MONTREAL HIGH LIGHTS Festival - Festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE 2012
Did not yet see a thread for this year's edition. If there is, I apologize for the redundancy.
Went to Osco! for the meal from Belgian chef Luc Broutard, a master of meats (according to the press bio). Quite dissappointing.
First off, our table was not yet ready. So we went to the adjacent bar (it's in the Intercontinental Hotel, Sarah B. an Absint bar). Possibly worst bartenders ever. They had no idea how to mix/make drinks. Our group ordered classics like Tom Collins, Manhattan, Bloody Ceasar, Old Fashioned. Even a simple Gin & Tonic they messed up. they used dry white vermouth in the Manhattan, lime and lemon in the old fashioned, etc. At $14 / drink I was not impressed. But OK, it's a hotel bar, we should know better and we were not there for the cocktails.
The meal started of promising with cold sliced veal tongue, museau de veau (veal nose) and foi gras with chutney. Then a big ravioli with mushrooms and lobster. Great flavours here too, especially the foamy bisque de homard packed a punch. Then a veal rib steak. The meat was perfectly cooked, but it was accompanied by half an endive and and tiny spring carrot and pommes de terre darphin (I would just call this rosti). The rosti was burned, the carrot was oversalted. It wasn't bad, there was just not a lot going on. No special sauce, nothing really interesting. Dessert was a big profiterole with ice cream, chocolate sauce and some grilled almond slivers and creme chantilly. The profiteole was rock-hard. We had no knife for this and it was hard to cut through it with a spoon.
We were not offered coffee or tea.
We did not go for wine pairing. That is to say, our party of 6 shared a bottle of white and red wine that were proposed with the menu as opposed to paying the price per glass. The wine was OK. (a rose from Cote du Gascogne, Steak House red from Washington, Columbia River Valley)
It was supposed to be sold out, the restaurant was still half empty when we left around 9pm. On our way out, a waitress asked if we wanted to a poster with us from the chef with the menu of his Belgian restaurant printed at the back. They were desperate to give them away.
This was my first High Lights meal, I was expecting a little more interaction about the guest chef.
I thought about going to this event but saw it was sold out on the event site. I guess it is a good thing I didn't call the restaurant. I went to "Belgium Meets Montreal" at La Chronique on the 17th and thought it was ok. The food was good and service friendly, but I just found they did a poor job at explaining the Belgium connection.
Went to a Montreal en Lumière lunch at Cocagne on Feb 17th, where they offered a 3 course lunch for 30$ a head. We were disappointed to see that the menu they offered was the exact same menu they have after 9:30PM for 20$ for two courses, so for the extra 10$ you basically get a dessert. Food was quite good, service was friendly but a bit confused. Won't be going back next year though...
I really enjoyed the $12.50 lunch deals at international themed restos, have also done this in past and never been disappointed, not haut cuisine but delicious meals.