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Bronte- a delicious experience! October 2009

p
phoenikia Oct 18, 2009 08:51 AM

I didn't know what to expect, after reading so many mixed reviews on this board, but we decided to try Bronte last Thursday night. I'm so glad that we did.

We were just a little peckish, after coming from a cocktail party where we had already eaten a fair number of appetizers, so we decided to just order one main, so there was a possibility we'd have room for dessert.

Our meal started with an amuse bouche of house-cured salmon with mint. Delicious, and fresh.

The bread basket was fantastic- the breads included an incredibly moist focaccia, a brioche, a currant and fennel bread, and a chili flatbread. The most interesting breads I've found in a Montreal bread basket.

My ravioli with wild mushrooms was amazingly good. Loved the mushroom ragu. Lots of earthy mushroom flavour. My friend tried the risotto, which came with lamb neck and jalapeno, which he enjoyed.

For dessert, I ordered a roasted coconut panna cotta with tangerine sorbet, lemon cloud, and crumbles of lemon poppy seed cake. My friend ordered a dessert which came with a chocolate chipotle ice cream and hazelnut chocolate ganache, as well as 2 other desserts. Each dessert came with a bit of a mousse, a cake, a gelato and a custard. Do any other restaurants in Montreal have a tendency to do this? The dessert portions were just right for me- leaving me satisfied but not stuffed. Although I think some people I know would want and expect more.

The service was great. Friendly and professional. The restaurant noise level wasn't too loud, but for some reason, the restaurant wasn't very full for a Thursday. I ate at Le Montee a few weeks ago, and Le Montee was packed on a Monday night. Although I really enjoyed Le Montee, the service was ok, but not great, and we had some annoyingly long waits, and had trouble getting the server to bring the bill, so on the service side, Bronte was a much nice experience for us.

The prices were lower than I expected. I'm not sure if there's been an adjustment on the menus, due to the recession (which has been the case in many TO restaurants), but our dishes were somewhere around $30, and the desserts were $12. To give you a comparison, most mains at Toque, were closer to $36-$40, and their desserts were $11-$13.

I'm looking forward to future visits to Bronte, to try more of the menu. I liked the flavours and dishes at Bronte even more than recent good meals at La Montee, Renoir and Toque.

I can see how the dishes at Bronte wouldn't appeal to everyone, but for my palate, Bronte is now in top place for my list of interesting/innovative/contemporary cuisine in Montreal.

-----
Bronte
1800 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC H3H 1E5, CA

  1. souschef Oct 18, 2009 09:45 PM

    Curious - I thought the service at La Montee was examplary; not so at Bronte.

    1. TheSnowpea Oct 19, 2009 06:01 AM

      Agree about the bread basket, it's wonderful!

      1. w
        williej Oct 19, 2009 08:40 AM

        Please provide an address or general area of the city. Thanks.

        2 Replies
        1. re: williej
          kpzoo Oct 19, 2009 08:47 AM

          If you look top right of the page, you should see the full restaurant address as well as a Google Map. This is how the new "Places" feature works, and it's what appears if you check off the "this is a review of a specific restaurant" checkbox when posting.

          1. re: kpzoo
            w
            williej Oct 19, 2009 08:56 AM

            Ah, thanks! I didn't know what checking off that box meant in terms of result!

        2. b
          bigfellow Oct 19, 2009 02:15 PM

          I go to Bronte every couple of weeks. The food is always very good and the service great. I sort of feel like I'm in a hidden gem when I'm there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: bigfellow
            KzenCass Oct 19, 2009 03:40 PM

            I'm torn on this restaurant. I know people who work and have worked there.

            I've had one of my top 5 Montreal restaurant meals there and also one of the worst. I won't go into details but there is some things about it that are hard to get past.
            This is just my opinion.

            1. re: KzenCass
              souschef Oct 20, 2009 06:15 AM

              It really annoys me when I see glowing reviews of restaurants I have been to just once (Bronte and CC&P) and have had horrible meals there (nothing aganst the posters, though). Those two have served me the worst I have had in Montreal. I was obviously there on their off nights, but for the prices they charge (especially Bronte, which was WAY over-priced for what I was served) off nights are unacceptable. I am not so cavalier with my money that I am willing to give them another chance at my expense

              BTW thank you Montreal Chowhounds for your maturity. I was attacked on another CH board for saying that I considered one of their sacred cows the worst in the area because I had 3 consecutive dishes there that I could not eat as they were extremely over-salted. I am glad that there are no sacred cows here.

              There! I am glad I got that off my chest.

              1. re: souschef
                b
                bigfellow Oct 20, 2009 06:35 PM

                I know that they have some new people in the kitchen in the last few months. I do find that it has been getting more consistant.

          2. e
            eatkat Oct 19, 2009 08:18 PM

            I agree the ravioli with wild mushrooms melted in my mouth.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eatkat
              c
              crispy1 Oct 20, 2009 07:56 AM

              One of my absolute faves. Thanks for reminding me. I have an upcoming celebration meal coming up and I am going to book my reservation now. Memories of the fantastic breadbasket, creative amuse and opera singer diva server. Cannot wait

            2. p
              phoenikia Mar 18, 2010 07:45 AM

              Do any Chowhounds know if Joe Mercuri is working elsewhere, or planning to open a new restaurant, now that Bronte has closed?

              7 Replies
              1. re: phoenikia
                b
                BLM May 5, 2010 04:46 PM

                Joe Mercuri is the new head chef of Rosalie restaurant(I just heard).

                1. re: BLM
                  p
                  phoenikia May 10, 2010 02:55 PM

                  Thanks for the update, BLM.

                  Have any Chowhounds been to Rosalie lately? Is it still superloud, somewhat meatmarkety afterwork?

                  1. re: phoenikia
                    b
                    BLM May 17, 2010 08:37 PM

                    Joe is listed by Rosalie restaurant as a consulting chef for them. So I think it's only a temporary gig for him. Still I'm sure the Montreal restaurant critics will rush to review Rosalie restaurant with him involved now. .

                    1. re: BLM
                      b
                      BLM May 18, 2010 11:00 PM

                      Joe Mercuri is at Rosalie restaurant for 4 months. Dinner menu is all his, one dish from Bronte, the rest is new.

                      1. re: BLM
                        p
                        phoenikia Nov 2, 2010 10:47 AM

                        Is Joe Mercuri still at Rosalie?

                2. re: phoenikia
                  Fraisie May 10, 2010 07:51 PM

                  From what I've heard, he's going to be the head chef at a new restaurant this fall.

                  1. re: Fraisie
                    p
                    phoenikia Nov 2, 2010 10:49 AM

                    Has anyone heard any more about the new restaurant? Has it opened yet?

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