Monday, August 24, 2020


Another COVID-time review! Ugh, that's gonna be a thing now, isn't it? Yep, I'm gonna be that girl that came out of blogging retirement to write about f*cking COVID. Ew. Anyhoot, Machiavelli never disappoints. Like, NEVER. Every freaking time I go, I love it. Actually, everyone I bring there loves it too. You can't NOT love it.

Obviously, you have to wear a mask. They welcome you by the terrasse at the back, which is pretty much a haven in the middle of the city, a little piece of heaven. It's the cutest thing: cute little tables, cute little chairs, cute little lights, and cute little plants and flowers. Oh, did I mention that it was cute? It's basically the epitome of cuteness. 

We were welcomed quickly, and seated quickly. By the by, in these COVID times, it's always better to reserve beforehand! We got water right away and we ordered very quickly as well. The waitress showed us a QR code that our phones were supposed to decipher for us, but both our phones (or us?) failed. We just went on their website :) They don't have as many choices on their menu as usual, which is just fine. The important ones were still there: PASTA! 

We ordered bread first. Bread and pasta: carbs much? Hahaha! The bread was hot, which is always a relief: I loaf getting cold bread. I mean loathe, hehe. Seriously, when it arrives cold, I almost can't help myself and look at the waiter with a face meaning 'is this a JOKE?'. The butter was this composed butter of trufle and wild mushrooms. Ugh... YASS! Come to mama. That with the hot bread was just p-e-r-f-e-c-t. It took us less time than we were proud of to finish the bread.

Mushroom fettucine with creme sauce, button mushrooms and wild mushrooms, parmesan, and truffle oil. Just thinking about it makes me happy. The fettucine were cooked to perfection: I hate a soft noodle almost as much as I despise a hard one. OK, that sounded very inappropriately sexual. You know what I mean. The arugula gave some spice to it all, and the mushrooms were sooooo good. Great. Creamy. Perf.

The gnocchi (not pictured, Vino dug in too fast 😏) were stuffed with mozzarella and tomato. I'd describe the gnocchi as being like the most comfortable pillow you could ever sleep on. Now, imagine that pillow being in heaven. Softest damn thing in the world (or heaven, I guess). Supes tasty and cheesy and all that good stuff. No wonder my friend Bridget likes them so much: she orders them every time she goes to Machiavelli!

We had dessert. Obviously we were full enough, satisfied enough. But argh, who can resist THIS? We shared, of course. Ok, not 'of course', cause we are cray cray enough to have one each. But we DID share :) OH. MY. GAWD. Just look at it. LOOOOOK! I present to you, the decadent brownie, in all its glory. Sweet, soft, hot goodness with french vanilla ice cream on top, and a port and fresh berries atop THAT. Holy sh*t: decadence at its best. And then we died. A good death, mind you. The  brownie was hot (just like bread, brownies should NOT be served cold), the ice cream was cold (haha!) and not all melted by the time it got to our table. The coulis on top was such a good addition to this dish, and went perfectly with the chocolate AND the ice cream. 

As if our meal wasn't satisfactory enough, the lovely owner (she IS freaking lovely), Natassia, comes up to me and gives me a gift certificate for a picnic for 2! See, I had booked a table for myself and Bridget a couple weeks back and a water main had flooded the street (or something equally uncool), and our resa was canceled :( That was SOOOO nice! We are trying that picinic this weekend! I feel like every time I got to Machia's, she does something special for me. I should give back. A present of sorts. Maybe I should give her GOLD. Where can one get that? I'll look. Well I AM booking two evenings for my birthday at the resto, so... were good? Hahaha!

Service was very good. She took care of all the tables and I, myself, would've probably either died OR been found in a corner, shaking. Ya, I'm just not meant to be a waitress. Not at all. We also got our bill quickly, which is a plus. I hate waiting around to leave.

And now, les scores!

