I was invited to try the new fall menu at Labarake so I decided to bring someone that would know what he's talking about: ze chef at Sushi Taxi, Phil.
Labarake is located in an old firehouse in the Shop Angus. So, pretty much far from everything!
We were invited for a 5 à 7 ... although without actually knowing it. It's a good thing we got there early as to take advantage of everything we could within that time period! Anyhoot, this place is kind of family oriented, kind of a happenin' bar, kind of a new business type people place. It's very nice to get a whole view of the restaurant when you arrive. Brick walls, industrial lighting and lots of wood made it look very homey and inviting.
We sat at the bar to, you know, be closer to the drinks and all! The owner of the resto came and said hello and explained the history of the building which was nice to know and then he left....and I was like, wait, what's the deal here? Even the waiters and the bartenders weren't aware of what bloggers were getting: food from the menu? drinks? whatwhat? Turns out, and we discovered this when we were about to order our food, that waiters were to go around with bite size versions of their popular dishes. Mmmmkay. But first, we needed some drinks!
Second ceasar was the Bloody Carnivore: cognac, veal stock, clamato, steak spices, bacon and dried beef. The veal stock made it a tad too salty and it was a biiiiit unpleasant to see little bits of fat swimming in my drink. But the rest was damn good.
Third ceasar was the Bloody Marin, or the Sea salt Bloody if you will. It was accompanied by a lovely oyster (yes, I am now an oyster fan. Can't get enough.). There was nothing to write home about the ceasar. Very basic. Maybe it's because it was my third one of the evening!
OK, food, shall we?
Beef and salmon tartare. The beef tartare was classic with a bit of mustard and shallots. So, basically, your classic beef tartare but with a bigger, quite unpleasant cut. The salmon tartare was a tad too creamy and the pomegranate pieces were too present and got stuck in my teeth. So it was a miss right there.
Scallop wrapped with Spanish ham. THIS was a hit. A total hit! With that smooth cauliflower puree, it just melted in your mouth. All the flavours just blended together to make a great dish. Lovely, really!
Beef cheek with parsnip puree. This was greatness. The puree could not have been smoother and the beef was well cooked and not too salty. Very yummy. That's the technical term, of course!
Clafoutis. Good but not great. Not too sweet and very moist.
Then, there was the 'desert shooter'. Bailey's with some cold coffee. This was good even if I despise coffee. And since we weren't aware that this ended at 7PM, when the dude said 'a last shot?', I was just sad I wasn't going to taste the last of the four ceasars!
Service was very attentive, they even came back and offered us seconds. And always with a smile :) It was a new menu so there was some confusion with the waiters and the bartenders but that was to be expected.
And now, the scores!
To be honest, I'm not going back simply because it's too damn far but it is worth a try!
ps: My mom, who is forever on the look out of thangs that might interest me, found an article in I believe Chatelaine (or Coup de Pouce?) that says that Labarake is one of the restaurants to absolutely visit in MTL.