Monday, May 22, 2017

Aloha café

How cute does that sound? Who wouldn't want to go to Aloha Café? I went last week with my coworker who likes all things Hawaiian and possibly related to surfing (like September Surf Café for example  http://www.eatingoutmontreal.com/2016/05/september-surf-cafe.html) to see what this place was about.
You literally feel like you're in another world when you get inside: bright wallpaper with red flowers, wooden everything, colours and more colours. There's no way you can feel sad, or mad, or bad, when you step foot inside Aloha Café. Even the name should make you smile! We would have liked more surf-y music, if that is a thing; it was a bit too much on the chill side. Their wallpaper is ON POINT: very islandy!
I'm always inclined to get hot chocolate in new cafés because I tell myself that hey, if they are coffee experts, they must also care about their hot chocolate. Sometimes, I am wrong. It wasn't hot enough (hello, it's in the title), it had a nice foam goin' but not enough flavour. All in all, a bit disappointing.
Carrot and ginger soup. I love that mix! It could have been hotter and there could have been less herbes de provence. It was a bit overpowering. Still one of my fave mix of flavours though.
Volcano sandwich. They make their own focaccia, which is pretty freaking awesome, if you ask me. It was a cloud-like bread. This is le top du top: a bread you can float on. I swear I didn't take any hallucinogens. So soft and lovely and fresh. YUM! This sandwich had porchetta, caper aioli, grilled eggplant and zucchini, and arugula. A nice little mix o' flavas. This sandwich was niiiiice. I would have liked more aioli because I'm just a sucker for garlicky things, as you may know. I also didn't really taste the capers in the aioli. I absolutely loved the grilled veggies and the meat was fatty and delicious and there was lots of it! A sandwich hit!
Waikiki sandwich. First of, best name ever: 'I'll have the Waikiki please'. Man, that sounds awesome. It was a bit on the wtf side o' things: sardines, hard boiled egg, capers and fine herbs. It was...weird. The anchovies and eggs were a mix that I'm not used to and there was too much dill in there. On the good side of things, the egg was marinated and that was f*ckin' awesome. The sandwich was a bit on the dry side compared to the other one. Not as much of a hit.
We just HAD to share the matcha croissant. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!! That's actually why I wanted to go there in the first place! So basically, you gots a green croissant...It looks a bit bizarre but soon you don't really care because it's IN YO MOUTH. It has a praline mousse with matcha with most likely some kind of food coloring because it was as green as well watered grass (wow, what a comparison) . The paste (or mousse if you prefer) was thick and the croissant, fresh and tasty. It was very yummy, as the experts put it, but the matcha wasn't present enough. I guess that might be a good thing...'I'll have a tea croissant please'. Ya, it IS strange. It was still good tho. Croissants are ALWAYS good. Always.

Service was not so super. We were rather disappointed, actually. It is a new establishment and they should really get their act together! I feel like a teacher telling a student they did something bad. But seriously. On top of it, they were no less than about 6 people working there with about 6 patrons. AND 'our' girl just talked to a friend for the better part of our visit. We had to ask for water and YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT THAT. Also, no one asked if we liked our food OR if we would like to order anything else after having finished our meal. You are there to make money, people...act like it! This is no way to run a business. OK, I feel like I'm being a bit (a lot) harsh... but it's for your own good :)

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 6

If I go back, it'll be for that sandwich.

Aloha Espresso Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, May 19, 2017

Ruff Haus

Ruff Haus is the new dog café in Verdun (so new that they don't have a real sign yet...). I happen to be good friends with the owner of the first one in Montreal, Le Doggy Café, so it was great to be able to compare them. I loves me a good resto comparison. I strive on it. I live for it. I'm totally exaggerating. Big time.

