Bronte- a delicious experience! October 2009
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.
1800 Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC H3H 1E5, CA
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.