Over the holidays, my brother was in town. as usual, we hit up some of Montreal's fine ding establishments. One such visit was to DNA in Old Montreal... a restaurant that prides itself on the use of local porducts as well as on the whole animal. the slick modern interior fo the restaurant was awesome, the heavier-than-lead chairs, equally impressive. We were five people and opted for the tasting menu.
As we waiting for the last member in our dining party, we had the house curedcharcuterie plate. Although all meats were good, my favorite was the slightly soft spicy sopressata. Thick slices of toast were then served slathered with a generous amount of soft, creamy lardo. "So light!" my sarcastic friend proclaimed. Another diner was so impressed she wished. she could have eaten only that all evening.
For the next course, we were served bison heart tartar (although my brother swears it was veal heart tartare) mixed with foie gras, lamb carpaccio - which I loved but found a little to heavy on then aioli, sweatbread in agro-dolce, and calamari Siciliane in what was supposed to be a spicy sauce, but I found to be quite mild. The only disappointment for me was the squid, which I prefer crispy.
Our pasta courses included spagetti chittara - topped with Ste. Beatrix pepper, some liver, and a tiny egg yolk, this dish had to be blended before eating... slightly on the tart side, this was my favorite pasta dish. We also had the ricotta stuffed ravioli (just so-so), another pasta stuffed with.... uhm... I am drawing a blank... but it was topped with crispy chicken skin, and another pasta stuffed with forest mushrooms.
For our mains, we were first served bass collars (or fish elbows as I like to call them). I found the fish to be a little bland... and a little undercooked in some areas, while my brother just devoured it. Next came one of my favorite dishes of the night... the crispy roast piglet with pureed sunchokes.
Onto desserts, we were first served a pre-dessert of pot de creme & chocolate sablées. Then we were served a tasty & tart lemon pie, assorted cookies with afogatto, a simple yet delicious crème brulée,an incredible salted pine nut torte with ginger ice cream (my favorite... anyone have a recipe for this one?), and a chocolate panna cotta. The waitress told us there was a secrete ingredient in the middle of the panna cotta and to try to figure out what it was. The first person took a bite and announced he didn't get to the middle... the next diner tried too, but no luck there either. As we passed it on, it appeared that the surprise ingredient was Surprise!!!! Nothing. What was lost in the translation was that the waitress wanted to guess what it was made with. As it turns out... pigs blood. Seriously, nothing goes to waste here. Post dessert were brownies, but we were too full... okay, just a taste.
Now really... I would love to have that salted pine nut torte recipe.