Our first night in Montreal & eating at Maison Boulud

montreal

We arrived into Montreal around 7:15PM and by the time we found our hotel and checked in, it was 7:30PM.

We stayed at the Hotel Bonaventure. I selected this hotel as I wanted it as close to the train station so that on Sunday morning we wouldn’t need to wake up early from a distant hotel to make our train.  The hotel was really nice.  As it was part of a conference centre I can only assume that it was more so a conference hotel.  Our room was very spacious.  We were able to get a King size bedroom for just over CAD$100 per night after a bit of research (Gambit’s domain). I also like how they have resident ducks in their ponds.

I had booked us in for an 8:30PM dinner at Maison Boulud at the Ritz-Carlton. As you can imagine, it’s one of those fancy pants restaurants.

I wanted to go there because I read it offered a 2 or 3 course menu, plus it was of French cuisine. I got the latter correct but when we sat down the 2 or 3 course menu wasn’t offered to us nor was it on the website any longer.  Gambit and I we went for the degustation menu.  The menu wasn’t offered to us as a choice in the restaurant, but it was still on their website.  The waiter had to check with the chef first but returned promptly to advise it was OK to order.

Gambit and I have had a few degustation menus before but this was the first time we were told that we are not advised in advance what the menu will be, and that basically the chef makes whatever he wants from the ala carte menu (but a smaller portion).   We were asked if we had any allergies and that was that.

It wasn’t a problem that we didn’t know what we were eating in advance.  I usually don’t remember all the things I eat during a degustation anyway.

So here are some photos of things that I don’t remember exactly what they were:

Amaretto Sour
Our Amaretto Sour – love the egg white foam art
Maison Boulud
First dish – something seafood with a squid ink crisp
Maison Boulud
Second course – fish wrapped in avocado served with a cream made from coconut cream, with bits of crushed macadamias on the plate
Maison Boulud
Third course – foie gras
Maison Boulud
Fourth course – the pasta dish which the chef came out and explained how it was made. I think it had sea urchins or something in it. But the ingredients are all from Italy except the eggs, which were local
Maison Boulud
Fifth course – something seafood with a puree made of pea.. I think
Maison Boulud
Sixth course – quail served with some vegetables
Maison Boulud
Pre – dessert amuse bouche. Berry sorbet with berries
Maison Boulud
Pre-dessert
Maison Boulud
Pre-dessert
Maison Boulud
Seventh course (which I was confused about as I thought it was only six courses) – dessert. Coffee gelato with a coffee stick thing that had chocolate inside.
Maison Boulud
Beignet served with tea and coffee

 

A nice touch to the evening was when the head chef, Riccardo Bertolino, came out half way through the menu ad explained the pasta dish.

Maison Boulud
Riccardo at the front with his hands folded – this is not my photo

 

Everything was delicious, even the froi gras that I am not a huge fan of.

One of the most outstanding dishes for me was the seafood one with squid ink crisps. I could eat ink crisps until my skin tongue turned black.

Also, our starter Amaretto Sours were gorgeous – no cheap plastic cherry (the ones I love) in sight, however they used real egg whites to make the foam top. And there was a little bit of foam art, always a pleasure to see.

The meal was a lovely way to start the getaway and as we hadn’t done degustation for a while, it seemed like a real treat.

We walked back to the hotel despite it starting to rain, but Gambit and I walked like lovers do in the rain in a foreign place – without a care.

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