TUCK SHOP ON NOTRE-DAME STREET
- BlueSteak Jul 12, 2010 06:44 AM
Heard about this place,
Heard good things,
I went last week and was very impressed with their operation.
It feels like they've been open for much longer than they actually have. These guys are the real deal, people who actually care about the food they're putting on your plate. The meat and fish were cooked exactly right (though my octopus was a bit cold). Service was prompt and professional, while still maintaining the laid-back neighborhood feeling that makes you want to be a regular.
It'll be interesting to see if they can do for their location what Joe Beef did for their hood when they opened. If they manage to get passed the first year, I'm pretty sure it will become a destination restaurant and a hub around which other places will open
Sounds great... we could use some more good meal options in the hood!
N.D. and Courcelle is kind of a dumpy corner though... what's the atmosphere of this place and price range? I heard it was the people from Monkland Taverne that are behind this, but to be honest that place has always struck me as severely mediocre. More of a neighborhood dinner destination for patrons lacking creativity or drive to venture out... Is this going to be the same thing for the Hen? How does the food and menu compare?
It is kind of a dumpy corner, although it's close to Cartier Park and Caffè Mariani, some of the nicer places in that area.
Dunno if the Tavern people are behind it, but the menu is decidedly different -- not at all pasta-driven. I actually like Tavern (Monkland and Westmount) for what it is, a neighbourhood dinner destination, but Tuck Shop is definitely more up-scale. I've only been the one time, but it would seem that the menu changes daily (they didn't even have menus or a blackboard; servers would recite the options to you on demand).
I think the menu (and prices) can be compared to what you'd get at Salle à Manger, give or take an appetizer or two.
All in all, I really enjoyed it and plan on going back soon.
Thanks, I'll definitely give it a shot this summer!
For what it's worth, I do think the food at Tavern in Westmount is great (the one in the Square)... I eat there often on a whim when I haven't given advanced dinner plans much thought, and always leave satisfied. I just think the Monkland resto is overpriced, overcrowded and really not all that great.
I'm looking forward to giving Tuck a try though and I really do hope that it'll be great because I've been living in the neighborhood for nearly 10 years now and save the market and a couple of places east of Atwater on N.D., the foodie scene is really lacking! It'd be so convenient to have a couple of really GOOD dinner options only a few blocks from home for those lazy nights...
I went in its first week of being open. Got to say the place has a lot of potential. Nice market menu, interesting wine selections, great ambiance and friendly service. Some things on the menu were much better than others (very important they've got to spruce up their tuck shop salad, very lacking).
Agreed that the neighborhood is rather 'interesting.' We had a window seat, and by the time we were finishing up our meal there were some hookers who kept walking by. Yet very convenient for those of us who live in the West end, so I'll be going back.
I live nearby and crashed one of their many "soft launch" openings. Agree with all comments - they should be able to skip the typical growing pains. Great staff. The guy running the joint is indeed (formerly?) of Tavern. We ordered two different fish dishes, both perfectly cooked amid a very busy kitchen (full house that night). Another patron gave us a try of his ribs - these were exceptional.
I live just around the corner and was excited to go to this restaurant, and although the food was good, it wasn't as good as I expected....fairly average. There was nothing that made me go...yummm! But there was nothing that wasn't good either. The kind of place I will go to because it is close, but wouldn't travel to get to. It was a very trendy crowd. Service was very good, and the ambience and decor worked also.
Tuck Shop has been catering lunches at my office for months now, long before they had a publicised location. It's always been delicious. They've adopted a variety of themes and cuisines and have always satisfied and impressed me. Tasty and creative cooking.
Tried this one for the first time over the weekend and it's a bit of a mixed bag. The food was very good but the service was definitely a bit all over the place.
First, the food. My friend and I started had the soup of the day (mulligatawany) and the jerk hen respectively. Both were outstanding. The soup was very nice for a cold evening, and the jerk hen was perfection -- tender, a very nice amount of heat and beautifully cooked.
The mains were good, though not outstanding. I had the organic salmon, served asian style with shrimp dumplings. The broth and salmon were great, very good. The dumplings were less exciting and seemed overdone, slightly hard instead of soft and pillowy, and the amount of shrimp inside was small. My friend had the steak frites and it was very good, but nothing you couldn't find anywhere else and the sear seemed to be done at too high a temperature leaving the outside slightly burnt.
The desserts were just ok. Apple pie and pecan pie and they were nothing special (and by the time they arrived, lukewarm at best).
The service was definitely lacking. Long waits between courses and we were only visited once during the meal (a way too long 2 hours) to ask how things were. During dessert, we got our coffees and then waited about ten to fiteen more minutes for our dessert only to find one them was wrong (at the table beside us, one of the diners during their appetizers accidentally got a used spoon, complete with dried food on it, for their soup. They were not impressed.)
Timing overall seemed to be an issue, particularly as the night got busier. You got the impression they needed at least one more waiter/waitress to even things out. Our busboy, oddly enough, was fantastic. We asked him to pack the remainder of our mains to go and he was overjoyed to do it, very friendly and personable. They should seriously consider making him a waiter.
The overall consensus upon leaving was that for its location -- middle of nowhere St. Henri -- it hasn't quite earned its spot as a destination restaurant. It's very good, but if were spending the same money, there are a number of other restaurants that we'd go to first. That said, we will definitely give it another try and the service issue may just be growing pains but Tuck Shop is not quite ready to be among the top restos in Montreal, but it's a good start. More attentive service and some much better desserts would definitely help.
I went to Tuck Shop on a Wednesday night and after wandering the deserted streets of St-Henri was very happy to find it packed and busy. I had the harvest salad which was a large portion of little diced roasted vegetables on arugala with prosciutto and parmesan. Followed that with magret de canard on a bed of sweet potato, cabbage, pomegranate and fennel spatzle. I was excited about the spatzle but had hard time distinguishing it from the cabbage. Still, the duck was flawless and it was delicious, if a bit reminiscent of my appetizer due to the roasted veggies. My friends had halibut in broth with seafood and seemed happy about it. The halibut was nicely seared, might have been nice to be offered some bread with the soup. We also had some very good Argentinian Malbec and skipped dessert as it was late by the time we left. Service was good. There may have been a lull between the salad and the mains but as it was so crowded and we were all chatting a lot we didn't really notice. The room is very noisy, perhaps because of the subway tile acoustics? And the music selection that evening was eclectic enough to keep everyone amused. So all in all a good time, and super handy for my friends who live in St-Henri or nearby in NDG.