Chez L’Épicier was the last restaurant on our list for Taste MTL 2013. My first visit to the restaurant was for Ashley’s birthday, and Ashley and I loved it! Since their regular menu is a bit pricy for students, therefore we decided to take the advantage of Taste MTL!
The restaurant is located in Old Montreal. It has a classy ambiance like most of the French restaurants in Old Montreal. The restaurant is awarded for its notable sustainable practices, meaning that 75% of their products are local, seasonal, and sustainable fishing. Also, L’Épicier is more than a restaurant. It is also a fine grocery store where customers can find a wide array of “Les Saveurs de L’Épicier” products.
As soon as we were seated, the waiter greeted us with their signature maple syrup cocktail. It has raspberry maple syrup and apple cidar.
After we ordered, the waiter brought up their signature amuse-bouches. I’ve been thinking about it ever since Ashley’s birthday. It’s definitely my #1 macaron flavor! I never had savory macaron before, and I doubt the combination when the waiter told us what it was (olive and goat cheese were never the type of food that I would go after for). However, the combination of olive and goat cheese is absolutely amazing!! It’s so hard to find appropriate terminology to describe how much I loved it. One is definitely not enough.
The appetizer is pretty good. It’s similar to an egg tempura. The fried coating is still crunchy while the egg yolk is still runny inside. Eating the egg with ham shavings balanced out the saltiness of the ham.
I didn’t get to try this since it has beef in it. However, my friends said it’s pretty good. It’s a fancy dish, since the potato velouté was poured into the bowl upon serving.
With additional cost, we can choose a second appetizer. Therefore, Ashley and I decided to share the wild mushroom risotto. We waited quite a while for this, however, the risotto for the first serving wasn’t completely cooked. They exchanged a second one for us, though it was better, we can still taste some uncooked risotto rice. Despite the rice, the flavor of the risotto is pretty good. It wasn’t that creamy and heavy.
I’m a seafood person, so no doubt that I would choose any seafood that is offered on the menu. The confit salmon is topped with champagne and yuzu caviar, and spinach chlorophyll and lemon whipped butter on the side. The salmon disappointed me a bit. The flesh was a bit too dry, and wasn’t that fresh (I’m pretty sensitive to the freshness of seafoods). Comparing to the salmon filet I had last time, this dish was disappointing.
Ashley ordered this since she really liked their pork from her birthday. The pork belly has chocolate parsnips and jus corsé lacquered stuffed yellow potatoes on the side. Once again, this was a bit disappointing as the pork was too hard and dry.
This is L’Épicier’s signature dessert. The club sandwich is layered with white chocolate, dark chocolate, and strawberry. However, I didn’t find it too special, because I got sick of it after having half of the “club sandwich”. The only plus of this dish is probably the pineapple fries. The sourness of the pineapple balanced out the over-sweetness of the chocolate club sandwich.
This is definitely better than the chocolate club sandwich! The sorbet is rich in maple syrup flavor, and the crème brûlée is creamy and smooth. It also has a bit of tea flavored too.
At the end of the meal, the waiter brought up the packets with marshmallow and cocoa meringue for us to take home!
Overall, their menu wasn’t that surprising and satisfying. I’m not sure whether it’s because the expectations were set too high or it was purely because of their menu. Despite the disappointment of their Taste MTL menu, I still strongly recommend their regular dinner menu!