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Taste MTL, suggestions?

  • c

I've recently moved back to Montreal from about a year in the USA and I'm looking at taste mtlmas a good way to get back into the city's restaurant scene.

Was hoping the hounds could make some suggestions on which rests are worth checking out. So far my only reservation is at Baxo.


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  1. I've booked at Brasserie T for sunday. I wanted 400 coup but that was already full by the time i learned about the event!

    Baxo menu looks awesome!

    3 Replies
    1. re: SourberryLily

      I went to Brasserie T! last night, and we absolutely loved the menu offered! Was fantastic, would recommend this resto for sure.

      Next Thursday we're going to 400 Coups, so looking forward to that one.

      1. re: kimberleyblue

        I went on Sunday and honestly, we were all underwhelmed. The portions were small and the sides weren't great on some of the plates (Two people ordered bavette and it just came with fries, one person ordered ribs i think and it came with a coleslaw). It was good food but for the price we paid and the reputation of the chef, i guess we expected more.

        1. re: SourberryLily

          Well this is Brasserie T!. Simple brasserie food but well done. First time I went I was disappointed like you, found it way too simple and was expecting more because of Toqué's reputation, but I enjoyed it a lot more the second time when I knew what to expect. Portions may have been smaller for the event though...

    2. They are mostly good.

      I'd try :

      La Chronique.
      5eme péché.

      1. the menus are up. most of the 19,29 dollar ones are very disappointing

        1 Reply
        1. re: catroast

          Ferreira had a nice 10pm $19 menu, but somehow, I guess they changed their mind because it's not posted anymore...

        2. Bocata has a $29 menu. The food was very good but the portions were itty bitty. If I had paid the regular price and walked out still hungry, as I did last night, I would not have been happy. The drinks are overpriced.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jptimbaud

            went to Decca77 last night, wasnt impressed. Food was decent but for some reason service was terrible. Waiter was nice but took 1 hr from the time we sat until we got our soups. Wouldnt recommend for taste montreal, thought its normally better.

            Going to carte blanche tomorrow, la chronique on tuesday and laloux on thursday. Can report back after.

          2. Went to La Chronique on Monday night (had been dying to go) for the TasteMtl event. Food was excellent (I chose the fish courses and my partner chose the duck), and dessert was absolutely sinful (clafouti and chocolate terrine). Wines by the glass were inspiring. Service was disappointing for the calibre of the restaurant. Ex. We had to hand them back our menus to make room on the table, ask for water when none was forthcoming. I don't expect the red carpet treatment, but let's just say that we will not be inspired to go back there...unless I get to eat in the kitchen.

            1. Just wondering: I reserved at Toqué. I`ve never been. It seems as though it's not making anyone's 'lists' of go-to places. Why? Am I missing something?

              17 Replies
              1. re: captain_vegetable

                The business and bourgeois crowd doesn't tend to hang out on this board. There are occasional reviews of Toque. I haven't seen one since the summer.

                1. re: catroast

                  So did I make the wrong choice of restos or just a more 'upscale' choice?

                  1. re: captain_vegetable

                    It's a fine choice
                    I've sometimes been disappointed by the popular suggestions made here

                    1. re: captain_vegetable

                      good choice; and at the price point, it's not a big loss if it does not please you.

                  2. re: captain_vegetable

                    IMO, Toqué! will not star at such an event ($39 meal); you might feel short-changed; I assume they have a limited menu with maybe not the usual fanfare; and wine prices will not be different.

                    I've had a great meal (2 years? time fiy) there, but it was a full priced tasting menu.

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      The menu looked pretty good to me. My guess is the portions may be miniscule. I noticed the high wine prices already - I'm more of a beer drinker, though, and am better at beer pairings than wine pairings. I expect the wait staff to think I'm cheap and unsophisticated. So be it.

                      1. re: captain_vegetable

                        I would expect the restaurant to be as professional for this event as they are normally.

                        I assume they know it is not their "regular" crowd, and might not sell as much wine as they usually do.

                        1. re: Maximilien

                          My husband and I have reservations for Toqué for tonight. On Tuesday night they left us a message asking us to call to confirm our reservation, specifically asking if it was for the Montréal à Table menu. I wondered why- either it's to make sure they have enough of the specific dishes for the special $39 menu on hand, or so they can assign us a table they wouldn't give to the high flyers!

                          1. re: cathystejuju

                            Hmmm . . . if you don't mind and have a chance, please post to let us know what happens at your dinner. My reservation is not until Saturday and if Toqué falls totally flat, I may want to change my reservation. Then again, even if it's meh, when else can I taste anything at that resto for under $40???

                            1. re: cathystejuju

                              It's both to control the amount of food for the Montreal a Table menu, as well as food of their regular menu in order to avoid waste of both food and money!

