Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Le Mousso

*disclosure: half of these pics are retardedly bad. Blame my phone in the darkness.

Sometimes, you get to experience a once in a long while experience (does that even make sense?). Le Mousso became one of those, very quickly. My really good friends were in town from the states (and yes, Donald Trump came up about 8 times) and Neush, I'll call her, had made reservations at Bouillon Bilk. Yep. When she said there was an opening at Le Mousso, I got so excited, I may have gotten some chills. See, Le Mousso is special to me because my mom's family are Mousseau! Whaaaaat! Dudes, I was basically going to eat at my 3rd cousin twice removed' restaurant! Or something.
The resto is located in the village on Ontario, near Amherst. Jesus, I wish all the awesome restaurants that have sprouted around there could have been there when I lived at the corner of St-Hubert/Ontario! This neighbourhood is definitely blossoming when it comes to restaurants! It has a definite vibe when you come in: hustling and bustling, the waiters are running around, aiming to please everyone. Le Mousso is still somewhat of a small restaurant if you think about it: a small dining room when you come in, you go up some stairs on the left and there's another space with roughly 8 tables, and then you continue and go down some more stairs and there's a couple more tables and a big booth where we were seated. FYI, those were the best seats in the house. It's kind of like a tiny maze, because if you continue, you hit the bar and there's no way out so you have to go back from where you came from. OK, you have to be there to get it. Geez!
It's pretty effin awesome to have a view on the downstairs kitchen from your seat. I absolutely loved that. I found it a bit weird to go downstairs, pass by the kitchen, say hey to the cooks and head to the washroom. To see all the spices, all the colourful veggies, the good lookin' plates and the communication between cooks/chefs was great. Especially since, even with that many dishes, things seemed to be running smoothly.

