Archive | Gay Village RSS feed for this section

Le Petit Mousso

13 Nov

November is MTL à Table time and also the end of a 3 month period where my wife and I are pretty much on the go non-stop. MTL à Table is always a great way to get a nice date night for the two of us. For this year, looking at the list, I was tempted by one spot in particular – Le Petit Mousso.

I have yet to go to its big brother next door, Le Mousso. There, Chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard has been racking up accolades for his inventive and delicious tasting menu offerings over the past 4 years. Open since 2018, Le Petit Mousso took over the old space of the Mousso as they expanded next door and turned it into a ‘À la Carte’ version of the Mousso – same style of cuisine, similar decor and style – just no need to commit to the tasting menu approach. I was looking forward to dipping my toe in to see what Le Mousso’s style was all about.

Le Petit Mousso is located in the Village, corner Ontario and Atateken. The two restaurants share the same entrance – such that I wasn’t sure which half was the Petit Mousso and which was Le Mousso when we walked in. The space is very clean and simple. The old white brick walls are accented with a bit of art work. The dining room is a two level space with a mix of tables and bar-style seating. There are industrial and modern touches with the central staircase that leads to the open kitchen in the basement which is probably the coolest element in the design of the space.

Being MTLàTable, we had a 3 course menu for the evening with 3 choices at every course. We chose to not order any of the same dishes so we could taste as much of the menu as we could. The first appetizer was chicken liver mousse with elderberries and clover served with bread from Automne Boulangerie. Super light and airy texture but with huge flavours. If you don’t like chicken liver, this may not sell you on it but it was excellent. The use of the lightly fermented elderberries on top cut some of the richness down with its sweet acidity.

Our other appetizer was a plate of shrimp served in Kohlrabi ‘wrappers’ in a lightly flavoured tomato broth. Beautiful presentation on the table. A very subtle dish all-around. The shrimp were delicious and quite flavourful. I like the interesting use of the kohlrabi as a wrapper. Flavourwise, it didn’t really add much. A well executed and presented dish.

Our mains continued the great level of execution. I went with the sous-vide duck served with carrots, pleurotes and a light broth. Once again, beautiful presentation and great depth of flavours. The duck was super tender and flavourful. The carrots and mushrooms paired very well to the duck as well. Very enjoyable.

My wife went with the char served in a beurre blanc sauce with shishito peppers. Super tender fish with great flavour. The beurre blanc was the right balance of rich but not heavy. A perfect complement to the fish.

We ordered two different sides to go with our mains and sadly these did not wow us like the rest of the meal. The smoked potatoes served in a buttermilk and herb sauce were okay but no punch. The cold and slightly firm texture of the potatoes also left us wanting. The fermented cabbage with vinaigrette and herbs were a little too bitter for us as well.

The dessert course brought things back on a more positive course for us. First was a white chocolate mousse topped with a squash granité. While the initial contrast between the ice cold granité and the mousse was quite strange temperature-wise, they was no denying that the flavours worked beautifully together.

The second dessert was a ‘black jerusalem artichoke’ – a coffee-flavoured cake topped with chocolate mousse and rye crumble. Delicious texture to the cake and the chocolate mousse was smooth and rich. Personally, we don’t like coffee so that flavour profile wasn’t our favourite but excellent execution regardless.

Le Petit Mousso gave us a look into Le Mousso’s style and we came out of it very impressed. Great level of execution and creativity throughout the meal. Not everything hit for us but enough of it to confirm that we must come back for the full experience next door. If you aren’t sure yourself, Le Petit Mousso is a great way to find out.

Cheers!

Le Petit Mousso
1023 Ontario Est
438 384 7410

Le Red Tiger

15 Jul

Hello dear readers,

Life has conspired (in a positive way) to slow down the frequency of this blog but never fear we are still here! Kidding aside, my visits to restaurants have slowed down somewhat but I will continue to post reviews once I get a opportunity to try something new. On this occasion, we head to the Village where I had the chance (a few months ago I must admit) to try Le Red Tiger – a Vietnamese pub whose success has allowed the owners to expand further in the neighbourhood with Le Blossom and Kamehameha Snack Bar.

We arrived on a busy Friday night to a full room including a bachelorette party in the back. The space is very reminiscent in layout to an old bar or diner – long and narrow with the bar being most prominent along almost the whole length of the space. There is even a old school type checker board tile floor to evoke that feel. Otherwise the space is pretty unremarkable visually. We grabbed a few seats at the bar and checked out the drink menu.

An interesting mix of cocktails are available. I decided to go with the Bà Den Lemonade – Bulleit bourbon, amaretto, organic apple juice, oolong tea and vanilla syrup, lemon juice and mint. Cool presentation using tin spice and tea boxes. Flavour-wise, there is a nice balance between the sweetness of amaretto and juice with the smokiness of the bourbon. Very enjoyable.

On the food side of the things, Le Red Tiger is all about Vietnamese street food – lots of grilled or fried items in small portions designed to share. Feels very similar to an Imadake but with very clear Vietnamese influences. First up, beef carpaccio Vietnamese style with shrimp chips. Very tender and flavourful beef with strong notes of lime juice and some pepper heat. We also ordered a side of seasoned fried peanuts with pair with that. I liked the extra crunch that came with frying them and the saltiness matched up with the acidity of the carpaccio.

I had heard very good things about the chicken wings so of course I ordered some. Le Red Tiger fries them and served them with traditional Nuoc Mam sauce (fish sauce, lime, sugar and water). I loved the crunch that frying wings provided over the baked equivalent. The wings were nice and flavourful – a good mix of sweetness and heat. The sauce made them very sticky so not the cleanest dish to eat but they are chicken wings so of course they would be messy!

