Sometimes the closest restaurants to you are the ones you never check out. They sit on your “to visit” list and get ignored. Be it because you forget about them or get distracted by other places. This year’s taste MTL allowed me to finally eliminate one such place from my list – La Fabrique Bistrot. Situated in front of St-Louis Square and a short walk from my neighbourhood, this open kitchen concept restaurant makes quite the impression when you walk in. The kitchen right in the middle of the room, beautifully wood panelling all around and tons of lighting accents. It creates a very inviting and rustic feel all without losing the fine dining element.
For taste MTL, they were offering a 39$ menu that combined regular menu items with some other options. They also offered a wine pairing option for an additional 27$ for each of the meal. My dining companions and I went with this option and were satisfied with the selections – particularly the Muscato I received during the dessert course.
Prior to the actual menu, we received a small bowl of squash, corn and nut soup as an amuse-bouche. Nice and rich, we were pleasantly surprised by the addition of the corn and the nuts. The corn provided some sweetness and the nuts a little salt on top of the texture additions both provided. A nice starter to the meal.
The 2 appetizers offered for Taste MTL were a beetroot, carrot and orange salad with horseradish cream and ratatouille in a terrine with Vitello tomato and foccaccia. The salad was wonderfully light and fresh with a strong kick from the horseradish to spice things up. The ratatouille terrine was a very unique concept that worked beautifully and the sauce provided a nice creamy component to mix with the terrine.
The first main course was a slowly cooked pork with apple, squash, turnip and sweet potato sautéed with Papineau’s maple syrup and ginger. Perfectly executed, the pork just felt apart. The fattiness of the pork was augmented nicely with the sweetness of the maple syrup and the freshness of the vegetables in the dish. The addition of the cheddar on top added some nice sharpness as well. A very creative and delicious dish all around.
The second main was salmon preserved in sunflower oil with miniature pepper, parsnip, onion and a carrot purée. The preparation here was a bit more straight forward compared to the pork dish but very well done. The salmon was perfectly cooked and the carrot puree was wonderfully sweet. The other vegetables were good but didn’t hit home as much as the puree.
We also ordered an extra side of home fries as they are fried in duck fat and served with house ketchup. Duck fat always adds a little something extra to dishes and that was no exception here. The fries had just that little extra taste and bite which was nice. The house-made ketchup had a nice tanginess to it as well.
For dessert, the options were French toast with clove caramel and fleur de sel or an apple and maple syrup in a homemade yogurt cream. The French toast was ridiculous – a thick cut slice of bread with a rich and cream caramel with just the right hint of salt to balance out the sweetness. The apple, maple and yogurt mixture was quite good as well but got quickly overshadowed by the French toast. And then, once the bills came, so did our final surprise dessert – house cotton candy! Nice, sweet and fluffy without that pesky stickiness which hampers handling. A very playful way to end a great meal.
From beginning to end, la Fabrique was a great experience. Having the kitchen in the middle of the dining room is a cool hook to get you in but the great food and atmosphere are what will make you come back for more. It is nice to know I have another awesome restaurant a short walk over in my neighbourhood. Just another reminder to not ignore what you have close to you. You may be pleasantly surprised.
3609 St Denis
514 544 5038