We eat pretty well, cook a lot, and appreciate a good meal. Occasionally we like to go out for a really nice meal and drop wayy more coin than usual but food is often worth it. This unfortunately was not.
As for French bistro à la North Africa, nothing North African about the food whatsoever.
Expecting a packed house for a 9pm seating, things seemed off when we arrived and the place was half empty. Totally impersonal service, not a hello how are you, not even a glass of wine poured. 3 minutes after sitting down - are you ready yet? Umm no. Nice to meet you too.
Table d'hôte for $44. Soup is served and is really good but the server never bothers to tell us what it is. When my wife asks she's told "vegetables". Umm yes obviously. But what else is in it that makes it taste nice?
Appetizers a total let-down. Escargot overdone and chewy, no blue cheese to be found really. Terrine de cerf (deer terrine) that tastes & looks more like ham. Pretty sure I can do better than this at home.
Joanne gets the duck breast, I get the lamb shank. Again, less than interesting. The lamb is tender and falls off the bone, but dry and tasteless like it was cooked yesterday and kept in the fridge. Perhaps that's why it was tepid in temp. Duck is overcooked, rubbery, tasteless. It's obvious they have great cuts of meat, but it was sad and infurioriating to see and taste this done to them. Worse to pay good money for it.
Server asks how it is and Joanne has the nerve to be honest. "Honestly, it's boring.It's really not very interesting, kind of dry and tasteless." Response: "Well can I get you something else? ...Oh well that's my favorite dish so I don't know where to go from there." From there on in we get vigorously ignored. Dare we be honest?
15 awkward minutes after they clear our plates, cream & sugar arrive, but no query if we want coffee, tea or dessert. After looking their way (2 bored servers and a bored chef) they bring us a slice of blueberry pie and glacée chocolate. Again dry and devoid of character.
Best part of the meal: Mystery soup, unadulterated raspberries that accompanied dessert, and the bottle of wine we brought ourselves.
On the way out, I basically serve myself with the credit card machine, rip the reciept in half and hand the waiter his half.
If you're looking for some good bistro cuisine, head anywhere but here. Even if it costs a tad more, it'll be worth it. Nothing here is.
Restaurant La Colombe
554 Av Duluth E, Montreal, QC H2L1A9, CA