Friday, January 07, 2011
Montrealais (Montreal) 01/2011
This is the Bistro, bar and restaurant of Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, or more familiarly to us, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. They offer an a la carte menu and also a $34 to $38 waiters choice on a blackboard at the entrance,
that changes daily. This is a three course menu including coffee. It consists of soup of the day, choice of one of three mains and a self serve dessert. I had that. We are continually surprised here. On this occasion it was a chef's offering of a couple of crisp cold vegetarian spring rolls with a fine sate sauce
which immediately put us in a good mood. Starting with minestrone soup
which was thankfully not over salted, filled with vegetables and very typical of a good minestrone. Sandra had an onion soup
with choice of cheese, she picked Gruyere. Our waiter was quite frenetic, serving about 10 small tables at lightning speed. This may account for the soup being almost entirely in the bowl but still partly out of it. Regardless it was by far the best we've had in a restaurant for years. Nothing dominated, it was just right in every regard. Promised a blue fillet steak again Sandra was not disappointed
and the accompanying Bearnaise sauce was perfect, the mark of an excellent chef. There vegetables were also very good particularly the potato mash and a yellow turnip. I had grilled arctic chard,
which looked like an anaemic salmon. Barely cooked it had a very fine, soft flesh and a most delicate flavour, not at all fishy.
The desserts were spread over a large counter and they seemed unconcerned as to how much one took, or how often one returned. I loved the mousse cakes but perhaps the best thing there was a New York style cheese cake.
Extremely good cooking for a bistro restaurant.