Ruff Haus is located in the old Jo Blo, which had a very eclectic décor. Well, you know what? Ruff Haus kept the EXACT same décor. Jo Blo was somewhat of a steak house with very dark walls (some might call them black), big couches, two life size horses with stuff written on them like the name of the old restaurant, and frames on the walls of pin up girls and what have you. The only dogs on the wall were at the front and they were, well, ugly. I'm sorry, I don't like ALL dogs and they were those small dogs that just do nothing, you know! Anyhoot, needless to say that this wasn't my most liked decorated place.
They have a liquor license, by the way, which they probably also kept from Jo blo, hehehe. I'm kidding, you can't do that! Oh and I must mention that it was written on their facebook page AND on google that they were opening at 10am but they ended up changing it to noon. Lucky me, I passed by after gym, saw it was still closed at 10h30am and called closer to noon when someone picked up. When I got there, at least 4 or 5 people were waiting up front. Not cool. 
Comparison to be made: at Le Doggy Café, dogs can roam around freely, they can make new doggy buddies and frolic around like it's 1999. In this resto, dogs have to be kept on a leash, which makes things a tad less exciting. I thought this was about laws and licenses and what not but my friend told me it's a choice! What fun is it for a dog to be amongst other dogs if they can't play together? What was nice though is that as soon as you sit down, they bring a little bowl of water for the doggies. We were there for a while and they never asked once if the dogs should go outside to pee. Actually, we saw them pick up the pee of a couple dogs. It happens, I know. It would happen less if they would mention the outdoor peeing.
Their menu is all over the place. I'm talking like Italian meets Korean, or Chinese meets Caribbean. Ya, ALL over the place! Example: they have an item on the menu that comprises of fried chicken and waffles AND mac n' cheese. What? They have bagels, they have crepes, they have the popular avocado-on-toast and then they have lentil soup, hummus, corn dogs and sides of marinade, extra veggies, extra fruits, and smoked meat? I just don't get it. I had an even weirder dish...
Polenta with a poached egg, ham, cheese and red pepper coulis. Weird sounding, right? Right. There were some crunchy parsnips on top which were sweet but a tad over fried. Parsnips are SO in right now. The egg was perfect. I loves me a perfectly seasoned egg! The coulis was a bit grainy although it strangely went well with the rest of the dish. The polenta was a PLENTY. Dsamn! I swear, this is how it went down: 1st guy: 'How much polenta should we put on the plate?' 2nd guy: 'THIS much.' 1st guy: 'A tower of polenta it is then!' Ya, a tower. I swear it was 6 inches high. And by 'I swear', I mean 'around' 6 inches. The polenta was cheesy and crunchy on the edges but there was just too much of it! On the other hand, there wasn't nearly enough ham. There were only tiny little pieces of it. Meh.
Service was good. They checked on us, they brought us AND the dogs water and they were patient enough to wait for us to order because we were waiting for a friend.
And now, the scores!
Food: 7
Service: 8
Obviously, I'm biased (and damn it, I tried not to be!) but I'll go back to Le Doggy Café before I return to Ruff Haus.

 Ruff Haus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Libertine Bakehouse

Sometimes, you just gots to treat yoself. Am I right? Oh, I am! Libertine Bakehouse is the new kid on the block when it comes to pastries so I just HAD to go. Plus, luckily (AND unluckily) for me, they are located only a hop and a skip away from my place. I HATE having great desserts at such close proximity. So after lunch one day, Em and I went to dessert heaven.

Ah, dessert heaven, a place where you want to go all the time and where everything smells and tastes so good you want to lick the counters. And the walls. And maybe the employees? I mean, they must have chocolate dust SOMEWHERE on them, no? The answer is yes.
This place is supa cute: white on white, a big table in the middle (for those big studying days that necessitate sugar) and a big skull with a cherry on top; their mascot, if you will.

