104, Laurier Ouest, Montréal, QC / 514 276-6999
6-course dinner: $65 (Canadian) / $110 with wine
9-course dinner: $90 (Canadian) / $140 with wine
We went to Anise with high hopes and left with bitter disappointment and a feeling of being ripped off. The best part was the décor modern, comfortable, and intimate. The ok part was the food the tasting menu was quite good but not stunning. The worst part was the wine. Even a cheap bottle of Beaujolais was $58 on the wine list, so we decided to go with the wine menu of 3 glasses of wine supposedly matched to 3 of our courses for $45/person. Unfortunately none of the wines had even a hint of complexity or hope of complementing the food. Our meal started with tzatziki (yogurt sauce with garlic and cucumber) that was incredibly rich, creamy, and perfectly flavored. The chilled soup consisted of preserved tomato broth and avocado puree. It was refreshing and pleasantly sweet. The falafel with tahini sauce was dry, and worse than falafel at my local Israeli restaurant. For the appetizer, I got scallops seviche with seaweed salad and seaweed tempura. It was a yummy dish. The components were simple and familiar, but the combination was nice, though not eye-opening. Jasons duck tartar with bulgur, marjoram and basil oil had a nice creamy texture, but lacked some deliciousness.
My main course of red snapper with eggplant puree and tomatoes was really wonderful. The snapper was tender and juicy; the creamy, slightly smoky eggplant complimented it perfectly. Jasons main dish of lamb was tender and juicy, but lacked seasoning. It came with an apricot sauce that was too delicate to stand up to the meat, and bulgur that was dry and flavorless. The cheese course was a big slab of sheep milk cheese with port reduction and toast. Ok, but forgettable. The dessert of pineapple sorbet with basil sauce was refreshing, but not nearly as heavenly as panna cotta at Brunoise. The bread basket was probably the best part of the meal. It included unusual and delicious breads. Cardamom rolls were our favorite. I heard from one of the dinners that Anise had the most beautiful bathrooms theyve ever seen in a restaurant. I agree. I only wish that food and wine experience could match the quality of their bathrooms.