Prior to my recent visit to Montreal, I authored a post seeking advice regarding Les Remparts. The package at our hotel (Hotel Nelligan, which I recommend) included a dinner at Les Remparts, and was trying to determine whether to skip the free meal and chow elsewhere. After I didn't receive any responses, I decided to give Les Remparts a shot. Bad move.
If our visit is any indication, Les Remparts is not a very good restaurant. Other that a faux-romantic atmopshere that at times actually felt romantic, and a delicious seafood terrine full of large chunks of sweet lobster, our meal at Les Remparts had few redeeming qualities.
The wine was bad. The food was worse.
The listless lentil soup would not have been out of place at the soup shop just down the street from my office. That's a bad thing. The "lightly smoked" char was indeed lightly smoked but did not enjoy the same delicacy from the hand that cooked it. It was so tough and dry that it, alone, could explain why so many children grow up hating fish as a result of too much over-cooked crap. A hearty pheasant and red wine dish that was fine, but tasted like the type of dish you would be somewhat pleased with had you made it at home, but certainly not proud.
After all of this mediocrty came the chef's special surprise dessert. And what a surprise indeed. Creme brulee with vanilla ice cream. Huh? Is this a Montreal thing? I have never seen this before in my life. A dish of creme brulee sat on a plate, and also on the plate was a silver metal dish with mediocre vanilla ice cream. What on earth? I wondered if the chef had discovered that this odd-sounding union was actually good. After one bite of the ice cream and creme brulee, I wondered no more. Ugh!
The lesson for future visitors: DON'T be tempted by packages at hotels which include meals. Even if it may seem like a good value, it robs you of something priceless: the opportunity to explore the chow of Montreal. After all, your trip isn't going to last forever.