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EVOO Cuisine Soignée

7 Nov

Two and a half years ago, I came to EVOO for a quick brunch with a friend. The experience was good enough that I told myself I should come back for dinner at some point. Well, it took awhile but for the event of MTL à Table, I finally came back last week ready to see how EVOO held up after all this time with my girlfriend and some friends of ours.

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First thing of note for me was the completely change in decor. Gone was the contemporary white and purple look of before. Now, the space is more rustic in appearance with a harvest theme running through the room – use of light yellows, harvest tools and greenery on the walls, old mismatches wooden chairs and a large mirrored wall in the front. Compared to before, the space feels warmer although there is lack of pop visually and the room still feels a little empty somehow.

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I also need to make mention of the wonderfully offbeat playlist that played all night – jazzy covers of pretty much anything possible from “Stacy’s Mom” to “Gangster’s Paradise”, “Girls Wanna have Fun” and Kanye West’s “Only One”. For the entire night, our table was laughing and smiling at the great and weird songs to the point of asking our waitress exactly how found these songs.

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We decided to start with some of their speciality cocktails. Personally, I went for the Autumn Martini – Ice Cider, bourbon, apple juice and spices. An excellent blend of sweet and spice. Officially a cocktail I need to re-attempt at home.

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My girlfriend went with the rhum ground cherry – white and brown rums mixed with angostura bitters and ground cherries. Not a huge rum fan but again a very nicely balanced cocktail. A hint of bitterness to go with the spiciness of the rum and the sweetness of the ground cherry.

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Amongst the four of us at our table, we were able to try the entire menu EVOO had set up for MTL à Table. The first starter was a Bass Escabeche with roasted cauliflower, yogurt, smoked tomato jam and pickled fennel. Nice tender pieces of poached bass served cold as is traditional of a escabeche. The use of the smooth yogourt and the smoky tomato jam provided nice flavour kicks to pair with the fish. A nice presentation as well.

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Second starter was a homemade Ricotta salad with cucumber, brussels sprout, carrot, beet and walnut dressing. Another beautiful presentation and a wonderful fresh. A great creamy rich texture to the ricotta and the use of all those fresh vegetables matched up well with the inherent richness of the cheese.

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The final starter was a red wine onion soup with parmesan foam. The lack of that big crouton and melty cheese that we usually associate with a French onion soup made this feel a little lacking in the end. The flavour was very nice though – the red wine coming through strongly in the broth. More a question of expectations than anything else.

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Our first main was the Québec bison ribs with Anthony’s vegetable stew, chimichurri and pangritata. The meat off the rib was beautifully tender and juicy – simply falling off the massive rib in the plate. The pangritata breading added a little crunch and the vegetable stew provided a hearty comfort to the dish. Very enjoyable.

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Next was the mushroom ravioli with Mr. Petit’s confit goat, pear, crispy cipollini and parmesan. Nicely sized raviolis with a solid amount of filling. Nice flavour overall with the addition of the sweet pear provided a nice counter to the goat itself.

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Finally, we had the stuffed quail with Gaspor bacon, grilled lettuce, Labrador tea, sage mascarpone and root vegetables. The bird was nice and juicy and the rest of the dish had this great feeling of being technical but still comforting. Another excellent dish.

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Desserts brought further enjoyment. First was an assortment of Québec cheeses with some caramelized nuts, apple butter and fennel and coriander crackers. Next was an medley of desserts – salted caramel flan, aerial chocolate, apple, fireweed ice cream and some meringue. A great showcase of different technical skills and flavours. Very good across the board. The final option – for a little extra cost – was the Banoffee – caramelized bananas, dulce de leche, creme fraiche, shortbread and toffee. I was very happy I went for the extra cost to get this. The combination of the bananas with the caramel and the toffee was perfectly sweet and some nice crunch as well. This dish disappeared as quickly as it arrived at our table.

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It may have taken me longer to come back than I hoped but EVOO thankfully did not disappoint. An excellent meal – a showcase of technique and great ingredients – that left us satisfied and full. With all the changes and new restaurants opening on Notre Dame, it’s great to see EVOO is holding its own and providing a great experience.

Cheers!

EVOO
3426 Notre-Dame Ouest
514 846-3886

Restaurant EVOO Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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EVOO Cuisine Soignée (Brunch Edition)

17 Feb

On a recent Sunday, I headed down by the Atwater Market to finally check out a brunch spot I had on my list for a few months now – EVOO Cuisine Soignée. This contemporary and stylish looking restaurant does a brunch service on weekends. The menu is relatively small but provides much variety outside of the usual fare you can get from many brunch locations.

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As a starter, my friend and I ordered a side of housemade Nutella or NutellOO with some toasts. This was quite a treat and an excellent way to start the meal. Perfectly smooth texture with a wonderfully strong chocolate taste that just screams out “we melted down actually chocolate for this”. The hazelnut note was less than normal Nutella but still very present. Very well done.

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Next up, we ordered a side of the Ricotta fritters. They came in 3 varieties – fennel, coriander and a third one which I forgot actually. All three were quite good although I really didn’t pick up any hint of coriander in that one. A dense yet fluffy interior with a crisp exterior, the ricotta comes through with the richness of each fritter. The sugar and the pastry cream added the appropriate sweetness.

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As a main, my friend ordered the baked potato with spicy salsa verde. Right off the bat, this thing was a monster. A ridiculously huge plate that my friend couldn’t finish and even with my help, there were remnants. When even the waitress notes picking up the plates that most people don’t finish it, you know you are dealing with a big dish. The dish works pretty well – the combination of the poached egg, the creme fraiche and cheese with the actual potato creates a nice richness and creaminess. The smoked bacon adds a little crunch and the salsa verde, while not as spicy as it was implied by our waitress, added a very nice kick to the dish. Definitely something I never would have expected for brunch.

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On my end, I ordered the sausage roll with spicy red cabbage and mint compote. The roll was a large whole sausage with caramelized onions wrapped in puff pastry. Very good although I must admit that I had expected the interior to be a sausage and onion filling. Because the sausage was whole, as soon as you cut it, the pastry just fell off the sausage. A pretty minor issue in reality. The red cabbage added some texture and bite to the dish all while giving that little hint of spice. The mint compote was nice and light – the perfect way to cleanse the palette as you went about your meal.

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This was a very nice experience from beginning to end. The service was friendly and attentive all while being timely. The variety of the menu is a nice plus for them – very creative options for people who want something else out of their brunch. I truly looked forward to coming back at some point for their dinner service.

Cheers!

EVOO Cuisine Soignée
3426 Notre-Dame Ouest
514 846 3886

Evoo on Urbanspoon

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