitely wished I could have chowed down on the entire omelette to myself, but considering the number of courses, I think the PDC team was simply trying to make sure we'd still be hungry come chocolate fountain time.
After the omelette came the seafood and squid ink soup, which we all agreed was fantastic.
Then the makis with beef tartare and duck fat, splendid!
The canned braised beef and chicken liver, one of my least favorites, was well executed none the less.
The caesar salad "a la minute" with the incredible smokey fishy dressing really hit the spot after all that meat.
Then came the fried seabass and polenta, the steak sub (fantastic!), and ... no one has mentioned this yet... the quail and cornish hen duo!! Roasted perfectly, unbelievably succulent with griddle marks all over, the quail and hen dish was a definite favourite!
The dessert was ok, I think the idea of have chocolate fountains appealed more than the actual sad banana and doughnuts, but the doughnuts dipped in the dark chocolate... not bad at all.
We scooted to Chloe's for some chocolate to take home after.
The best part of it all is definitely the smile on the waiters' faces, the giant lobster being stuffed in the kitchen, the bottomless pitchers of McAuslan, and the family-style vibe of the entire event. For 55$, not a bad way to spend a Sunday.
I was there, first seating. Overall, my experience differ from your, kimberly, as I would say the meal was good but certainly not excellent. I see some dish somewhat differ in your explanations from what we had, maybe you were at the second seating ? Here's what we had :
- Pancakes. Nice and fluffy...
- Duck carpaccio. A very small service, and a slab of spicy mayonnaise made the small truffle shaving very hard to taste. Not bad.
- Beans with faisant (English ?). Very nicely done, the bird gave a very gamey specific taste to the beans.
- Omelet with boudin noir . Fluffy omelet, however overcooked and lacking in seasoning. We had a single omelet to share between the 7 of us, so sadly not all could get some boudin.
- Squid (Séche) soup : Did not work at all at our table and nobody finished it...
- Beef tartar like a maki : Great tartare, the pairing with the seaweed was ok.
- Beef braisé in a can (A nice clin d'oeuil to the duck in a can) : Good, but again we were served a half full can for 7, we had to ask for another one. Our can contained almost no liver, but was good nevertheless.
- A take on Philly steak sandwich, with cheese and steak. Nice dish.
- The sea bass was way overcooked and the polenta served cold.
- The dessert "buffet" was the most disappointing. The staff brought us a single ice cream scoop to share for 4 people.... wow. By the time we got to the buffet, no more donuts, so the desert was limited to 1/4 of a ice cream scoop with some chocolate.
I must say I'm a PDC advocate, I go there as much as I can, and I really enjoy their evening cooking and service. I also understand that the staff is not used to cook/serve brunch since it's a annual event. But while I was expecting a feast of great food, I was rather disappointed. All the meat courses were beef... what happened to last year quails o to other meats ? We also had to ask multiple time to the waiters what was put in front of us, as the things were just put on the table without any kind of announcement or explanation.
Martin Picard seemed more busy with auctioning off a giant lobster (it went for 250 $...) that with checking the quality and consistency of what was served, giving the whole thing a very commercial feeling. As a said, it was nice, but definitely not great.
Hey, MtlChris, I think we sat at the same table :). I was the one who asked for the second serving of braised beef...
CocoBean, the reason no-one mentioned the quail/hen is because they didn't serve us any at the first service! "Quel scam", to quote my gf :)
We had quite a nice time. Personally, I went into a "food coma" right after, probably because of the numerous pints of McAuslan and the relatively large quantity of food. We enjoyed the beans and pheasant dish, the "omelette", the carpaccio. Overall, it was a nice experience and we're happy we did it.
Compared to the APDC's St-Patrick's brunch last year ($45/person, 6 courses, no beer) this was definitely a good deal.
Attached a picture of Martin stroking the lobster :)
those photos are mine! :) it was as delicious as it looks.
i'm going to be doing a full writeup on my food blog, but in brief, there was an egg dish with a fatty, dreamy pork topping and a flavourful blood pudding. next up, some pork-laden baked beans, followed by beef carpaccio, a slice of black truffle, and pecorino.
the shellfish soup with squid ink was remarkable - a little sour, definitely salty, with perfectly cooked squid. there was an interesting sushi-style cornet with tartare that was amazing, as well as some braised beef stew with chicken livers in a can.
oh! the steak sub was amaaaaazing - i have no idea what was in the sauce, but it was the star of the meal for me. we also enjoyed some deep-fried sea bass, with polenta and tomatoes, and a ceasar salad with a salty, creamy, fishy dressing.
dessert was fresh donuts, ice cream, bananas and two chocolate fountains, one milk and one dark.
and don't forget the beer! it was a fantasy meal.