The goal of tonight was to be adventurous and try new places for eating out in Montréal. Once you know what you like, it is easy to get into a routine with food, but I always think it is important to stimulate your mind with the food you eat. I make it a habit to try a new cuisine or ingredient at least one time per week. This week, the theme was to try new restaurants I have yet to go to.
My brave endeavour began with a restaurant named Bistro Lustucru located on Park Avenue in the Outremont neighborhood. I have always enjoyed the classic beef and tuna tartars, but this restaurant presented mind-blowing preparations of raw proteins. Vegans beware!
At this raw bar, I choose 6 different proteins to share between myself and another. I also ordered thin cut fries served alongside an impressive mayonnaise made with a hint of grainy mustard. It was the ideal amount of food, as I left the restaurant feeling satisfied, but not too full.
The first protein I enjoyed was horse tataki topped with peach salsa and jicama tossed in a house-made rémoulade. This was my first time eating horse meat and although there is a stigma associated with the practice, the meat was quite tender. I would definitely venture to eat horse again.
Immediately, I dug into the next raw preparation, a take on the classic “Vitello Tonato.” You would never think to combine veal and tuna but the combination was pure magic. This was my favourite dish of the night. There was a lightly seared veal fillet topped with a sauce that resembled tuna salad. The sauce contained tuna, capers, cucumbers, and dill. The dill provided the sauce with a bite that made the dish exceptional. Rounding out this already superior dish was a barely cooked piece of tuna lightly encrusted in panko breadcrumbs. It was simply genius.
The third plate I relished was the ever classic beef tartar. It was simple, with clean flavours of beef and sun-dried tomato mayo served alongside thin, crispy handmade chips. The straightforward dishes always reveal if a chef is truly talented and this beef tartar confirmed that these cutting edge chefs definitely know their way around the kitchen.
Next, we enjoyed marlin carpaccio topped with yogurt, strawberries, and basil. Many do not think combining fish and fruit will be successful, but this carpaccio will change the minds of even the most doubtful. Following the marlin, another delicious fish preparation came. This time, it was a fluke tartar served with avocado on top of a crispy fried risotto cake. The flavours of the tartar reminded me of sushi. I like to think this dish was the restaurant’s deconstruction of a Japanese favourite.
Finally, I tried raw lamb for the first time in yet another tartar. The flavours were very interesting since the addition of lentils and cornichon pickles added an unusual, but delightful crunch. It was the one of the better meals I have had in a while and highly recommend visiting this restaurant. Plus, in addition to relatively spectacular food, the prices were extremely reasonable. Dinner for two was well under $100, which is not expected for such high quality food.
Of course, dessert must follow every meal and right next door to the raw bar is Chez Boris. This unassuming coffee shop happens to also make the best doughnuts I have had in my entire life. I am not usually the biggest doughnut fan, but when I say I could eat these everyday, I am not kidding or exaggerating.
This café served both cold and hot doughnuts and I could not pass up the opportunity to try both. First, I tried the hot doughnuts. The owner was making the dough in front of everyone when I first walked in. I quickly ordered half a dozen cinnamon sugar doughnuts and was happily shocked to see my doughnuts were fried right in front of me and served immediately. The lightly fried crust was oddly refreshing, and not oily in anyway. Underneath the crispy exterior of the doughnut topped with the ideal amount of cinnamon and sugar, a pillowy texture was revealed. The doughnut was not overly sweet, but definitely served to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Upon returning home, I enjoyed my cold doughnut. It was a raspberry doughnut and was absolutely delightful. It tasted almost exactly like my homemade birthday cake that I fill with raspberry jam. The outside of the doughnut had the texture similar to the edges of the cake that cooked against the pan. The raspberry glaze was not overly sweet either. The flavours were balanced, but had a very intense and wanted raspberry flavour. I like my doughnuts to taste like what they are advertised to be and enjoyed seeing the seeds of the raspberries on top of my doughnut.
Chez Boris has made me crave doughnuts, something I thought would never happen. Here comes my next midnight craving.
5159 Park Avenue
Montréal, QC H2V 4G3
5151 Park Avenue
Montréal, QC H2V 4G3