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Posts Tagged ‘Outremont’

The menu of this small corner resto has many of the expected classic Korean dishes, but also some that don’t quite seem right, like spring rolls and a bunch of salads. Korean food tends to be quite uniform, so any deviations are quite obvious. The only complimentary side dish that came with our meal were little bowls of an odd sort of cabbage kimchi which was mostly sesame oil. Usually Korean restaurants provide more of these little dishes.

The food was just ok. I did not care for the vegetarian pancake, which was an odd thing, perhaps made with…potato?… completely saturated with oil and probably deep fried. It wasn’t like a latke and resembled more like a drowned hashbrown than anything else – usually this pancake is made with flour and is lightly panfried. As it was, it was hard to taste or see anything but fried oil.

The bibimbap was fine, though as a pregnant woman I was a little taken aback that the egg was cracked in completely raw. Often the egg in this dish is presented sunny side up at least. The hot stone bowl and hot rice helped to cook it, but the presentation was a little odd. Bulgogi was served sizzling on a hot cast iron skillet and came with some large lettuce leaves, a little bit of sauce, kimchi, and rice.

Service was not terrible but also not great. I think this is the first Korean restaurant I’ve ever been in with all non-Asian waitstaff, though it looked like most of the people in the kitchen were Asian. Our water glasses were never refilled. When we asked about dessert, the waiter brought the menu back to the table and said that there was only one thing on it that they had left. We declined, paid, and left.

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the food and would not crave anything on their menu. If we get desperate for Korean, we might come back, but otherwise it lacks any great pull to bring a diner there. And I did not approve of the forks on every table, nor the wide chopsticks – Korean chopsticks are usually the bamboo disposable kind or very slim stainless steel.

177 rue Bernard Ouest and Avenue l’Esplanade

Bus: 160

Metro: Outremont or Rosemont (but not close)

http://restaurantomma.com/

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Reservations aren’t usually necessary during the week, but they are a good idea. Like many low-key Montreal restos, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, and it doesn’t look like much inside the spartan brick interior. Fortunately, the food speaks louder than anything else and some nights, when the lighting is just right and gently glowing off of the water and wine glasses, it can be a very low-key, romantic establishment.

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On a cold, slushy evening we went to this small Syrian resto before we went to see a movie at the nearby Cinema du Parc. No reservations were needed and we were seated right away. Like many low-key Montreal restos, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, and it doesn’t look like much on the spartan brick interior. Fortunately, the food speaks louder than anything else.

The menu is available in both English and French. We ordered three cold mezzes: baba ghannouj, labneh – which I kept mistaking for a very creamy hummus – and beet mutabbal, – a beet puree which is apparently one of their specialties. They look exactly like the pictures online and are very tasty. The small dishes were served with a plastic bag-encased basket of naan which smelled fresh and faintly buttery. I spooned out the mezzes onto my plate and scooped them up with small pieces of the naan. Then came our two meat dishes, Jarret d’agneau grillé avec oignons et tomates, nappé d’une sauce tahini  et yogourt, and a dish with little sausages and potatoes that I didn’t care for since I don’t often enjoy sausage. The lamb was falling off the bone and a wonderful collage of yogurt, parsley, and red onion smothered and enhanced it. I even tried digging out some of bone marrow. It was one hot dish too many for two people; next time we’ll order rice instead.

The whole place felt very real and authentic, though it was decorated like any other Montreal resto. We were treated to live music, a man playing simple ethnic-sounding tunes on a guitar-like instrument. A nearby table of what looked like middle aged regulars sang along to some of the songs he played and cheered after every set. Service was efficient, though perhaps the music made it hard for the server to take our orders. We finished the meal with house-made baklava and espresso. I don’t take coffee with dinner, but drank the extra one that we were given, much to my later regret. It was good coffee, just not what I had wanted.

With only a couple of Middle Eastern restos in Montreal under our belts, we are hardly experts on the local representation of the cuisine. However, this is one of the better ones that we’ve tried and we shall indeed be coming again.

Metro: Mont-Royal (though it’s really not that close)

4629 Avenue du Parc and Rue Villeneuve Ouest

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Leméac is an exquisite brunch place – chic, popular, with sophisticated  food in just the right portions – with only the slightly snobby staff and high prices bringing it all down to earth. Two people eating a salmon salad, poached eggs over belinis, donuts, hot chocolate, and latte  = $60, including tip. Ouch. And yum. Therefore Leméac is a treat meant to be savored sparingly…or on someone else’s tab.

The perfectly dressed salad came with two long pieces of beautifully smoked salmon holding up the greens as a form. My belinis were more like two small pancakes, but the salmon, poached eggs, and dainty smears of sauce and caviar were delicious. The house-made donuts were warm and slightly crisp, and could have done with the house-made jam, which we decided we’d order it with the next time – jam was extra, after all. The Valrhona hot chocolate was just the right temperature – warm, not hot – and unsweetened; my husband also found his latte to be very good.

I’d recommend making reservations, as it does get busy, and dressing up a bit. I haven’t seen cufflinks in a while, but they weren’t out of place here. But part of the charm of Leméac is to see and be seen. If the other diners bore you, gaze out the large windows overlooking the  gentrified part of town.

I was going to check out ordering the house-made salmon mentioned on their website, but couldn’t figure out how to go about buying it. Does one ask the waiter? Or does it have to be ordered in advance? Perhaps we’ll find out during our next visit.

Metro: Laurier

1045, avenue Laurier Ouest and avenue Durocher

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