We were there to eat dessert but FYI, they also serve up some salty treats/meals! Yaassss! Their display just looks freaking AMAZING. It took us a whhhhile to choose what we were going to eat (aka pig out on) SO we ended up having half of their inventory. I'm only slightly kidding: we chose two desserts each. What? I needed to review more than one dessert! Imma blame it on the review.
Le brownie. Also known as the least good lookin' dessert. But that dson't mean it wasn't good! Fleur de sel was concentrated mainly in the middle which was a hella nice surprise. Biting into it, it was crunchy and then soft and then, well, it gets... personal :p
The chocolate mousse. I'm a big chocolate mousse lovah. Like a big one. My fave used to be Juliette et Chocolat's but since our fall out many years ago (leaving that job after having the worst training and working with the worst bosses), I hadn't found a good replacement. Well, ladies and gentlemen, the replacement has been found. This mousse was, let me find the perfect adjectives here... heavenly, uber soft, heavenly. Wait, did I write that twice? Yes, I believe I did. The biscuit that was right under was just as perfect: crunchy and not stale at all. A fresh cookie if you will. I'm actually on my way there right now to eat one again. Of course I'm kidding, f*ck. I wish I could go right now/be able to eat as much sugar as I want to without gaining 100 pounds.
The chocolate/miso éclair. What? I'm sorry, what? Excuse me, whaaaaat? Ya, that was my reaction. It wasn't a miso explosion, which was great because that would've been whhheird. The filling tasted of chocolate and hazelnut with a hint of miso. The contrast between the crunch of the hazelnuts and the smoothness of the cream was great! Oh AND there was f*cking caramel in there. Whaaaaat! Caramel and I: a love story. Fo serious yo!
The St-Honoré: I present to you the most good looking dessert I've ever dared to eat. It was hard to ruin this beautiful, complex looking, great smelling, golden leafed pastry. DANG. Wow! It literally took us 4 minutes trying to see how we could eat it without f*cking it all up. Sh*t I'm swearing a lot today. The level of swearing is proportional to the deliciousness of these desserts. This is the pineapple, white chocolate, coconut and passion fruit. Argh, I just HATE all these flavors. Just nasty. Said NO ONE ever. I hear someone say that, I keeeel them. This was like a magical dessert. Straight out of dessert heaven. The bottom was perfectly flaky, yet not dry at all. Little pieces of pineapple here and there just exploded in my mouth like a burst of flavor. The little circles you see there? Pure effin white chocolate. The cream was just so soft and WOW and I WANT MORE PLEASE. I didn't taste the passion fruit as much but who cares? Hahaha. The coconut did what coconut does: make everything yummy. And we all know how coconut and pineapple go well together: like chips and salsa or yogourt and fruit or movies and popcorn or coffee and newspaper! This was, in all seriousness, one of the best fruity dessert I've ever had, if not THE best.

Service was very nice and full of smiles. You just know it when peeps like working! And who wouldn't like working there? Surrounded by yummy desserts, gaining 8 pounds daily just by smelling them. We sat down and got our desserts quite quickly, by 2 people holding 2 desserts each. I kind of felt like the queen at that moment. I am SO important.

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 9

Don't even ask: yes, I'll be back.
 
Libertine Bakehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Omnivore

I passed by Omnivore, I'd say, a good 148 times. I'm totes serious. Obviously, I had to go (and it took me 149 to go in). Ma gurl Cat came along to taste some Mediterranean treats on the corner of Marie-Anne and St-Laurent!
I must be honest, I had already tasted a bit of Omnivore's awesomeness: my friend Isa has take-out all the time and I just happened to be there one night when she had some. But that wasn't enough; I needed the real experience!
Omnivore is this super cute place right in the heart of the Main. Or maybe a tad to the north, but who really cares about geography, am I right? It occupies quite the small space with around 25 seats, has some great indie music playin' and lots-o-plants adorn the windows. It legit makes you feel like you're in a jungle. Ugh, I'm not made to write/say 'legit', am I? Don't worry, won't happen again.

