“The very fancy” is located in the “English part” of Montreal, I was finally about to be included in a dinner. This week has felt so long, not being able to communicate with anyone other than my partner. I was dependant on him and required him to speak on my behalf. So when I saw that the menus had some English on it and majority of the staff and patrons spoke both languages, I was thrilled. I would be able to choose what I ate and order for myself.
The restaurant was large, good thing as there were plenty of people looking to dine here tonight. Inside was surprisingly loud. The thud of the base kept the beat and tempo of the conversations uplifting. A ongoing roar of chatter and the clacking of tongues. Shouting to be heard was a norm and a requirement if you wanted to be heard. The lighting was set dim for ambience, it matched well the antique feel of the place.
The smaller room that we were situated in created some intimacy, allowing for a quieter setting. It was papered in a black and white pattern. A collection of flora and cherubs, animals in play, birds in flight, and ladies lounging in leisure. Over this detailed wallpaper hung pictures and antiques that matched its time period. Coloured drawings of Victorian women, a wooden and brass clock that chimed, and a cast iron chandelier that centred it all. The table our group of eight was seated around was worn and heavy in wood. It added character and matched well the upholstered couch half of us sat on. In contrast was the flat screen television broadcasting the habs versus the red wings game, and the security camera in the corner.
The menu was modern casual. Soups, and salads mingled with share plates, and hand held entrees. Everything that would compliment a glass of foamy beer. Good thing too as many beers were needed to cool down. The server recommended their tacos in either pork, fish, or tofu; and said that their house poutine with tater tots and green onions was good. However most of us were sold on their burger special.
The burger special was not listed on the menu. At $10 it was only $1 more than the mushroom burger, and came with so much more. Between its toasted buns were three onion rings, enoki mushrooms, arugula, tomato, mozzarella, fried onions, and a pickle; over an all beef patty. I got it with a side of fries instead of soup. It was too hot for soup, and beer doesn’t go well with a creamy soup. The tomato was refreshing and the arugula a nice change of pace instead of lettuce. I liked the enoki mushrooms as the wild card the best. I liked their stringy texture and found them enjoying to eat. The burger as a whole was heavy, a two handed job that became messy with the juice of a moist patty. One of the guests found the burger too sweet from the BBQ sauce. And none of us three that ordered it finished it.
“Fried pickles served with sriracha mayo”. Their heavily herbed breading took this classic to a next level. You didn’t really need the mayo for dipping as the pickle was already so tasty, but it did make a good creamy addition to its crunchy and crisp texture. Spicy and tangy, juicy and warm; not for those who don’t like the sour tang of a hot pickle.
The “Flatbread pizza” with caramelized onions, grape tomatoes, basil, pesto, goat cheese, wild arugula, and a balsamic glaze was my favourite taste of the night. Served on naan bread it was light while being full of depth. It had layers of ingredients and layers of flavours that all complimented one another. They didn’t miss anything. Sweet from the balsamic glaze, salty from the goat cheese, refreshing from the tomato, and peppery from the arugula.
“Fish N’ Chip Poutine” made with beer battered cod, fries, cheese curds, and gravy. A classic poutine with the addition of fried fish. As a whole it was too heavy, and seasoned with too much salt. The fish was flaky and served crisp, but without a side of tartar sauce to cut through the frying most was left uneaten.
The “Beef burger” was your standard burger made with a homemade patty, aioli, tomato, lettuce, and pickle on a toasted bun. With an option to add cheese, bacon, pulled pork, mushroom, fried egg, cheese, Brie, and even a second patty; you can make this your own. The single beef patty was the highlight, and as a whole the burger was pretty uninspiring compared to the other dishes.
The “Pulled pork sandwich” had an interesting twist. Made with BBQ pulled pork, roasted squash, pickled vegetables, and arugula on a ciabatta bun. Served with fries or a salad, with the option to upgrade to a poutine, soup, or onion rings. My partner got the latter, you can’t turn down a good onion ring and these were good. The sandwich was on the drier side. There was not enough sauce, a heavier coating of BBQ over the pork, or maybe some honey could have helped. Even a dish of generic gravy on the side would have been an improvement. The pickled vegetables were a similar mix to coleslaw, but without the creamy mayo. It offered a nice crunch, but only dried up the sandwich even more. The squash was the interesting twist and a great addition. Good in the sandwich, but better on its own. It was sweetened with honey or maple syrup and melted in your mouth. I could eat a portion as a side. This was the healthiest tasting of all that was ordered.
Poutine grilled cheese made with thick cut fries, cheese curds, a three cheese mix, and veggie gravy; all packed in between two pieces of sourdough bread. If the above was the healthiest, this was the greasiest. This order too could have its side customized, but one of our guests went with the standard French fry side. Which in my opinion was overkill, fries in your sandwich, with an additional side of more fries? I personally would have looked for a tomato based soup. The sandwich itself was decadent, with the first bite being the best. Satisfying with gooey cheese, and crisp fries. I recommend this for the cheese lovers out there who are not afraid of getting a little extra grease on their fingers.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this for someone visiting from out of town? – Yes.
This was the restaurant most like something I would visit in Vancouver. I would be surprised to spot something similar in Gastown. A unique decor with a casual dining menu, a modern theme with delicious dishes. I can see this doing well back home, especially with their custom cocktails and decked out Caesars. Caesars topped with mini burgers, sandwiches, spring rolls, and onion rings. Don’t deny your cravings.