The coconut chicken satay skewers were excellent – great grill on the chicken and the little sauce on the side provided a nice sweet note. They arrived with the mini viet pork and shrimp pancakes. Very interesting dish that I had never heard before. The creamy sauce made the dish heavier that anything else we ordered despite the fluffy texture of the “pancakes”. The last dish before dessert was the chicken imperial rolls. Nice crunch and good flavour.

And then finally for dessert, sticky rice with mango and coconut milk. Very generous portion. Strong notes from the coconut but the mango softened it a bit.

Le Red Tiger was a fun and enjoyable experience. It is always fun to experience a different type of cuisine. You can easily see how Le Red Tiger has been able to establish itself so well in the Village. Definitely worth a return visit!

Cheers!

Le Red Tiger
1201 de Maisonneuve E.
514 439 7006

Le Red Tiger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kitchenette

3 Dec

I am a huge fan of Icehouse, Chef Nick Hodge’s hip and casual love letter to Southern American food. If it weren’t for Blackstrap BBQ’s sudden appearance and my frequent visits that border on stalking frequency, it would be my most frequented restaurant of this year. With that in mind, I had never had the opportunity to visit his 1st and more “upscale” restaurant Kitchenette. This past Saturday, with the help of a last minute restaurant for a family meal, I succeeded in righting that wrong.

20121202-222853.jpg

The restaurant is located on Rene Levesque near the Radio-Canada building and you would be forgiven if you’ve passed by and never noticed it. There is no large sign advertising its presence, the restaurant logo is in the windows but in a minimalistic way. The restaurant has a very clean black and white look with wooden accents. The focal point is the bar and open kitchen which allows everyone to watch Chef Nick and his sous-chef work their magic.

20121202-223254.jpg

We started off with a half dozen fresh oysters with homemade Tabasco and a tomatillo based mignonette. The oysters were perfectly shucked and the mignonette was a very nice compliment to the freshness of the oysters with the subtle kick from the tomatillos. A good start to the meal.

20121202-223805.jpg

The subsequent course brought forth 3 different appetizers to try. The Maryland-style crab cakes with ranch dressing were very well executed. Plentiful crab meat with a thin but perfectly crispy exterior. The ranch sauce was also very good and clearly homemade. Had the right richness but without being too fat and thick. Probably the best crab cakes I’ve had in Montreal.

20121202-224325.jpg

The Japanese taco with pulled beef teriyaki and daikon-jalapeño slaw was quite good as well. Good strong flavors from the beef which were nicely balanced by the slaw. I only wished there wasn’t just one taco in the dish so that I could have had more than one bite.

20121202-225056.jpg

The final appetizer was the sopapillas with crispy chicken skin, truffle and spiced honey. Never had these fried pastries before but there were pretty good. Really, it is the spiced honey and truffle that comes off as the big flavor in this dish. This was more a dessert in flavour but a nice compliment to the other flavors we got during this course.

20121202-230246.jpg

With the two mains we ordered (also another order of crab cakes but we’ll ignore that for this portion), we also got a side of French fries and a side of Vidalia onion rings. The French fries were of the classic French bistro variety – matchstick style. Absolutely no complaints there – very good. The onion rings, on the other hand, were simply amazing. Nice thick rings of Vidalia onion that maintained a great crispness regardless of the batter which was nice, crispy and not heavy. That really allowed the sweetness of the onion to shine though. Once again, some of the best onion rings I’ve ever had.

20121202-231232.jpg

20121202-231309.jpg

The first main was the lazy cioppino with grilled sourdough bread. I didn’t try much of this for reasons that will become obvious in a moment but from what I had, this was a very nice hardy broth with amazing fresh seafood by the tons be it crab, shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels or fish. It all worked perfectly well together and with the sourdough bread, it made for a perfect bread dunking opportunity into the broth. Definitely will want to try this myself in more detail next time I visit.

20121202-231651.jpg

20121202-231819.jpg

Now, I did not try much of the cioppino because I ordered the Chicken-fried duck confit, sweet potato and wild blueberry waffle, white gravy and pickled mushrooms. This was an overall wonderful play on the chicken and waffle combination. The duck confit was spectacular. There really is no other way to describe that beautiful piece of duck I received. Great flavor, great texture. Spot on in every way and that is before you consider the chicken-fried preparation on top of it. The gravy was nice and rich and the mushrooms were a very nice compliment to the overall rich nature of this dish. The one disappointment was the waffle which, while having a nice flavor of blueberry, was too soft in texture for my liking. I assume that may have been on account of the gravy it soaked in but it still wasn’t what I was hoping for. A little crisper and this was a perfect dish.

20121202-232448.jpg

After all of that food, you figured we were done, right? Well, you’d be wrong. To finish this off, we ordered the bread pudding with Jack Daniel’s and toasted pecan caramel. Oh the bread pudding…. where to start with this beauty… This was simply the best bread pudding I have ever had and I honestly don’t think it will ever be topped. The bread itself was nice, soft and able to absorb all of that delicious caramel sauce to make it even that much better. The caramel sauce was to die for and not just because of how rich it was. You got just the right taste of Jack Daniels and the toasted pecans added a nice crunch to the gooey rich mess that is this dessert. I felt like I wanted to explode afterwards but it was completely worth it in every way.

20121202-233112.jpg

I had high expectations for Kitchenette and there were ably met by Chef Hodge and his team. This is a restaurant I will come back to because I now have the desire to eat very thing on the menu. I believe that, more than anything, speaks to the quality of the food you can experience at Kitchenette. This is a place not to be missed.

Cheers!

Kitchenette
1353 Rene-Levesque Est
514 527 1016

Kitchenette on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: