Friday, October 15, 2010

Upscale dining in Montreal - at Le Pois Penche

     To complete our grand food tour of our full day in Montreal, it felt quite appropriate to eat at a french restaurant. We chose Le Pois Penche mainly because a co-worker had recommended it. Looking at their menu you may be slightly taken aback by their rather expensive prices. They are after all a traditional brasserie with all the usuals complete with a list of overpriced wines. They also advertise themselves as an upscale dining experience that is unpretentiousness with good service. While some reviews by patrons (e.g. chowhound, travelocity, expedia etc..) agree with them, most that I found while researching a bit about the restaurant found them to have rather pretentious and arrogant waiters, bad service, but solid food. My friends and I decided that we would try out the restaurant for ourselves and see how it went. First, to start our visit to the restaurant on a positive note, we made a reservation for 8:30pm on a Saturday night one day before our visit. The woman on the phone seemed rather friendly and was quickly able to confirm that their prix frixe menu ($23) was still available for a Saturday night dining experience (this was the main reason we wanted to try this restaurant).  
     Upon arriving at Le Pois Penche, the atmosphere seemed hurried and laid back at the same time. Making a reservation ahead of time was a good idea as we were quickly shown to our table while other guests waited a tad longer. The restaurant was fairly full for 8:30pm, there were patrons at the bar, enjoying their meals with friends and at the oyster bar. We sat down and were quickly given some crunchy baguettes to chew on. The waiter introduced himself, gave a few suggestions about wines (although wasn't very certain about recommending a particular type of white wine), and drink orders appeared fairly promptly afterwards.
There were 5 prix fixe available all paired with our choice of soup or salad. There was the pan seared salmon, the 'Curtis chicken', steak frites, fillet of sole, and the pappardelle pasta roasted duck with spring truffles. For $23 this seemed like a fair price. Here is what we ended up ordering.  
Lobster Bisque: Another try at lobster bisque,
hoping that it wouldn't be as salty as the one at L'academie.
This one included some sour cream which was a nice complement.
It also helped that the soup was hot, creamy, and not too salty!
The Salad option
Pan seared Salmon with fresh seafood broth & garden vegetables
Fillet of sole: with tomatoes & feta cheese, black olive tempenade
 and "fresh tomato salad" (in this case, I think it became 2 pieces of bok choy!?).
Really odd combination with the large pieces of boy choy. Somewhat out of place right?
 


By the end of our prix fixe meal all appeared happy with their selection. Service may have been inconsistent at times (e.g. waiting for refill for water), but still fairly decent as they were attentive to requests. Their only drawback was that it took a tad longer to complete the request. We didn't find anything close to the negative remarks made by other previous patrons and we enjoyed our time at Le Pois Penche. I would recommend, though, that if you were to go to order off the prix fixe menu. This really seemed to be the best choice for quality, quantity and cost. Other entrees around the restaurant looked equally appetizing, but I'm certain it was for a much higher price! We ended our meal with some delicious profiteroles as one of my friends had never tried them before. They were light, fluffy, stuffed with vanilla ice cream (which I think is much better than cream) and perfectly delicious. Drizzled with just the right amount of chocolate sauce they were a great end to our meal. 




Le Pois Penche
1230 de Maisonneuve Ouest
Montreal, QC
(514) 667-5050
closest station - Peel
www.lepoispenche.com
Le Pois Penché on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

  1. OK - enough! You are killing me here! Time for you to COOK!
    :)
    Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  2. @acanadian foodie: but you were eager to find out what I had for dinner in Montreal!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. TY makes us want to go even more now :)

    ReplyDelete

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