Le Resident - a breath of fresh air in Old Montreal
- buzz_sapien May 11, 2009 09:58 AM
The resident is a welcome addition to my corner of Old Montreal - and apparently my 5 visits have been luckier than Joshua Karpati's one... I though his review in the Mirror was fair considering, but I have not witnessed what he has in my multiple visits.
Le Resident popped onto my radar screen in March, though it apparently opened in January. On the corner of St. Paul and Bonsecours I found it to be a prettt bold move, as this side of Old Montreal is a tough fight for restaurants. Most restaurants in this area are tourist traps...the only exception to the rule so far has been Sushi-Ya.
My first visit to Resident I ordered the burger offered on the daily special. Glass of Merlot on the side. The burger was outstanding - the meat was very fresh - juicy, flavorful and just lightly spiced. I later found out they get their meet from Slovenia's on St-Laurent. The side were home made potato chips - a mix of yellow and sweet potatoes - it was fun because you couldn't always tell which one you were putting in your mouth. Overall nothing overwhelming, but a very good burger and fant5astic service and ambiance.
Second visit - I looked over the menu and was tempted by the Sloppy Joseph after Karpati's column...but when I asked what the daily special was 'Lamb Burger' was the answer... The last burger was so good I had no choice... Same side order as last time - the mixed chips. The burger was really something else - again - falvourful, fresh meat. Just cooked enough to add flavour on the outside, but nuce and pink on the inside - brilliantly executed.
Third visit - OK - this time I'm going to have the sloppy joseph....DOUGH! Bison burger on the menu... This one really took the cake - fresh bison meat ground with just enough bacon to add some juice and flavour...it floored me. In my top 5 burgers of all time! Really something else...
You may begin thinking this is a burger joint - it's not! They actually have a funky little menu with a variety of comfort-food inspired dishes - paté chinois, sloppy joseph, grilled cheese, and who doesn't love the obviously comedic inspiration for the Mini Thanksgiving Dinner on a Plate...
I finally tasted something other than a burger on my 4th visit - as I got to chatting with the owner/manager - Voytek Korab (formerly at Cobalt and Bistro on Greene) and his lovely significant other Marta - they are both polish origin and were serving Voytek's mom's Pierogies on the lunch special! How can you turn dowm a polish mom's pierogies...
They were awesome - meat filled (first time I see this) and obviously fried in copious amounts of butter. Crisp and tender skins filled with a very taste meat filling. Really memorable.
I have to wrap this up as I am running there for lunch right now (I don't believe in overkill) but one more anecdote:
Turns out Voytek is one half of an Electronic music act that is gaining international acclaim and momentum - My Favorite Robot. As a proud Montreal musician myself, I have to give a shout out to this as they really are very good and making waves with some of Europe and North America's top DJ's... I took a listen on their myspace page - pretty cool stuff - slightly 'rebirth of depeche mode meets Ibiza lounge'
Thanks not only for the review but the musical heads up as well. I will check out both the resto and My Favorite Robot . My friend told me about this place as it's connected to her family but I was apprehensive as it's in Old port and I've only had a handful of good meals there ever. Now I am convinced.
Edit: Just checked out the myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/myfavoriterobo...) and it's really great stuff.
A group of three girls tried Le Resident for bunch last weekend. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. When we arrived at 11:45 the place was all but deserted. Not sure if they've started serving brunches only recently and not too many people know about it yet, but only a couple of other tables were filled in the time we were there.
The space is rather lovely, with exposed brick, very high ceilings covered in pressed tin, and a lot of wood work. We were seated at a booth that's slightly raised off the main level, situated in the corner next to gorgeous tall windows - ideal for people watching.
The food, while nothing spectacular, was solid. Probably the best dish we sampled was the chef's eggs benedict (florentine), which had a well-made hollandaise - not that ubiquitous neon yellow slop of powdered origins. The other dishes ordered were the scallop ceviche topped with poached egg, and the crab tartinade on english muffin, which was accompanied by guacamole. All three were served with delicious potatoes and a little bit of fruit.
By far the highlight of the meal was the shared pitcher of the house cocktail, Pimm's no.1. I'm not even sure what was in it, but I do know I've been daydreaming about it ever since. Slightly bitter, not too sweet, and loaded with sliced cucumber, seasonal strawberries, and mint leaves, it was the perfect refreshing summer cocktail on a warm sunny day. I will definitely be going back just for this drink, especially since I don't believe Pimm's is available at the SAQ.
I hope that weekend business will pick up for them because Le Resident, with its cordial staff, makes for a very lovely brunch spot. Not to mention it is also within walking distance to Les Glaceurs, where we picked up our sinful diabetic coma-inducing dessert.