Friday, April 30, 2010

Montreal Food Journey - Day 1: Le P'tit Plateau

Before leaving Toronto, a friend highly recommended Au Pied du Cochon, supposedly one of Montreal's best restaurants. I looked on their website and fell in love - bison tongue, guinea hen liver mousse, head cheese croquette, and duck carpaccio are just a few of the appetizers they had, along with a full array of foie gras, pig, lamb, and other meats for their main courses. I was so excited to try this place! Unfortunately, when my boyfriend and I went around 6pm on Friday, they said nothing was available till 10:30pm, and they were also fully booked for the next night...and added in the extra info that some people make reservations one month in advance (kinda like "*hint hint* make reservations next time!" ). Bummerrrrrr. So it was back to the drawing board (a.k.a my Excel sheet). With the help of the GPS, we found out Le P'tit Plateau, a restaurant that I was planning to go to the following night,  was 10 minutes away from where we were (it's one of the BYOW restaurants too!). I remember seeing some good reviews for this restaurant, and knew I wanted to go for sure after reading this blog.

Le P'tit Plateau is a tiny little restaurant, no big signs or anything in front of it, tucked inside two small streets right at the corner. When I saw it, I thought this is the perfect place (I'm anti big, franchise restaurants). Inside, the restaurant was cozy with small tables and chairs, and because the place was surrounded by huge glass windows, it captured the sun setting and created a lovely ambiance with the light shining in. Better yet, they had an open kitchen! My favorite! I love this place already. 

Love the contrast between the wood and the aluminum looking ceiling.

Open kitchen

The owner was super friendly, and told us we had about two hours because our table was reserved for 8pm. We said that's fine. He went on and explained to us the menu (one side in French, the other side in English) and the daily specials. He told us they offered a 3 course prix fixe menu which includes a soup/salad, main course, and coffee/tea afterwards. 

My boyfriend ordered the "filet of venisen (red deer) wine sauce" and I ordered one of the specials that night, which was duck breast stuffed with foie gras with a side of risotto. I noticed that this is the last item up on the "Daily Specials" board.

Don't you hate how in a restaurant the good stuff is never written in
the language you understand? LOL

So on the way to the restaurant, I randomly grabbed a bottle of red wine at a convenience store (LOVE Montreal for that, so convenient) - "Australian Ridge Bin 72"

The wine was actually pretty good! I looked at the label, "..ideal with red meats, dishes in sauces...". Ahhhh what a coincidence! So perfect for what we are having tonight ^_^

Our bread came, and it was soft and chewy at the same time. And take a look at how much butter they give us. This is one of the things my boyfriend and I noticed about Montreal, they NEVER cheap out on butter!

My mesclun salad. It was so light and fresh, with just the right amount of vinaigrette

My boyfriend's cauliflower soup. I think he said it was "good" and "very cauliflowery"

And now, the main dishes!

Stuffed duck breast with foie gras with quinoa risotto
This was fabulous! The duck breast's texture was so tender, and when you eat it with the foie gras inside, and with a bit of the rich sauce from the is heavenly. The risotto was also very very good, so tasty and flavorful...the spinach on the top was a nice touch.

Filet of venisen (red deer) in wine sauce

I had a little piece of the deer, and again, all praises from me! The meat is actually even softer than the duck. The wine sauce compliments the dish very well too. My boyfriend liked it (I think) and really enjoyed  the carrot tart thingy on the right top corner.

Dinner ended with hot tea for me, and coffee for my boyfriend. No dessert because I already have somewhere in mind to go to for that =) but the restaurant had a pretty good dessert menu too.

I loved Le P'tit Plateau! I loved the small cozy ambiance of the restaurant, the open kitchen,  the BYOW factor ($5 corkage fee), the friendly staff, the unpretentious feel of the place in general (it's not totally casual, and yet not fancy...but right in the middle), and of course the delicious French food. Next time I'm in Montreal, I'm definitely going back to Le P'tit Plateau.

Restaurant Le P'Tit Plateau on Urbanspoon