French

la fabrique bistrot

My Montreal friend took us to eat at la fabrique bistrot. The decor is very rustic. The center of the restaurant is the open kitchen so if you’re lucky and your table is close to the kitchen you can watch the chefs at work.  Our waitress was very friendly and patient. She was able to answer our questions about the menu. I was indecisive between the 2 terrines and the rabbit main. In the end, I decided to get the Quebec’s melted cheese terrine ($15). My university friend got Pig and some more ($9). My other friend got the aged grilled beef sirloin steak ($32). After we ordered, we were given bread in a pail, pickles in a jar and cheese spread. I found the pickles to be quite good.

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do you want Pig and some more?

do you want Pig and some more?

Pig and some more is a terrine. The pork terrine is on top of a thick slice of bread and is served with a side of carrots and arugula. My friend enjoyed it. I thought it was alright.

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The Quebec’s melted cheese, proscuitto, apple marmalade, mustard seed terrine is proscuitto between 2 layers of melted cheese on top of a thick slice of bread with arugula and apple marmalade with mustard seed on the side. I found it quite delicious. My friends liked it as well. I found it very filling as well since I was only able to finish the cheese terrine and I had the arugula for leftovers.

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The aged grilled beef sirloin steak is marinated with red wine. It comes with a side of potatoes, onions, endive, arugula, celery and root vegetables. My friend had it grilled to medium rare and it was done exactly to the medium rare degree. My friend thought it was good but not spectacular. We thought it was interesting that the steak was served in a large bowl rather than on a plate.

If I come here again when I’m in Montreal, I’m tempted to try their rabbit main.

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Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, French, Montreal, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winterlicious: Cafe Boulud

My elementary school friend and I decided to go to Cafe Boulud for dinner this past Wednesday. At first we were going to go to Nota Bene but my friend’s colleagues were raving about Cafe Boulud so we decided to change the restaurant. Cafe Boulud is located on the second floor of the Four Seasons Hotel at Bay and Yorkville. It’s very fancy so dress appropriately. We had reservations at 7:45pm however the restaurant was running late so we had to wait for a table.

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We were given a bread basket with butter when we sat down. My friend liked the bread whereas I wasn’t a fan of it. I much prefer the bread at bb33 bistro and brasserie. My friend and I both ordered the Seared Albacore Tuna for the appetizer and the Caramelized Pear Sundae for dessert. My friend had the Grilled Mackerel while I got the Roasted Lamb Shoulder.

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While we were waiting for our food, we were given caviar on top of yogurt and shrimp cracker which were compliments of the chef. My friend didn’t like it while I thought it was alright.

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The seared albacore tuna includes iceberg lettuce, citrus confit, blood orange, and buddha’s hand. It was delicious. My friend liked how the appetizer has sweet accents to it.

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The grilled mackerel has wheat berries, smoked paprika and mussel escabeche. The mussel escabeche was quite tasty. My friend thought it was slightly salty albeit delicious.

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The roasted lamb shoulder also has pommes boulanger, heirloom carrot, and parsley root in natural jus. I found it abit too salty for my tastes. While it was quite tasty, I ate it with bread to help dilute the saltiness.

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The caramelized pear sundae includes anise tuile, caramel sauce, whipped cream and calvados ice cream. Calvados is an apple brandy from Normandy. My friend was debating between the Chocolate Gateaux and the pear sundae while I was debating between the pear sundae and the Coffee & Cardamom Sundae. Our server said that we couldn’t go wrong with any of the desserts. My friend went with the pear sundae when the server said that the cake was rectangular and the portion was small. The people at the table next to us had the chocolate cake and coffee & cardamom sundae. The chocolate cake is a similar size to the single serving mini-cakes found at a grocery store’s bakery. The chocolate cake comes with a scoop of pecan bourbon ice cream. The coffee & cardamom sundae looked like a combination of chocolate and coffee. It made me wish that I could order two desserts rather than having to make a choice.

Overall, while Cafe Boulud is pricy at $45 + tax and tip for a Winterlicious dinner; it’s worth it for the dessert and appetizer.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Downtown Toronto, Food, Food Festival, French, Italian, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winterlicious: bb33 bistro and brasserie

My university friend and I went to have dinner at bb33 bistro and brasserie. It’s located inside the Eaton Chelsea Hotel on 33 Gerrard St. W. It’s currently slightly hard to find just because of all the construction going on in the area. The decor was interesting while the service was very friendly. We sat near the bar so I noticed that they served Sleeman and Ephemere Apple Beer on tap. My friend likes how they have really gigantic bottles of wine in the niches of the wall by the bar. The Winterlicious dinner is $35 + tax and tip. My friend and I both got the duo of pork and duck rillettes for the appetizers. My friend had the spaghetti with shrimp, kale and roquette while I had the Riesling-braised osso buco. For dessert, my friend and I both got the Chelsea bread pudding. We both also had a glass of Ephemere beer ($7).

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When we first sat down we were given a glass of water and a plate of bread with choices of butter, balsamic vinegar/olive oil and this other dipping sauce. My friend first tried it and told me that it was slightly spicy. When I tried it, it had a spicy kick to it. We both agreed that it was some type of oil and somehow it was also spicy. I decided to ask our server about it and we were informed that it was chili oil. This is the first time I had bead with chili oil. It’s ingenious and it’s just as good as olive oil and balsamic vinegar with bread. It’s a very good combination if you can handle the heat.

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The Duo of Pork and Duck Rillettes is pork or duck on toast croûtes and it was garnished with Fleur de sel, pear and roasted garlic chutney, radish and roquette. It was very delicious for a bite sized appetizer.