We shared (obviously) the herbivore plate and the carnivore plate. Cause that's the way we roll: we are extremists. OK, I'm definitely going too far. I can be really intense sometimes. But only when it comes to food :)
La carnivore. I loves me some good meat! Cat was actually a vegetarian for a good, pfff, 14 years maybe. And then, she came to her senses :p The meat (or kofta) was, wait for it, just wait for IT... moist! Herbal and exploding with flavor! The baba ganouche was full of spices and so f*cking good I'm even ready to say that it is the best I've EVA had. Like EVA. And I'm getting old. The garlic sauce was not strong at all and it was nice knowing that my breath was going to be ok for my business meeting the next day. OK, I had no meeting. I'm not that important at my new job. YET. I'm used to eating garlic sauce and having uber bad breath for a good 2 days. OR 8. The hummus was just thick enough and one of the best I've had. The rice with lentils was very nice and the marinated eggplant on top were out of this world: marinated to perfection. Just wow. I never thought I'd say this about eggplant. Like, at all. The pink turnips were also uber wonderful. Dang, I'm using so many adjectives, I should give English lessons. Fo realz!
La végé. This was one good lookin' plate! I just wanted to take the plate in my two hands and go to town. Please, look the other way :) The taboule was on the awesome side of things: just citrusy enough, just the right amount of parsley and, to top it off, oh-so-yummy! The orzo salad was just BANG ON: super fresh, vibrant parsley (yes, I'm serious), some nuts added a nice crunch and cranberries added a sweet side. Oh, and by the by, I'm legit in love with orzo. OK, I had to try it again and it is official, saying/writing 'legit' is just not for me.   The green beans/carrot salad was also a hit: it tasted of ginger and sesame, two of my favorite things. The chickpeas and eggplant would've tasted better warmed up. They were nicely grilled and that's why my palate was like 'dude, this should be hawt'.

Service was just ok. The girl that took our order could have smiled a bit. I only ask for a hint of smile. Please. She was a bit nicer in the end. Yay. Food came fast though :)

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: 6

The food was soooo good so I can't say I won't go back. I'll obviously have to try other places before I do!

Omnivore Comptoir-Grill‎ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, May 5, 2017

La Capital

My homie Sasher was in town from his gallivanting (yes, I'm calling it that) in central and south America so I needed to see his ass. OK, he's actually working :) I was already eating with my other homie, Isa, so we decided that we should eat tacos. I'm always in for tacos. Always.
 
I had passed by La Capital many times, wondering wtf a Mexican resto was doing in Chinatown. Well, that's the magic of it, really. Who would've thought they'd put Mexico in China? NO ONE. One of the trick to having a popular resto is putting it somewhere where it has absolutely no competition whatsoever. Hence, Mexico in China. Brilliant!
The place itself is very colorful, with some Spanish music playing, brick walls with some pictures on them (including this creepy one). It had a nice ambiance, as if everyone wanted to be your friend. Do YOU wanna be my friend? Yes. Yes you do.
We shared appetizers, because that's what people that like each other do; they share. Cebollitas asadas OR charred green onions with Maggi sauce. I looked to see what this sauce was about and this is pretty much the gist of it: a lot of artificial ingredients, a lot of MSG and some soya sauce. Well, damn it, it tasted wonderful. I didn't necessarily feel like this had any place on the menu, and it was rather awkward to eat, but I still loved the flavors.
Guacamole. I loves me a good guac! It was perfectly smooth, perfectly spicy and perfectly limy. The totrtilla was just a bit too hard for me so, to reduce my consumption, I just put a motha fuck*n pile of guac on a tiny piece of tortilla. It works.
Los tacos! I had the carnitas: pork confit, coriander, onions, radish, grilled tomato sauce. The pork was what I always dread it will be like: dry. Argh. There should be a universal rule. Right? It was still full of yumminess and the coriander added another layer of flavor. The tortilla was the perfect tortilla: it wasn't breaking all over the place like some and I could bend it in every way (what??? I like to do that!). The tomato sauce was quite spicy, but sadly, a bit too much on the blend side.
I got a taste of some tacos el pastor too, because, as I mentioned, we be sharin'! The pork was dry as well. I'm gonna go ahead and give you, restaurateurs and chefs, rules about food that you must ALWAYS abide by: the pork must NOT be dry, the bread must NOT be stale, the shrimp must ALWAYS be cooked perfectly, the octopus/calamari must NOT be squishy and your pasta must NOT be overcooked. OK, I'm sure there are more but this is a pretty good sample. I really liked the onions and the coriander... but when do I not?! It was also on the spicy side, which was appreciated.

We had green sauce and red sauce. The red sauce was just... well, it was a firm no: it tasted like ketchup. Le green was OK but didn't add much to the dishes. Sasher, who spent a while in Mexico, said that this meal was just so so. So, blame the score on him, NOT on the blogger :p (OK, you can blame it on me too)
Deep fried plantain. Mmmmmmm!!!! This was f*ckin' awesome! It was crispy, it was moist, it was sweet! The salty feta on top balanced the sweetness of it really well. And you wouldn't think that, with all this fried stuff, it would still be all fresh and sh*t.. but it was! If it wouldn't make me gain so many calories, I'd have one of those bad boys every day!

