3807 St. André, Montréal, QC / 514-523-3885
3-course dinner: $30-40 (Canadian)
Brunoise belongs to the rare category of restaurants that shines from amuse-bouche to dessert. An appetizer of eggplant and tomato confit tart had a buttery, crispy, and flaky crust. The tomatoes and eggplant had the ripeness that is only possible in the summer. Sweetbreads with veal cheeks, morels, shitake, and herb polenta was a dish to die for. The sweetbreads were crispy on the outside and buttery inside. The veal cheeks were so soft I could eat them with a spoon. The mushrooms were earthy and delicious, and seeing 10 morels on my plate was a real treat. All this was served in an intense veal reduction and a foamy sauce. Jason had a perfectly cooked medium-rare beef fillet with snails, olives, confit of tomatoes, sautéed spinach, and gnocchi. The sauce was a reduction similar to my dish, but more meaty. This was one of the best beef tenderloin dishes weve ever had.
Although many of Brunoise dishes are quite complex, the flavors and textures are always artfully combined and retain their clarity and integrity. We ended our meal with a chocolate pave (creamy flourless cake) served with a pear sorbet and a dessert of creamy vanilla panna cotta topped with passion fruit and basil sauce. I am rarely impressed with desserts, but that panna cotta was a work of art. The wine list was well chosen and affordable. The waitress offered us 6 wines that we could order by third of a bottle (about 2 glasses). Whereas most restaurants charge more for wines served in smaller portions, Brunoise charged one-third of the bottle price for a one-third portion. This made it possible for us to match our wines to each course for a price of a single bottle. The atmosphere is casual, but pleasant enough for a special occasion, and the staff was professional, but warm and welcoming.