Im visiting from Los Angeles, and Ive had some awesome meals at, yes youre reading this right
. the hotel restaurant.
The hotel in question is the Mortagne, and its in Boucherville.
Whenever Im in a new place, I always ask the server whats good. And a good server will usually steer me to the best dish.
Amuse of a small very tender piece of char-grilled beef filet mignon marinated in hoisin sauce and covered with various sprouts. Delicious.
Appetizer of house-smoked carpaccio served with aforementioned sprouts and radish. This was not the dried-out tough carpaccio Im used to. In fact, Im not so sure it was actually air-dried. Instead, it was thinly sliced and very tender, with a nice smoky flavor. The thin cut of meat reminded me of the Korean bulgogi, except this was more tender, and obviously the marinade was different. The texture and the flavor were scrumptious, although it was a little too salty.
When the server described the main course, I was taken a little aback. I had to ask again, because I dont speak French, so often things are lost in the translation. Did she say Stingray? As in underwater birds? Yep. Thats what it was.
It was fried, and was a nice thick piece of fish. At first glance it looked like a piece of halibut: white meat, crisp around the edges from the frying. The texture was different than halibut, though. When you cut into it, the grain of the meat pretty much prevented you from cutting it horizontally without completely turning it to mush. So I cut along the grain, and everything worked out fine.
It was very tender, and kind of sweet .almost like crab, or lobster. It had a small fruit coulis on top including finely cut strawberries, apricots and other fruits. It was served with a nice variety of roasted root vegetables including small potatoes, yellow beets and carrots, as well as various squash. And in addition to trying stingray for the first time, I also had another first: chive flowers. These were flowers, about a quarter inch across, that were left on the chives, which had been cut to about 3 inches long. The flowers had the most wonderful delicate onion flavor. It was a perfect amount of flavor for the dish. Not too much onion, but a flavor that was unmistakable. This dish was killer.
With the check, they brought some little tiny muffins a nice touch.
I ordered the pancakes, which were listed on the menu to include melted brie cheese and fresh fruit.
First of all, there was no cheese. Secondly, the pancakes were thin and very dense. Almost like a bread, not a cake. And thirdly, the fruit was fresh, but not entirely peeled. Have you ever had to finish peeling a lychee with a knife and fork? Those slippery little devils would make a fool of Queen Elizabeth. Well no, she would probably have the common sense to leave them uneaten on the plate. But I couldnt resist. I dont think Ive ever been served lychees in the skin.
So I wasnt too impressed with breakfast. And for that matter, in the last 3 days, none of the breakfasts were very good. Yesterday I was feeling a little sluggish, what with all the rich food, so I ordered the fruit and cottage cheese plate. It was again an exercise in fruit peeling, but I was impressed with yellow-meat watermelon. We dont get that in LA. The cottage cheese was, yes, cottage cheese. Nothing special.
And this morning I got the eggs and bacon. Again, pretty ordinary stuff. The spiced potatoes were good, though. And I laugh when they ask you sunny side or turned when discussing the eggs. Back in LA, probably because there are so many self-aggrandizing primadonnas, they get into specifically how much you would like the egg cooked. Like over easy, over medium, or over hard. My wife even goes to the level of I want it over hard, and can you break the yolk as you turn it? For me, turned is fine.
I forget what the amuse was, but Im sure it was outstanding.
The scallop tartar appetizer included said scallop tartar, which was very fresh-tasting chopped scallop sashimi on top of lightly spiced quinoa and served in a bowl-like shape which was made by wrapping a very thin slice of cucumber around the quinoa and scallop in a perfect circle. I dont know how they make it keep its shape, but its a very nice presentation.
It was served with two crab mousse sausages; and I use that word because I cant think of any other way to describe it. These were little crab mousses wrapped in squash flowers. The squash flowers were big, like soft lettuce leaves, but had the perfect strength and texture to act as the encasement of the mousse, and were quite tasty.
The main course was the bison filet, served with a sundried tomato sauce and vegetables similar to those with the stingray. The meat was okay. It was cooked perfectly, but I was expecting more of a beef flavor. I sensed a flavor like beef liver, which I dont care for. The flavor kind of grows on you as you eat it, but at first I was a little disappointed.
Same little muffins for dessert.
Kick-ass amuse, which I cant remember.
Same scallop tartar appetizer, but this time the quinoa was a little dried-out. It wasnt as good as the first night. I asked for some lemon slices, and that brought it back to life. I might take this opportunity to point out that there is a whole list of appetizers on the menu, but I was just taking the advice of the server. Clearly I should have ordered a different appetizer this night.
The bartender suggested the lasagna, which was another home run. This is not your standard Stouffers red sauce lasagna. This is a piece of lasagna thats about a 6x6 inches square and ¾ inch thick. Its got a big chunk of goat cheese on top (which I love), and its filled with leeks and Portobello mushrooms. Also inside is a tasty shallot cream sauce. This is a very rich, but delightful dish. It goes well with a red Bordeaux.
Well thats it so far. If I keep up this culinary free-for-all, I just may have to buy 2 airplane seats for the trip home. But somebody's got to eat this stuff.