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Jan 26, 2010 01:05 PM

Taverne Square Dominion Anyone?

Visited the most recent incarnation of the Dominion Square Tavern looking for my fix of pig's knuckles and was highly disappointed. Nice new decor in the place, very much upscale, and washrooms a huge step up. But now the up-priced(!!) menu only features the "demi" knuckle and roasted at that!! No more whole knuckle, with whole boiled potato and plain sauerkraut. Rather a scoop of mini-potatoes, spiked sauerkraut and a much larger side dish of hot mustard. Quite disappointed and, oh, $17 for this, $5 for side of fries. At least they still have the Boreale Lite on tap.

Any other visitors?

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  1. As I was buying fish at Poissonnerie Antoine yesterday, I noticed business cards for Taverne Dominion Square lying around next to the register. I had never heard of the place, but something clicked inside me and less than 24 hours later, I was sitting down for my first meal. I must say that following a quick perusal of the internet, the OP’s apparent disappointment almost steered me away from this place – and that would have been a mistake. (Then again I did not look at the place through the lens of nostalgia, as I never frequented the place under its previous incarnation.)

    First of all, the place is absolutely lovely. High ceilings, brass, wood and mirrors everywhere, a long bar - this is much more Parisian brasserie than tavern. The staff is attentive to detail and looks genuinely interested in what it does.

    I sampled the gravlax with blinis, sour cream and blueberry preserves (each component is separate) – everything tasted fresh and wonderful.

    I then had the pork sandwich with coleslaw. The pork was braised, fatty and delicious with a sweet mustard that provided just enough zip to keep things interesting. The purple coleslaw was the non creamy kind, dressed with probably either malt or cider vinegar.

    I sampled a friend’s mashed potatoes with cheddar and bacon – not far from heavenly.

    On the other hand, the sticky toffee pudding with coffee ice cream was kind of a letdown – this dessert is supposed to be decadent but instead, it was a bit dense and not particularly sinful. I like mine sweet to the brink of cloying. But in this case with each bite you can’t help but think it’s not worth the calories.

    Regardless, this was overall a particularly pleasant lunch experience, especially for downtown. I’m definitely adding it to my rotation.



    1. I didn't know they re-opened, I'll have to check it out.
      I don't think the OP's view was necessarily tainted through the lens of nostalgia, but maybe feels like I do: The pigknuckle seems to be a dying breed.

      There used to be quite a few places offering it, mostly taverns then brasseries.
      All too common to see it scaled back to certain nights of the week, or removed from the menu, or the place closes...

      1. Voir's Gildas Meneu liked it (for what that is worth to some):

        1. Tried this place for a slightly late lunch. I wasn't familiar with the "original" Dominion, but used to frequent taverns of that ilk; no doubt anyone who likes a classic Montreal tavern vibe will be let down. But taking it for what it is -- a modern upscale pub with a somewhat ambitious kitchen -- I think it's a welcome addition to the downtown.

          As for the food... while it wasn't outstanding (bearing in mind my sample size of one meal), I'd definitely go back. A perfect place for a pre- or post-movie nosh and/or cocktail, or to duck away from the crowds during a shopping trip.

          I ordered the fish version of the Ploughman's Lunch.

          From the good to the not so good: a fairly generous portion of good though not great smoked salmon; a large slice of rather pleasant fish terrine; a deviled egg (also available à la carte for a princely $4 a pop); blueberry preserves; a few pieces of good quality cheddar; some apple slices; decent but unremarkable tzatziki; and good bread.

          Then there were the mostly uninspired vegetables: a cold boiled fingerling potato (good with the tzatziki), some halved cherry tomatoes, a couple of radishes, and some carrot and celery sticks. All this might be just fine for some people, but I tend not to enjoy cold, raw veggies so too much of it went to waste.

          A decent, filling meal (it would have made a pretty substantial snack for 2), priced about right at $20 + tax/tip.

          Didn't study the wine list too closely, but it seemed thoughtfully chosen albeit a bit on the pricey side. There's also a wide selection of spirits.

          1. My friend really liked her blinis and pork sandwich (she is wanting take out in the future, if they do it, since her office is around the corner).
            My chicken stew was not the thick, gloppy kind but rather more like a soup, and a tasty one at that, with tender hunks of roast chicken.
            We both had the sticky toffee and we just licked the plates clean, sweet tooths that we are, though it was kinda like warm sticky dense muffins but oooooh, couldn't stop eating it.....!
            Love the old timey surroundings, high ceilings and bar.
            Waiter was pleasant and efficient.
            It's an ok fancy pub (with prices to match) that'll have to do since Brasserie Brunoise went away. *sigh*

            Brasserie Brunoise
            1012 Rue De la Montagne, Montreal, QC H3G, CA