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Restaurants & Bars

Brunoise (quite long).

rcc | Sep 7, 2004 12:30 PM

The next time we‘re in Montreal, we’ll definitely have to make our way back to Brunoise, again.

Brunoise is nestled in a nice, neighborly, piazza-like, location within 5-minute walking-distance from St. Denis. Michel, one of the owners, accommodated my last-minute reservation request and “squeezed us in” when I called the day before from New York City and in spite of what would turn out to be a very busy Saturday dining at Brunoise.

First, some comments on the wait staff. They were young and very casually attired in black, very friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about every dish that we ordered or asked about. The pacing was excellent.

Standouts on the menu included a Terrine of veal, chicken and foie gras, drizzled with balsamic and oil. This proved to be an excellent starter and was very well prepared. Each type of meat on the slice tasted flavorful and fresh and the garnish that included some coarsely chopped walnuts enhanced the overall experience. Quite an unforgettable dish. My main course followed with veal cheeks in wine-reduction sauce with gnocchi and wild mushrooms. The 3 chunks of meat were fork-tender and the gnocchi complemented them very nicely while being dressed by the wine sauce. It was the first time I’ve had veal or beef cheeks that were not cooked dry, or without sauce, and this one is one of the best version I’ve had so far. My wife had both fish-dishes for her entrees and plats and we both concluded that, at least for that night, it was the meat dishes that consistently stood out.

After sharing a cheese plate that consisted of 4 slices of fine local cheeses (my assumption on them being local), we spooned away on our dessert of Panna Cotta with passion fruit seeds and syrup. Now, this is one very good Panna Cotta – quite possibly the best I’ve had in North America. The consistency was not too gelatin-like and it was perfectly creamy enough that you’d end up scraping the sides of the cup it was served in. And how about those fresh passion fruit seeds sprinkled on top? Very nice touch.

As commented many times before on this board, the high-quality-to-value aspect is without any doubt a major plus for this establishment. Including a bottle of 2001 Chinon a one-third carafe of Mission Hill Pinot Blanc if I remember correctly, our bill totaled about C$136 without gratuity.

At the end of our meal, Zack, the other owner, came by and introduced himself and genuinely inquired about how our experience went. We did notice that he was constantly visiting tables and chatting with diners throughout the evening.

We’ve occasionally made our way to Montreal. But it’s our first in Brunoise. This is simply another good reason for us to visit the city, again.

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