Le Mousso has a fixed menu of 7 courses for 65$ (55$ on Wednesdays) with an optional 8th course that you can add on for 15 buckaroos. All ingredients are either local or close to except, on this menu, the calamari, the daikon and the truffles. It's pretty darn tootin' awesome to know that everything on your plate comes from a field very close to home. It's like when I make myself a huge salad with the veggies from my garden. Mmmmmmm. OK, summer needs to get here now. But on another can also get the wine pairing for 45$ I believe. They don't actually have a wine list so they just make you taste a couple wines. Tasting wine? Wait. Tasting a couple wines? Count me in baby!
Appetizers 'around the fire'. To be honest, I do not remember which one is which. It was very... black. One was a financier (a cookie) made from squid ink, with some caviar atop it. It was spongy and tasted just fishy enough! The black garlic calamari was oh so original but it could have been a bit hotter and the texture did not please me much. I must say though that the taste was as special as they come! So for that one, A for effort :p 
Foie gras cotton candy. Uh, excuse me? The waiter, in my head, just said: ' heaven, heaven, heaven'. Yep. And holy shizzle was he ever right! He instructed us to take the whole thing in one bite. I don't think anyone at the table did that but I would not dare contradict him and it was well worth it! Woooooow!!! So it was basically a cloud of loveliness. A CLOUD of LOVELINESS. Damn yo! Ya, I just yo'ed you guys. The whole thing melted as it should and then you had a hit of foie gras that was like butter (or should I say 'butta') on your tongue. It was the perfect vehicule for such a wonderful and fatty dish. Hands down the best foie gras I've had in my life. My LIFE! And ps, I ain't gettin' any younger!
Scallops with dashi, brown butter and dikon. OK, this specific mix of flavours sounds really far fetched and out there but you know what? It totes worked for me. Well, and for everyone else since we all absolutely loved this. Firstly, may I just say 'you had me at scallop'. They are like candy. Seriously, when I eat them, I'm like a kid in a candy store: I go all cray cray and I want more and more. The daikon was perfectly cooked and oozed flavour. Oozing is a technical term here, of course. The scallops were p-e-r-f-e-c-t: lightly charred and seasoned just right. The dashi added a certain umami to the plate, which, by the way, does not happen every day. Even when umami is trying to be reached, it does not transpire every time. Marie: umami expert! The brown butter added a certain nuttiness to the dish which paired really well with the scallops. They could have dialed down the sweetness a bit: for a second there, it was a bit desert-y. Dar thought it could have been served hotter and I thought it was just the right temperature. 
This is possibly THE worst picture my phone has ever taken. And it was such a pretty plate, gosh darn it! Arctic char with quenelles of borsch, onion, sour cream (or was it crème fraîche?) and caviar. The borsch quenelle was like beets X 100; yummy and rich and thick. The flowers and shoots atop the fish were actually quite spicy which was a surprise for us all. They were quite strong and tangy and a welcomed side to the dish! The onion quenelle was wooooowza! OK, imagine you are eating a french onion soup. Got it? Well all those flavours were concentrated in just one little quenelle. Yep! The cream quenelle was effin awesome and so smooth. I'd have a bite and it would melt directly on my tongue. Mmmmmm... meeeeelting. The caviar quenelle was my least favorite. I know, I know, it's caviar. But mama doesn't like it because it's expensive. It was actually overly salty and I didn't find that it went well with the rest of the components on the plate. The fish was just to dsie for. I know I say this over and over again but it actually DID melt in my mouth. It was so fragile and soft and just tasted like dynamite. Note: no, I've never tasted dynamite. Just take a little bite of the fish with a bit of the borsch or the onion or the cream and BAM, you got yourself paradise. It was seasoned perfectly and lord knows how important that is when you are eating fish, or anything for that matter. Everything is in the seasoning.
This was the extra course we paid 15$ for. We shared three for the table. I liked the fact that we could add something! Crab with green strawberries, wild leek and verbena. Let me first explain something. My name might be Marie-Christine but I could just as easily introduce myself as the princess, nay, the queen of all seafood. Let me explain somethin' else. I swam before I walked and I ate seafood as soon as I could eat solids. It's just how I dso. Alright, enough with the stories! The wild leek sauce may look like a slug on the plate, but it was the freaking best tasting slug ever. It was tangy and full of loveliness. The verbena was the wow factor. First of all, well, it looks damn good, and second of all, that special aroma it has paired uber well with the crab. That citrusy, almost lemongrassy taste was like lightly squeezing a lemon on top of the crab. Yes AND yes. Oh and that crab: dsaaaaaamn! Dsamn. I can't say it enough: dsaaaaamn. So tasty and, well, straight from the ocean pretty much. It was like they just fished it out and put it on my plate. And then I put it in ma mouth. And enjoyed the hell out of it.
Coq au champignons de Paris, poudre de peau de volaille et beurre blanc. I wrote it in french cause it sounds about 100% better and fancier. This was goooo-hooood! I'd totes go back for one these bad boys! So button mushrooms=boring right? Wrong. They were sliced very thin and seasoned just right and had almost a buttery texture to them. I would absolutely hate not being able to put at least a little salt on everything. We all know it brings out the goodness in meat, veggies, well, all food really. The beurre blanc was a tad on the salty side tho but it was still amazeballz. It was smooth and creamy. Mmmmm... I just want to dip everything I eat in THAT butta. The skin was the best part: crunchy tasty goodness. And the meat. OH, the meat. It was so tender that it was breaking in pieces just by looking at it. This plate was definitely a winner. Totes def. Man I sounded cool right there. I just ruined it, didn't I?
Holy Christmas! I just felt bad for my friend Beans who's pregnant and couldn't eat the lamb the way it is supposed to be enjoyed: blue. You do not eat fully cooked lamb. You just don't. It was tender and juicy and darn tootin' awesome. The flowers on top were so delicate and the basil, even more so. They kind of made up a tiny lovely salad atop the best damn piece of red meat I've eaten in a whhhhile. Oh and the smell emanating from that dish: dsamn! The basil and the harissa. Oh yes! The harissa seemed like a weird choice at first but it quickly became the BEST choice for this meat. Everything accompanied everything else so well. All the flavours married well together.
Obviously, I did not take this picture. I forgot to take one so thank you, Le Mousso facebook page.
How pretty does this look? Man oh man! Think about a beautiful painting and put it on a plate; you get this. The taste to prettiness ratio was up there too! They probably have their tweezers handy when plating because everything is so pretty and so well placed. Especially those little flowers. I love having flowers in my plates so I was a happy camper throughout the meal. This was the pre-dessert. Or the anti-dessert as they called it. It was described on the menu as so: 'shallot/blood/apple'. Mmmmya lemme jump right on that. Or not. But oh yes! This was full of textures: creamy, smooth, crunchy, soft. Blood sponge cake. It was really rich, moist and airy all at once. It tasted like cinnamon, which is an obvious pairing with apple. The apple butter was a bit tart but that was very nice. Apple=tartness. I don't like sweet apple thangs anyway! Anti-dessert hello! The shallot ice cream was, and I know I've written this word many times throughout this review, but, WOW!!! Naturally, I had never, neva eva tasted that before. I don't think anyone has! And it was so effin good. So original. Who knew? Again, very rich but the shallot was just present enough to not make it feel like I was eating a salad. Pouahaha. The cider vinegar was very sweet and kind of counter balanced the ice cream. Hey, a great dish is a well balanced one. The oatmeal crumble was needed on this plate. Again, with the balance! I needed that extra texture. It was just sweet enough.
Dessert! I'm quite saddened by the state of this picture because it was actually 1000 better than what it looks like here. Squash tuile atop frozen yogourt, buttermilk mousse, honey and honeycomb toffee. Hello! The mousse's job was to make sure the dish as a whole wasn't overly sweet because of the honey. I liked the contradiction. The tuile was pretty awesome and although I know how they did it, I still don't know HOW they did it. Hahaha! The crunchie bar... I mean honeycomb was such a great thought, flavour and texture wise. I would have liked a bit more of it but, hey, imma pig. The frozen yogourt melted in your mouth as soon as it hit it and it resembled semi freddo. It was a bit tart, which was much welcome. I could have licked the plate when I was done... or DID I?

Service was awesome. Actually we had two waiters. The first one finished his shift in the middle of our meal so a girl took over. She was less personal, less friendly, more get to the point. Not as fun for us. Our water glasses were always full, our utensils were changed between every course and our food came in a timely fashion. We had 8 courses so we left at aroud 12h15, which was waaaayyy too late for us old folk. But hey, we got there late too so it's all our fault. By the end, half of us were snoozing in our plate.

And now, the scores!

Food: 9
Service: first half 9, second half 7 (sorry girl!)

As you MAY have noticed, I totes fell in love with this restaurant. Every time I see one of their dishes on their facebook page, I drool. I guess the only thing for me to do now  is to go back!
Le Mousso Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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