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Restaurants & Bars 7

Zeste De Folie

a.quijano | Jun 22, 2008 03:27 PM

Well, after reading all the great reviews on this site about this place, I decided I had to try it out myself. I think it offers one of the best QPRs in Montreal. The decor was nice, clean and classy, grey walls, tiny discrete light fixtures and a couple of tasteful paintings hung unobtrusively. The staff were welcoming yet not overbearing. After ordering yet while waiting for appetizers they brought us each a shot of gazpacho that was nicely balanced with satisfying zings of coriander.

My date and I both took the Tables D'Hote, I began with the pave de saumon: two morsels of salmon marinated in a citrusy-sweet vinagrette served up with a crown of fresh herbs and some smoked salmon for decoration. Very nice for an appetizer albeit somewhat simple. She had the Foie Gras Creme Brulee with vanilla-infused apple and pear salad and a small green salad with a pop of orange nasturtiums. Although it was an extra 10 bucks, it was worth every penny. The idea of combining the burnt sugar topping everyone has come to love on creme brulee with a succulent foie-gras filling along with importing what is traditionally a desert over to the appetizer side of the menu was surprising and enjoyable. I won't harp here about the merits of foie gras, but the salty-creamyness of the filling, combined with the sugary crunch and the delicious a cotes was an unparalleled culinary experience.

The mains were equally impressive. She had the mignonettes de porc and I had the bison. Both of our meats were tender, succulent and marinated to perfection. Both meals were served up with riced mashed potatoes and some simple steamed vegetables. The simplicity of the plate nicely contrasted with the complexity of the flavours (the Bison came with a sweet onion and orange confit).

After the meal was done, they brought us tiny chocolate mint cakes while we waited for desert. We both ordered the creme brulee and were happily surprised to find out that the desert was not one, but three small cups of creme brulee: one blueberry, one mint and one tea-flavoured. These were served up with tiny homemade cookies that added an excellent touch. All three were incredible - not too sweet, and the flavours weren't overpowering. The house coffee was also quite good - I'm not usually a fan of drip but it was a sultry and elegant medium dark roast that finished everything off quite nicely.

All in all, the experience was unbelievable and majestic without feeling ridiculously pretentious. It ended up costing around 100$ for two - before tip and wine. That said, the fact that it's a BYOW place helps cut down your final bill a good deal (I brought along a bottle of Trapiche Malbec Fut de Chene - inexpensive and delicious). I can't stress enough how wonderful the staff was, it was surprising - I didn't feel as if I was in a restaurant at all - they were discreet yet warm and friendly without being overbearing. Their timing was impeccable.

As university students, it's not the type of place that one can go to every weekend, but for a special night out that won't break the bank, I can't think of anywhere better in Montreal.

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