Service: 9

Food: 9

Do I even NEED to say I'll be back? Mmmya, that's what I thought.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Chez Boulay

COVID time is here. Ah, all the fun we're having, am I right? I'm kidding, of course. Ugh. Anyhoot, I'm temporarily out of retirement to write what it's like to eat in COVID times. And of course about the food. Duh. Restaurants officially reopened about a month ago, and as a restaurant goer and food lover (and blogger), I was due to go!
I know everyone hates COVID, but I HAAAAATE COVID. I loathe COVID. COVID is my enemy. I work for an airline customer service so.... ya....'nuff said! Since restaurants have reopened, they obviously have to abide by certain rules pertaining to sanitary and health. Everyone has to wear a mask and there has to be at least 2 meters between tables. I didn't think I would appreciate this, but it actually wasn't THAT bad. Just use common sense: you get up, you put your mask on. You come in, you purel your hands (I love how 'purel' has become a verb recently). Hey, you don't want to wear a mask, stay the f*ck home! You Don't want to purel your hands, stay the f*ck home! No food for you! They disinfected the table as well as the seat before I sat down. Obviously, there weren't as many tables as usual, but between having a bit less tables and having a closed restaurant, I choose less tables.
OK enough about this pandemic (sigh). Let's talk about this resto! Bistro Chez Boulay serves up a mix of Terroir and French, which is one of my fave mix :) It has some tables outside in front, and quite a large dining room. OK, I guess it SEEMED larger because of the lack of tables, but still. The lighting kind of reminded me of Nacarat, in the Reine Elizabeth: sexy and cool. That's right, I went there. Hi, I'll take some sexy lighting please. And thank you. The one thing I would change is that the table was a tad too high for me. I really hate that. I mean, I'm short, I get it. But I'm not exceptionally short. Come on. The ambiance was very nice: the waiters were hustlin' and bustlin', and it was just loud enough. I hate it when I feel like I'm eating in a club. Ugh.
Le food. This was my first course. So visually appealing! Le Charlevoix: tartare de boeuf. Yum-my! Angus beef tartare, crunchy hemp, sheep cheese, daisy capers, wild mustard seeds, cured egg yolk. This was melt-in-your-mouth good. No, it was damn exquisite. Just freaking delightful. OK, enough with the adjectives. All the flavours just popped in my mouth! POP POP POP! Seriously, my eyes were wide open! I kind of looked ridiculous. And yes, the fact that it was Angus beef made a difference. Hey, I go for the higher quality of meat. That's the kind of carnivore I am. The hemp gave a great crunchy aspect to the dish and a nice pop (here I go again with the pop), and it's always nice to get a contrast of textures! I would not have known that it was hemp per se, but it was lovely. The cheese was soft and smooth and a bit salty, which married well with the other flavours. That's right, I said 'married'. One thing I wasn't a fan of is that it was cut in uneven pieces. If you're going to serve a tartare THIS good, do it right, yo! My ITHQ profs would not have been pleased :p The daisy capers (wtf, this is a new thing to me) were so cute and weren't too salty like, you know, capers...capers ;) The cheese added a bit of saltiness, and overall yumminess (that's the technical word, of course). All in all, this dish was a hit. A big hit. I'd go back in a second if I could, and order the same thing over and over again. And for y'all that have never tasted beef tartare (shame on you!), you should definitely start HERE.
Second course. I felt like going veg for this one. They had ONE option...which is, well, not that much. In my opinion, they should have at least two. The number of vegetarians and végans are growing and in many restos, it seems like the dishes catered to them are not. It was called 'Ferme de la Grive': fresh and smoked heirloom tomato from Mélanie's farm (you know, Mélanie!), buffarella with blackcurrant, fermented shallots, homemade focaccia crouton, chervil. I must divulge...this was a bit of a letdown. Pouet pouet pooouuuet. I mean, it was pretty, sure! You eat with your eyes first...blablabla. The tomatoes that had lots of kick were the smoked! Mmmmm! The bread was literally drowned in butter (or something buttery). That was a bit too much. The cheese was marinated in blackcurrant, which gave it an extra oumf, but extra oumf on nothing... is not WOW. Was that clear? Fermented shallots were great, and the big thick slices of heirloom tomatoes were good and juicy, but this was not worth 25 dollars, I'm sorry. 18$ at best. Don't ask me how I calculated that.

Except for the wait before getting into le resto, service was on par the whole evening. I was asked if I liked my meal during the first and second course, the pitcher of water was on my table 1 second after I sat down and my Eska (haha: MY Eska) arrived very quickly too. And you know what, even with masks on, I FELT like the waitresses/waiters were smiling :)

And now, les scores!

Food:7.5 (10 for the appetizer)

I'm going back fosho if I'm in Québec city again. And I'm telling ERRYONE to go, too!

Chez Boulay Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato