HOME > Chowhound > Quebec (inc. Montreal) >



Fiddleheads are in season! Which restaurants serve them in Montreal? How are they best prepared by these restaurants?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. when I bought some at Atwater market last year, the vendor told me to keep it simple. Just rinse well--like soak them for a few minutes in clean cold water--then drain them, and stir-fry them in some good olive oil, in which maybe you've also done some chopped garlic. Salt and pepper, maybe some herbs, Pierre's your uncle!

    1. just like bakersdelight said.

      I boil/blanch them, and serve with olive oil and salt and a little bit of lemon.

      1. Actually, I've never seen them served in a restaurant.
        If I wanted fiddleheads, I'd have to pick 'em myself, seems only recently they've gone mainstream to be found in various markets ($3-$5/lb). Also "season" is relative; when these puppies sprout, you have about a week before they're ferns. Pickers keep 'em refrigerated for the season.

        5 Replies
        1. re: porker

          you used to be able to find fiddleheads in frozen section of grocery stores in other provinces which was handy for those who dont get to the markets but I havent seen them in frozen packages anymore. I have never seen them in restaurants, are they in short supply is that why you have to hunt for sources...

          1. re: wilmagrace

            My guess is that no, they are not in short supply.
            I think their intense, short season is to blame for a few things. If you want fresh, never refrigerated fiddleheads, theres only a small window and if you miss it they're gone. Even then, being a non-cultivated item makes harvesting and widespread distribution and availibility difficult.
            For the frozen product, maybe its a case of supply and demand?
            Actually I saw them for sale at a Maxi last night, of all places. Didn't look very good or fresh though.

            1. re: porker

              I was surprised to find them in the "Giant meatball" dish at Kazu.

              1. re: FoodNovice

                Ok, you HAVE to describe that Giant Meatball.

          2. re: porker

            "Actually, I've never seen them served in a restaurant. "

            They were on the lunch menu (with morels) at the Sparrow about a week/10 days ago.

            I've also had them at Les Infidèles and (possibly, if memory serves) Bleu Raisin.

          3. I had an amazing fiddlehead and mango at Le Tour Du Chef on Park last week.

            1. Was at Piment Rouge last night and they had fiddleheads! They’re good at featuring seasonal produce and market seafood for daily specials. Per the manager, fiddleheads are called Jue Cai (蕨菜) in Chinese and they harvest several types of fiddleheads in the mountainous regions of China – Yunnan, Sichuan, etc. They offered it wok-tossed with several choices: with scallions and ginger only, or you can also add your choice of seafood (shrimp, scallops, abalone, fresh lobster, sea bass fillets or a combination). I chose scallions and ginger only - pic from my cellphone attached. It was delicious – lightly salted, crunchy, and you could still taste the grassy/green flavours of the fiddleheads with the ginger and scallions. They are renovating the restaurant, so we were seated in their banquet room - not as nice as the main dining room and service was on the slow side probably due to the longer distance to their kitchen, but the food was very good as usual. Curiosity got the better of me on my way out, so I took a peek in the main dining room – heavy construction zone... looks like a major upgrade is in the works.

              1. Also, saw some at Atwater Market this morning. I cook them like Maximilien does, but instead of lemon, I use a small amount of balsamic vinegar.

                1. They played a supporting role in several dishes at MAS Cuisine earlier this week.

                  In previous springs, they've showed up at nearly every French market-driven neighbourhood bistro/restro (Bistro Bienville, Au Cinquième Péché, Cocagne, Oliveri, Cuisine et Dépendance, Le Bleu Raisin, etc.), though I don't recall any place that puts them in a starring role. And based on a tour of Jean Talon Market this afternoon, I'd guess that the season is fast approaching its end. On the other hand, the local asparagus are gorgeous.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: carswell

                    In order to prolong enjoying fiddleheads, I have found that pickling them is a good way to extend the short harvest season. Just a basic pickling brine poured over the heads in a canning jar with whatever spices you fancy. Presently I have one jar that is dill based and another jar of oregano/serrano.
                    Fiddleheeads take most seasonings very well. They keep well in the fridge for an extended period. Being form upstate New York, our season has passed, but perhaps north of the border you folks can stiil procure some before they're gone. Give it a try!

                    1. re: teflontom

                      saw fiddleheads in 5 saisons on bernard, outremont today but no longer freshlooking, really is a short season you have to be quick to purchase or frequent restaurants during this time of year to enjoy them

                  2. Hi folks, if you'd like to discuss how best to prepare fiddleheads for eating, please start a new thread on Home Cooking and feel free to add a pointer here. Thanks!

                    1. I had fiddleheads (tetes du violin) this past weekend at L'Express, and almost passed them by until I asked for something green to go with the steak frites.. They were very delicate and I think slightly over-cooked, when I make them at home I make them a little more al dente. L'Express served them with cubed ham bits and mushrooms in a cream sauce, which seemed to be loosened from the juice from the fiddleheads. I think a little does of heavy cream would not have harmed the dish.

                      L'Express Restaurant
                      3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2W2M4, CA