Service was very good. We got a table in no time and had water on the table as soon as we sat down. And water was refilled. Many times. I felt good about this. The waiter was wearing one (or eight) too many pwish of perfume, which was not cool. Peeps that work in restaurants should not be able to wear perfume. NO PERFUME.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7
Service: 8.5

There are a LOT of new Mexican restos in town. Must. Visit. Them. ALL. 

La Capital Tacos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Noren

Noren was, wait for it, you guessed it, on ma list! Easter weekend, since my brother was in Toronto, my mom was in freaking Greece and my dad was in the Dominican Republic, my sister-in-law Chris and I decided to not let this bring us down and celebrate the right way: by going out to a restaurant. I gave her three choices and when she chose Noren, I gotta say, I would've chosen one of the two other restaurants first (Butterblume or Maison de mademoiselle dumpling).
Well, turns out Chris was totes right here. I ended up being uber happy with her choice. The place itself is super duper small. Think, the size of a closet. Or maybe a shoe box. Or perhaps a matchbox. And I've gone and exaggerated again. But it's oh so kawaii! That means cute in Japanese btw. Ya, I'm totes fluent. OK, I'm kidding. It holds 10 seats, including some at the window, with a marble counter and a small ass kitchen. You know, those small ASS kitchens? Mmmmright. It had high ceilings, including one wall dedicated to the menu on a black board. Also, some knick knacks/dishes/Japanese thangs on some shelves behind the counter. Very cute place :)
They brought the whole 'small menu' idea to a whole other level.  Two choices on the menu plus the dish of the week and some sides. Oh, and one dessert, of course. I LOVE small menus. I. LOVE. THEM.
Takoyaki. Or octopus balls. Hehehe: octopus balls. They made this with love, man. Love. The couple were both taking turns at the hot plate, turning them balls, makin' em perfect and shiz. You could choose your sauce and we chose sumthin yummy: ponzu. Ponzu is citrusy and, as previously mentioned, yummy. The balls were a bit too doughy for my taste but only slightly. I understand why the Japanese eat this as a late night-during/after drinking street food. The ponzu sauce was perfect on there and it was great to have something citrusy to balance out the fried stuff. The octopus was perfect, and not, you know, squishy. Bah: squishy octopus.
Okonomiyaki: omelet with cabbage, pork OR shiitake, okonomi sauce, seaweed, mayo, bonito flakes and ginger. We ordered it with pork. We don't believe we had any pork in there. But, you know, who CARES right now, because the rest of it was just, pretty much one of the best damn omelet I've ever had. And I'm serious. Both Chris and I thought it, and both our mouths went 'mmm'. Un vrai coup de coeur! The cabbage was still a bit crispy and not too, how can I explain it, cabbage-y?! The bonito flakes were just wow, adding umami to the dish. The okonomi sauce (ketchup, Worcestershire, honey, soy sauce) tasted almost like unagi sauce. It was nice and thick and oh-so-tasty. I could have eaten at least two of this moist, very flavourful  piece of amazingness.
The matcha financier and vanilla ice cream. Matcha WHAAAAT? They had us at 'mat'...or something clever. I was quite disappointed to know that this really great tasting vanilla ice cream wasn't home made. Especially when they told us that they usually make it. Damn it!!! The thing with financiers is that half the time they are too dry. To me, anyway. I need a MOIST financier and I got it here! There was just a hint of matcha and, although that was nice, I would've liked more! I know it's an acquired taste but hey, if you haven't acquired that taste, dson't dso Japanese!

Service was great throughout. Uber friendly staff and smiles all around. I believe the waitress that came in was one of the owner's sister. It's all in the family! We got water refills and the food came in a timely manner. It was just fun looking at them cook, pretty much right in FRONT of us.

And now, the scores!

Food: 8.5
Service: 9

You better believe I'm going back! 

