Ludger

28 Jun

Always on the lookout for somewhere different to celebrate the start of the weekend, I met some friends at their office in Westmount a few Fridays ago and walked down the hill to Ludger. I have had my eye on visiting this new trendy St-Henri spot on Notre-Dame Ouest for a while and this beautiful evening seemed like the right time to check them out.

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Ludger labels itself as a buvette with a gourmet accent aka we are a bar but also have high-end food. Located on a corner on Notre-Dame, they have taken over an old storefront with the old recessed entranced and all-window facade and spruce it up with a massive rural on the side and a beautiful wooden terrasse as well. I can’t speak for the inside because we never set foot in there – no tables available there so we sat outside. The noise emanating from the windows told of a noisy environment – not totally unexpected given it was Friday night. The terrasse itself was nice and quiet with build-in wooden banquets instead of chairs. It’s also on the cross street, not Notre Dame itself so there was no cars driving by us which was nice.

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Ludger has a nice cocktail menu, a decent selection of wine and a food menu that I would characterize as eclectic. No real obvious “type” here but very intriguing. Before we grabbed a bottle of wine, I tried their special of the night, bourbon lemonade – my summer drink of choice. I was exposed to this beverage at Icehouse a couple of years ago, I have been hooked and have converted many friends and family. At this point, summer without it just seems wrong! Sadly, in this case, I was left disappointed. This version was overcome with sweetness to the point where the natural acidity of the lemon and the smokiness of bourbon were left wanting. The ideal bourbon lemonade blends all of these aspects smoothly. This one did not.

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Food-wise, we stuck to the appetizer options as we were not all that particularly hungry. First up, fried veal sweetbreads with kimchi and peanuts. Very creative dish and one I never would have thought about prior to this. The fried sweetbreads were crispy enough on the outside without losing the fatty goodness inside. The kimchi with its inherent spiciness added some nice heat to the dish and the peanuts brought some texture. Add some micro greens, shitake mushrooms with a piece of crispy chicken skin and you have a excellent dish. If you have an aversion to sweetbreads, this dish won’t convince you otherwise but I love them so it worked for me.

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Next up, we had their polenta fries. Another creative approach from the kitchen here – they got enough of a crunch on the fries without losing the texture of the polenta. Paired with a nice mayo as well (correction: I have been informed this was parmesan cream, not mayo). My only issue here was the amount of fries we got for the cost of the dish. I frankly would have been preferred sweet potato fries or just regular fries if we would have gotten us more to enjoy. Good but not enough to truly enjoy.

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After that, we went for the meat plate – a combination of rosette de Lyon, prosciutto, duck breast and others with some olives and bread. Overall a solid dish – I’m always a big fan of this kind of plate… well other than the olives which I despise but we’ll skip on that discussion for now. Again, a little small given the price but still delicious.

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Our last dish of the evening was grilled squid with chick peas. A deliciously meaty piece of squid, grilled wonderfully with a nice creamy yogourt sauce paired with it and the chick peas. Following the theme of the meal, delicious but again, somewhat small for the price. (Correction: This was actually octopus, not squid – thank you to my readers who caught this mistake)

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Ludger was a pleasant experience although one that I would characterize as overpriced for what it is. Loved the overall vibe, the setting and the creativity of the food menu. The rest of cocktail menu gets me interested as well. Not sure I will get bang for my buck food wise to make this a good dinner option however this is definitely a worthwhile drink spot with perhaps a dish or 2 and will be the site of future happy hours to come on my end. Now I probably just need to visit the interior as some point….

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Cheers!

Ludger
4001 Notre Dame Ouest
438 383 3229

Ludger on Urbanspoon

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3 Responses to “Ludger”

  1. soth October 18, 2014 at 10:43 am #

    Not grilled squid in the picture….it looks like you had grilled octopus!

  2. food lover October 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    its grilled octopus and its not a mayo served with the polenta fries but parmesan cream.. and if you think it is overpriced go to the other restaurants in the area you will see the difference…

    • mjpilon October 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm #

      @soth @food lover Thank you for the correction… I honestly didn’t realize I made the octopus v. squid mistake. It will be fixed shortly as will the mayo mention… I guess I misheard our waitress’ explanation of the dish.

      As for the price, I am certainly aware of the prices of the other restaurants in the area. I have gone to many nearby… my issue here was more the cost relative to the quantity. I never mind paying a pretty price for a good meal but for what I paid, I expected to leave more full than I did.

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