Le Serpent is sister restaurant to Le Club Chasse et Peche where I dined earlier in the year. While I found Le Club a tad stuffy and OTT, by comparison Le Serpent is relaxed and welcoming. We arrived early and started with a couple of martinis at the bar. The service was extremely friendly, it felt like being welcomed by relatives we'd not seen in some time. I was totally charmed.
I'd read that the room is not the most comfortable environment, and I sort of agree. Especially the seating, the chairs are really uncomfortable after a couple of hours and the tables for 2 are very close together. I don't tend to let that bother me at all, but people probably get to know a little more about me than I'd generally care to divulge to strangers, due to their close proximity.
We ordered bread. This must be one of only a handful of restaurants in Montreal that don't serve bread automatically. You need to order it and pay for it here. A nice foccacia is served and there's some kind of charity donation involved if you do order it, so I suppose one mustn't grumble. But come on, just serve bread, people love it.
The menu is split into raw starters, cooked starters,
pasta, risotto, surf, turf and rotisserie sections. There's a lot going on and
it took us some time to reach a decision.
I started off with the kit of three ($18). 3 types of sashimi, this is a huge starter and I didn't eat all of it. Mainly because I thought the scallops were slightly ruined by the addition of an overpowering sweet chilli sauce. The fish itself, though, was excellent. I much preferred the mackerel with yuzu, almonds and dried olives. The third of the trio (below, centre) was flounder with red onions and orange powder, again the fish was a tad overlooked because the accompaniments were so strong.
My main was seabass with mussels, fregola, tomato and fennel ($29). I'd hoped this would be on a par with my fishy fregola main at Rotorino but it sadly wasn't. I'm wondering whether we took a ridiculously long time to finish our starters because it looked to me like my main had been sitting around for a while, it was all a bit dry. Flavours were good though.
Instead of dessert we shared a cheeseplate which included Mimolette, I'm always happy to see this cheese, and I miss Waitrose where I used to stock up on it.
Despite it sounding like I didn't enjoy much, in all, I'd like to try more of the cooking at Le Serpent and I'll definitely revisit, it's just down the road from work so I'll be back soon. Some hits, some misses on my first visit but I'm sufficiently pleased to go back again. I'll be trying the 'spit of the day' from the rotisserie next time. What I remember most is drinking Disaronno until they practically had to throw us out because everyone else had gone. We paid a little over $100 each which included pre drinks, a bottle of prosecco and several digestifs. Great night,
257 Rue Prince