Noren Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Miss Banh Mi

I loves me a good banh mi. I made a list of banh mi places in Montreal and Miss Banh Mi was next on ma list! Plus, it's on my way to and from work. What did you say? Yes, you're right, it's in the perfect location.
Miss Banh Mi is actually in quite a large space on St-Mathieu, downtown. It came as a surprise because I'm use to restos that serve banh mi to be tiny! Well, except for Vua, but that dson't count, iz a chain! Some techno music was playing? OK, that's not a question, that's a fact. You know when you say that music just dson't fit? This was a big example of that. I really dug the brick walls and the pictures printed in sepia. There were wooden tables and silver chairs, but not enough. I'm the first one to say it when there's no room to move around in a resto, but it equally sucks (for them) when there are not enough tables. You are LOSING money, people.
The Tom Yum soup, although very, wait for it, yum-my (ya, I'm THAT good), was a bit  too sour. Guys, I know it's a hot n' sour soup but this was hot n' sour n' sour. I think the culprit was the piece of lemongrass that was stewing in there. There was some chicken that was very tasty and oozing with flavor, some green onions that, hello, and lime that gave it a nice kick. It was just spicy enough.
Le banh mi. I've eaten banh mi before. Lots and lots of them. I'd like to say I've been to Vietnam to eat them but sadly, that wouldn't be true. I will do it in the future though, I swear to Heysus. I had the traditional banh mi: lots o' meat, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, coriander and some sauce. The whole thing was very fresh and the baguette was just A+ and not stale at all (which would be D-).  The veggies could have been marinated a little while longer to let more liquid seep in for some extra goodness. There wasn't nearly enough cucumber OR daikon. And I LOVES me some daikon in ma banh mi! The sauce was somewhat of a BBQ sauce, which was different than the usual mayo type sauce. A good different. The pâté was BANG on and the cold cuts also. Not too salty, just fatty enough to have lots-o-tastiness. Everything, as I've said, was very fresh.
 
Service was, well, counter service. At first, I didn't get much of a smile from the woman working there. But she did give me water quickly and le food was ready in a flash as well.
And now, the scores!
 
Food: 7.5
Service: 7.5

Well, I have a bunch of other banh mi restos to try. But I have a feeling I'll be back. Oh, imma be back, yo.

Miss Banh Mi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chez Victoire

One of my pals at work, Margo, knows someone that works at Chez Victoire, therefore knew about their super awesome Sunday night special: table d'hôte 4 services for 30$ instead of 45$. That's the kind of deal I like. Excuse me, LOVE.
I went with ma gurl Vino, whom, by the by, I don't see nearly enough. On top o that, she's such a fun dining partner! Chez Victoire is located on Mont-Royal near Pap (that's cool talk for 'Papineau'). It's quite a large restaurant, with booths on one side and tables on the other. It has uber high ceilings, like, 3 storeys high. I swear. The place has a nice classic look with moldings on the ceiling, wooden tables, and leather booths. While we were there, I think they played the whole Gorillaz CD, which was much appreciated.