                              1. re: westaust

                                In my opinion, I think nobody is talking about Toqué because really early into the event, the tables were quickly all booked. So even if it is recommended, there is no point cuz you cannot get a table anyway....
                                I did manage to make a reservation, and really enjoyed my meal there. I had the artic char, the duck and the pumpkin dessert, all were exquisite. Because of the asian influence in both the appetizer and the main, which is a palette I'm used to, the meal did not "surprise" me, which was something I was hoping for. Nevertheless, they were executed beautifully so I would definitely keep the reservation.
                                I was seated next to a couple who took the regular tasting menu though, and their dishes look a-m-a-z-i-n-g. I would definitely come back for it when my wallet permits it :)

                                1. re: saltnpepperwhat

                                  In general, no one really talks about Toqué! because it is one of 3 or 4 high-end restaurants that most of us do not really go to, or go once or twice (like I did once).

                          2. re: captain_vegetable

                            I went to Toqué as planned. The meal was impeccable.

                            They served an amuse bouche, which was a surprise given that it was not written as included in the menu and, given the price paid for the meal, I didn't think there would be any add-ons.

                            Both my husband and I had the arctic char as an appetizer. It was beautiful - cooked so that there was a crisp on the outside but succulent inside, with a maple sauce. It was served with delicious brussel sprouts and cauliflower, a puree (I forget what was in it) and a touch of hot sauce. It was good enough that I joked about stealing other people's fish apps and making a run for it.

                            Next, I had the pasta dish, which was cooked with all things creamy and mushrooms. It was good enough that I used the bread to wipe my plate clean. My husband had the duck 2 ways. It was the best duck he had ever had. It was served with a bowl of mashed potatoes that was more butter and cream than potato.

                            About beer - I learned an important lesson - when food is this good, if you want to get alcohol, just order the recommended wine pairing. It's recommended for a reason. We foolishly ordered beer and only drank it between courses, when it wouldn't ruin the taste of the food. We then ordered the recommended wines with desserts. They were worth the extra cost.

                            For dessert, I had a squash mousse which contained small pieces of something that tasted like lemon sponge cake, and was served with a squash ice cream. It was different, not too sweet, and all around delicious. My husband had an apple-almond cake with maple ice cream. He liked my dessert more than his.

                            We then ordered cappuccinos and were given two chocolate orange macarons each. They were an amazing ending to an amazing meal.

                            All in all, for $70 each (including food, alcohol and tax, not including tip), we had a fantastic meal, ended up being totally stuffed and happy (part way through the meal we discovered that we could not stop smiling), and will likely end up going back to Toqué when money permits.

                            Mission accomplished Taste MTL!

                            1. re: captain_vegetable

                              great report, I think toque is montreal`s best kept secret, gets so little mention, but new book coverage by the chef owner put it back on my radar. Now that squash ice cream and mousse has me intrigued! I love squash but never thought of it for dessert unless its pumpkin cousin was used in a pie.
                              This new event is turning out to be quite a success, I heard spokesperson for tourism montreal saying they were astounded by positive response from restauranteurs, nobody refused or showed disinterest and they plan to make it an annual event which is a big plus for everybody the restaurants, tourists but most of all montrealers who love to eat out and try new places

                              1. re: captain_vegetable

                                The side with the cavatelli was a mousse of potatos, not mashed. Very light and airy. I think the puree with the char was miso.
                                You forgot to mention the best part of the duck dish: two crispy beet chips. Delicious.

                                I had the quail appetizer and it was excellent. crunch on the outside but perfectly cooked on the inside. The sauce had tons of black garlic in it. The quail was served on a bed of eggplant caviar and a slice of fried bread. It was topped with a puree of sunchokes. The eggplant/bread was ok, but the sunchoke/quail pairing was excellent. Certainly something I will try to replicate at home.
                                The cake in your dessert was introduced to us as a sponge cake. Like you said, delicious. I really liked the fact that it was not sweet. And, I loved the sunflower seeds with the whitechocolate mousse. I did not enjoy the hydromel served with the almond cake and maldon salt dessert, but my husband loved it.
                                DH ordered one of their cocktails and it was delicious (it had verjus in it!).

                                The food was excellent, our waiter was so excited about the wines and loved to chat about their taste and provenance.

                                The only thing I did not like was that the bread was pretty cold.

                                You were right about the amuse, it was such a nice surprise. I don't know if you got the same thing, but we got slices of yellow apples with curry, salt and argan oil. This is my first time trying argan oil, and I am really excited about it.

                        2. I went to Les 400 Coups last night and the meal was outstanding! I'm not a big liver fan, so the veal liver main wasn't my favourite, but the arctic char was simple and stunning.

                          My absolute favourite dish was the litchi granité for dessert.

                          We cannot wait to go back here and enjoy more dishes off their menu (particularly excited about trying their sweetbreads!)

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kimberleyblue

                            I too was at 400 coups last night and was blown away. I'll post my full impressions along with my other six TasteMTL meal reviews at the end of this week, but so far its been the clear star of the event.