Thursday, 24 April 2014

Le Local

It was my colleague Julien's birthday and I so wanted to help him arrange his birthday dinner, without one single motive other than to make sure he had a good night.  Honestly.  I didn't intend to highjack the evening and drag a bunch of my new colleagues along to a restaurant that I wanted to visit, not at all.  But, as luck would have it, somewhere I suggested was selected and off we went to Le Local for dinner and cocktails.  What are the chances?!

I started things off with a gin martini, a very good way to judge the quality of a place, it was fine, not Zetter standard but ok.  What was great were the 3 bottles of Cháteauneuf Du Pape we shared.

My starter was right up my street, and I really struggled to pick between their signature dish (below) and their chef's starter of the day which was scallops.  I've decided the way to approach eating in Montreal these first couple of months, is to ask the Canadians what I should be eating.  Usually I pretty much know what to order before I even set foot in a place and am afraid to receive bad advise, here I'm a bit lost, despite doing a lot of research but I am giving people the benefit of the doubt.

So I ignored the scallop suggestion and went for the panko crumbed egg with golden beets, bacon and goatscheese ($13).  I have a thing about runny eggs so this was pretty much bang on, you can't see the bacon, but it was that thick smokey American style bacon that's crunchy and brilliant.  Ooh the menu also cited truffle oil as a component, but I had trouble discerning any.

My main was pretty gross to be honest.  It's maple syrup season, and I think the sugar in the air went to my head, because I ordered the braised beef with Jack Daniels maple sauce and butternut squash puree ($26).  The whole thing was waaaaay to sweet, the pickled apple wasn't even close to cutting through the sugaryness, I couldn't finish it.  Oh and I hate Jack Daniels, #lostit

We all shared the chef's treats board ($9) which is more like petit fours than pudding but there were some nice things on there, the burnt marshmallow and the blondie were my faves.  They were stingy with the bread, founcing around with a big basket of it and tonging (not tonguing) out a paltry little slice per person.  At Holder it's pretty much all you can eat, more of that please people.

This wasn't a particularly memorable meal, but I've already returned for lunch, they do a good set menu.  Salad as a starter is a thing on set lunch menus it seems, which always seems like a bit of a cop out to me.  Their soups are nice though.  It's almost Terrasse season and they have a nice outside area once it's warm, this is a vital selling point when there is snow on the ground for half the year.

Le Local
700 Rue William
Old Montreal

Le Local on Urbanspoon

p.s tartare is a huge deal here, literally everywhere, on every menu in several forms.  I'm avoiding it because, for some reason, I find this extremely annoying.

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