Day 4: Montreal – Laloux: The best meal of our trip

This is my last post about Montreal, and I am going to keep it short because the part that’s really worth mentioning was our dinner that night. Wanting to make the most of our last meal in Montreal, I spent some time that day on Chowhound. One thread in particular steered me toward Laloux as the place to go if you only have one meal to enjoy in Montreal.

We arrived at 6:30 and from the moment we walked in, all of the staff were extremely gracious and friendly. I was smitten by the decor and the feel of the restaurant. The paint was a warm yellow with dark green accents and mirrors lining the walls. I didn’t snap a picture, but I chose a table in the back, where the windows opened out onto a back patio area. Everything we were served, including the baguette and butter, was artfully presented. The dish of butter with a sprinkling of sea salt on top was perfectly pristine.

I’m not the quickest to decide what I’m going to order, but before we even got to the restaurant, I knew I wanted the Ontario peach gazpacho with cilantro and Espelette pepper, as did Dave. This soup was outstanding. The word fresh is thrown around a lot to describe a dish, but it is the first word that came to mind to describe this soup. It tasted as though the peaches had been picked ripe that morning. A generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro balanced the sweetness of the peach and the pepper was just enough of a kick without making the soup spicy.

For his main course, Dave order the grilled stripped bass with asparagus, pistachio aillade, and orange sections. His fish was excellent, but the side components intrigued me most. The pistachio aillade was a mixture of ground pistachios, spices and olive oil. It was extremely rich and flavorful and was a perfect accompaniment for fish. I thought it would also go quite nicely with steamed or lightly sauteed vegetables. The dots of red on the plate were a roasted red pepper puree. (I neglected to make note of the wine he ordered with the fish. I will remember to do that here on out).

I ordered the composed vegetable salad of lettuces, radish, turnips, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, and crispy onions with truffle vinaigrette. Once again, all of the vegetables were incredibly fresh and it was a diverse and satisfying combination of tastes and textures. I neglected to ask what variety the mushrooms were. I’ve seldom had unusual varieties of mushrooms served raw, and I quite liked these. The flavor of the truffle vinaigrette went nicely with the raw vegetables, but the dish could have used slightly less, as it was quite rich.

For dessert Dave ordered the standard chocolate pot-de-crème with caramel and Maldon salt. This was absolutely delicious, though the serving vessel, while charming, was difficult to eat out of. I was slightly confused by the description because I did not taste caramel in any component of the dish, but it was excellent nonetheless.

My dessert was absolutely phenomenal. I was somewhat undecided about which dessert to choose, so our waiter recommended the olive oil cake with white chocolate and rosemary cream, marinated rhubarb and pink grapefruit, and rhubarb sorbet. I could not have been happier with this dessert. A thin slice of olive oil cake, which had some sort of chopped nut in it as well, sandwiched between a light cream and a sweet sorbet. The thick, rich cream which had herbal notes to it due to the rosemary, was a nice contrast to the acid and sweetness of the fruit.

And to cap off a flawless and highly enjoyable meal, our server brought over a dish of tiny butter biscuits with the check. Every aspect of this meal was executed beautifully. From the moment we walked in, the staff were positive, friendly, and attentive, making the restaurant exceedingly warm and welcoming. The staff succeeded in making excellent recommendations. The food was delicious, inventive, and prepared with care. I highly recommend Laloux to anyone visiting Montreal.

Below, details on what we did earlier in the day, including Oratoire Saint-Joseph and Fairmount Bagel.

We began our day with more croissants from Patisserie au Kouign-Amann then headed to Oratoire Saint-Joseph in Mont-Royal, which heard offered gorgeous views of the city.

For lunch, we decided to check out Fairmount Bagel, which every guide raved about. I was very disappointed with this experience. I ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. I was hoping for a bagel hot out of the oven, not only was it cold, but it actually tasted stale, with a hard, dry outside. If I were to go again, I’d ask for whatever bagel recently came out of the oven. I don’t know if it was just a bad batch, but that bagel did not give a positive impression of the shop.

When doing my pre-trip research, two food markets were mentioned over and over. One was Jean-Talon. The other was Marché Atwater, near the Lachine Canal. The offerings at this market were fairly similar to Jean-Talon, though it is smaller and more manageable. From what I read as well as what I observed, there seems to be a larger emphasis on local at Atwater. There were no vendors selling citrus and asparagus, foods clearly not grown in Quebec. The vendors are situated alongside Art Deco building designed by architect Ludger Lemieux, that houses shops selling things other than produce: meat, cheese, wine, chocolates, bread, etc. Dave picked up some maple syrup to take home and I got a few chocolates from one of the shops inside the building.

250 Ave Des Pins E
Montréal, QC
Laloux on Urbanspoon

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4 Responses to Day 4: Montreal – Laloux: The best meal of our trip

  1. Emily says:

    Wine? What are you kids doing drinking wine?

  2. Pingback: So Long 2010 | Free Food Boston

  3. Mathieu says:

    We will try Laloux tonight!
    Being from Montreal, I can tell you that Marché Jean-Talon is much much more exciting than Atwater Market

    Thank you very much for this illustrated review.

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