MTLàTABLE is right around the corner. The 6th edition will take place from November 2 to November 16 2017. I can't wait to see what the partnerships will be this year and the official list of participating restaurants! In the meantime here's a little review of what I had tried last year at Chez Ma Grosse Truie Chérie.
Last year MTLàTABLE teamed up with wines of Languedoc so Montrealers could discover this region's products. Participating restaurants came up with menus at 21$, 31$, or 41$ with Languedoc wine pairings. The wines were always extra, but the idea was very interesting. For restaurateurs, it's a way to showcase some creativity. For the customers, it's more happy bellies.
My boyfriend and I booked a table at Chez Ma Grosse Truie Chérie because we both wanted to try that place out but never had the chance to. Also the menu they came up with sounded absolutely delicious.
Because we share everything, we started off with the Salade gourmande (gluttonous salad) : slices of duck magret and Abbaye d'Oka cheese smoked with maple wood, wild blueberry dressing, and maple caramelized hazelnuts.
Served with baby spinach and frisée lettuce, it was light, flavorful, and refreshing. We didn't get too much of the maple smoke flavor, but the blueberry dressing really complimented the duck and cheese.
We also ordered the gin wild Atlantic salmon gravlax : fennel salad with orange, buckwheat blinis, marinated onions.
The blinis were fluffy and rustic shaped. There wasn't much salmon but it tasted delicious and fresh. I personally don't like fennel but this time I could actually bear it. When eaten together all the elements seemed to reach another level of taste you can't have otherwise.
Then for the main course we shared some marinated short ribs : beef short ribs marinated in a homemade apple barbecue sauce, sweet potato fries, vegetables of the day.
The meat was so tender we didn't even need a knife. It also melted right in our mouths. Our waiter told us it was braised for a whole day. It's a very fatty piece of meat but it's also very flavorful. I've been seeing recipe for short ribs all over the Internet and I know I need to try them all.
We also shared a serving of the Cassoulet de la Truie : pulled pork shank and confit duck leg, confit pork cheek, Toulouse sausage, pieces of lard, white beans, and blue baby potatoes.
Cassoulet is a traditional French stew of white beans and pork meat. I really liked the meats that were used, giving this classic different tastes and textures. The smokiness of the shank, the tenderness of the duck, the chewiness of the sausage, and the ham like texture of the cheek made every bite a different one. I'm not a big fan of cassoulet because I don't enjoy beans too much but we happily ate all of the meat.
Dessert time! We finished off with the Truie's sundae : homemade ice cream, salted butter caramel, bits of brownie, and whipped cream.
It was quite good and surprisingly light despite the title. There was nothing really special to it though. It's the kind of dessert anyone would like, even children.
We also helped ourselves with some praline Panna Cotta, homemade foie gras Nutella, and pudding.
That ... that was something. Seriously. I wish I could steal that recipe from them. The foie gras gave some saltiness and extra depth of flavor to the Nutella. It was also a good serving, quite filling on its own. The pudding wasn't too wet, which was perfect. It's hard to describe how I actually felt when I dug into it. The layers of the Panna Cotta also made it an interesting experience in terms of texture. Every bite was a surprise on its own.
Overall we left with very happy bellies. Though they have fish and vegetarian options, you usually go there for the decadent meat dishes. My boyfriend being a meat lover and also having a sweet tooth he was quite happy. I was surprised by the creativity and boldness of the dishes, though the entrées could have been executed with a bit more care.
The place is great to spend some time with close friends or with a date. The lighting is quite low and the volume is not too high. Also the staff is absolutely friendly.
So this is it! Until next time!