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My friend enjoyed her spaghetti with shrimp, kale and roquette. The spaghetti with shrimp, kale and roquette is garnished with butter toasted panko, lemon zest and parmesan reggiano while it sits on top of a pappadum crisp. The papadum crisp has a spicy kick to it.

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I enjoyed the Riesling-Braised Osso Buco which was garnished with Kerr Farm tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and garlic while lying on top of the Israeli couscous risotto. The osso buco is tender, juicy and abit fatty.

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At first I wanted to know what exactly was the Lemon Brûlée Tartlet however I was informed that it was sold out so I decided to go with the Classic Chelsea Bread Pudding. The classic Chelsea bread pudding comes with English custard sauce and 3 raspberries. My friend didn’t think it looked like bread pudding and thought it was quite fusion.

Overall, I would recommend this place. The food quality is superb while service is very friendly.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Downtown Toronto, Food, Food Festival, French, Italian, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La Banquise

I couldn’t leave Montreal without eating poutine there during my trip so I walked to La Banquise for a late night meal prior to taking the bus back to Toronto. La Banquise is open 24/7. When I got there, the restaurant wasn’t too busy considering that it was Action de Grace (Thanksgiving holiday). I ordered the 3 amigos poutine ($10.06 including tax).

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The 3 amigos poutine is comprised of fries, gravy, cheese curds, hotdog sausages, pork&beef sausages and merguez sausages. It was quite good. I really liked the chunks of cheese curds, pork&beef sausages and merguez sausages. The fries were soft. Overall, if you’re craving poutine and it’s late at night in Montreal, I’d recommend this place for you for the variety of poutine and the fact that it’s open 24/7.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, French, Montreal, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patisserie Rhubarbe

My foodie friend also recommended me to go to Patisserie Rhubarbe for their mille feuille. I got slightly lost trying to find the place but this nice guy basically lead me there when I asked him for directions. Coincidentally, he was going to Patisserie Rhubarbe as well to pick up his order. When I arrived there, they were sold out of mille feuille. I decided to get their panna cotta ($4.5) and verveine macaron ($1.25).

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The decor is rustic and it’s a very small patisserie. There are several tables for you to sit and enjoy their pastries and drinks. The people working there are very nice and friendly. It’s on a side street in a quaint residential neighbourhood so if you don’t know the neighbourhood, it’s slightly hard to find. The verveine macaron is ok. It’s not as good as other macarons that I had in Toronto although it’s definitely the cheapest macaron I’ve eaten. The verveine macaron has a lemony mint kind of taste.

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The panna cotta was quite delicious and creamy. I was unable to finish it so I got it as take out for tomorrow’s breakfast. The next time I’m in Montreal, I’ll come back for their pot chocolat (they use dark chocolate) and mille feuille.

 

Categories: Bakery/Patisserie, Canada, Cuisine, Food, French, Italian, Montreal, Restaurant Review, Western | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Au Pied de Cochon

My foodie friend and I ate at Au Pied de Cochon on Saturday for dinner. We had reservations at 5pm. My friend made the reservations on September 25, a mere 2.5 weeks before my trip to Montreal. He said that I was very lucky that he was able to get us reservations on such short notice. At first we wanted to eat at Joe Beef or Liverpool House but they were fully booked the entire Action de Grace long weekend.

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We ordered Duck in a Can ($43) and Happy Pork Chops ($25).  We were also given a loaf of bread and some butter. The loaf of bread was quite delicious. The outside was crispy and crunchy but the inside was soft and chewy, exactly how I prefer French bread.

Duck in a Can

Duck in a Can

Duck in a Can consists of a slice of bread, half of a breast, foie gras, iced balsamic meat, buttered cabbage, head of a roasted garlic and 2 sprigs of thyme. Foie gras is literally translated as fat liver. It was absolutely scrumptious! My friend and I loved it.

Happy Pork Chops

Happy Pork Chops

Happy Pork Chops consists of onions, pork chop and mushrooms. It was delicious! The meat was very tender and juicy. My friend and I loved it as well. My friend was still hungry after finishing these two dishes while I was pleasantly full. I thought that we would have leftovers because of the online reviews that I read. He tried to convince me to order the foie gras poutine but I wanted to try the poutine at La Banquise instead. Overall, I would come back to this restaurant again but it’s definitely a once a year kind of restaurant.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, French, Montreal, Restaurant Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Brasserie T!

I wanted to try Normandy cuisine and Anthony Bourdain ate at the restaurant so I had gone to Brasserie T! with some people I just met from the Free Old Montreal Walking Tour. We went there on Saturday after the Free Old Montreal Walking Tour (2 hours from 10am-noon) for lunch. By the time we arrived it was after 1pm. My foodie friend from Montreal had reservations for the two of us at 5pm so I knew that my lunch had to be light. I debated between ordering Duck Rillettes (charcuteries) or Paris Brest (dessert). In the end, I ordered Duck Rillettes ($11.50 including tax).

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Brasserie T! is a restaurant that’s located on the sidewalk. It’s very rectangular and the decor is very modern. It’s quite refreshing compared to the traditional restaurants you can easily find anywhere. Brasserie T! like Toque places high importance on food quality. They gave our group of five three plates of bread. My plate of bread was crunchy while another plate of bread wasn’t crunchy.

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The Duck Rillettes was good. It’s like a pate. The dish consists of a duck pate and bread. It came with a side jar of pickles. The bread and pickles were crunchy. The duck pate was delicious.

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Overall, I would come back again. Next time I would try their tartare and Paris Brest.

Categories: Canada, Cuisine, Food, French, Montreal, Restaurant Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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