We could choose one dish out of three for every service save for the dessert where it was carrot cake. Just dandy with me!
Cream of butternut squash, shishito, pumpkin seeds, crème fraîche au pimento. Yes, this description is bilingual, deal WIT it. First off, the bowl was hot, which is always a winner in my book. This was good. Like goo-hood. I believe what came out of Vino's mouth was 'mmmmm'. It was soft, sleek, buttery, and all that goodness! The croutons weren't too hard OR too soft and they were also oh so full-o-butta. Mmmmm. Butta. The crème fraîche was right ON and somewhat tasted of smoked salmon which was awesome paired with the cream! All the flavours, although all very distinct, went really well together. This was a WIN.
Veal tataki, grapefruit, fried clams, miso, coriander. The veal was excellent, with just a touch of miso on top, which gave it even more flavor (hello, umami). The fried clams were there for NOTHING. Literally, nada. I was actually a bit angry that they were in there. Why? Why ruin a perfect dish? On top of it, those little balls tasted like nothing. And they didn't fit. AND they were over fried. Basically, all bad things. The grapefruit gave a bit of acidity to the dish and it married well with the meat. The coriander was just, well, hello. All in all, a great dish, but f*cking clams had no reason being there.
Pleurotes with thyme, hazelnut, red onion petals, pain brioche. I loves me a good pleurote. Especially with thyme. Thyme and mushrooms, in ma head, is a match made in food heaven. They could have been warmer though. They were in temperature limbo: they had been somewhat heated up, but just not enough. They'd been sautéed, most likely with butta, so, you know, YUM! I would have liked the bread a bit crispier and more grilled (grillier?). The cute little onion petals could have been more present. Le cheese. I gots to say, usually, I ain't no fan of strong ish type-o-cheese. But this was niiice! It was in a mousse too. I'm a fan of mousses. Yep. That lovely mousse on a bite of bread and mushroom was just T--H--I--S awesome. You may have noticed the long 'this': well, it was THAT good. Sometimes, I conjure perfect bites. And there it was. It was a great mix match of tastes.
La meatball. That was one big meatball! It was big, it was moist (watch out, it's getting sexual), it was full of herbs (end of sexual talk).The crispy chicken skin on top was way too salty on its own but was bearable with other components of the dish. The sauce was a bit too simple for our VERY REFINED palates. Hehehe. But seriously, it just tasted like store-bought tomato sauce, which is not really what you look for when you eat at a restaurant. The polenta was a bit dry but added a certain je ne sais quoi to this. The harissa yogurt (or should I say harrisa-ed yogurt?), was excellent. Just a bit on the spicy side, which is a side that I like. Everything worked, but there were still a bit too many components here. It's like: 'what do we have in the fridge today?'.
Pasta! I rarely eat carbs. Actually, the only place I'll eat pasta or rice or bread is at a restaurant because I don't even have any at home. I actually gave away my toaster recently. Ya, that's how rarely I eat it. Cavatelli with ricotta, duck confit, lardons, sage, butternut squash and parmesan. I'm sure you guessed it but this was a major 'what do we have in our fridge today' kind of dish. Actually it was THE 'what do we have in our fridge today' dish. A blind person could have picked better ingredients. I don't know if this makes sense but I'm stickin' to it. The whole time we were eating it, we were looking at each other like 'waiiiiit, what the hell iiiis this?'. It wasn't totally bad but it wasn't the best thing either. To have some squash puree on top of your pasta is, like, WAY too much. Something else was way too much: having duck AND lardons in there. Again, why? The noodles were perfectly cooked but the whole dish was too salty and the sauce wasn't consistent enough. Needless to say, not our fave dish.
Risotto! I loves me a good risotto! The crab des neiges was, if there was any, broken up in very tiny pieces. I don't think I managed to actually taste it. Vino tasted it a bit, or so she thought. For all I know, there was no crab in there. The mushrooms tasted almost meaty, which is what I like when I eat a mushroom. They were oozing flavor. Getting a weird image here. The rice was a tad on the overcooked side for risotto but I like it that way. The cream on top was too much, I found. A bit less and it would've been perfect. The whole thing tasted of lemon, which was nice and refreshing and gave some lightness to an otherwise heavy dish (when is risotto NOT heavy). There was a bit of pesto which was actually very good mixed with the other flavors but there was too much cheese. Put cheese, yes. Don't put TOO much.
For dessert, it was supposed to be carrot cake, and then they brought us chocolate fondant and I was happier. I LOVE carrot cake, but I have a special place in my heart for fondant. I'm not even going to go into details but that sh*t was GOOD. OH. And there was ice cream on top (as it should be every time fondant is served) and tasted special. We wondered what it was for a good 8 minutes. The waiter came by and he told us it was bay leaf ice cream! What! I have neva eva EVA heard of that. It was very good, and just herbal enough. Awesome ice cream. YES!

Service was OK. I have to say that it was rather slow between courses and it took us a long while to get our first dish. You know when it takes so long that you start turning around to see where your food's at? Ya, that long. We were having soup (obviously ready) and tataki, most likely already cooked... SO. Water was on table and service was very professional. But it was slow. We just didn't understand because when we got there, the resto was almost empty.

And now, the scores!

Food: 7.5
Service: 7

I enjoyed going there and getting four dishes for 30$. I will also enjoy other restaurants for the same price. Just sayin'. Not totes against going back but hey, as I've said before, so many restaurants, so little time.

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