Posted on November 5th, 2012 by .

TASTE MTL, Montreal’s Restaurant Week, just kicked off and we wanted to get in on the action. The best thing about an event like this is that whether you’re a local or a visitor to Montreal, it encourages you (and your appetite) to get out and explore the city…

In that spirit, we headed out to a different neighbourhood – downtown – to eat somewhere I’d usually be less likely to try, seeing as I live here– a hotel restaurant. And we ate well! We elected to try the TASTE MTL set-menu at Le Montrealais Bistro-Bar, the casual resto in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel. The bistro is open late and has lot of space for families and large groups.

Because it’s a hotel restaurant, there’s this pleasant in-transit feeling, like maybe I’m eating there because I’m about to go on an exciting trip. The menu is a four-course set-menu, with two choices for each of the courses. Since there were two of us, we were able to try one of everything.

Our menu started off with two refined entrees: A white-tuna and arctic char carpaccio that looked like a mosaic (very pretty), and a duck foie-gras crème brulee flavoured with sortilege (a maple-flavoured, whiskey-like spirit.)

Then, we both had a saffron shellfish bisque with this little fella, a Quebec crawfish, perched on top.

The mains were both refined and simple: A rack of lamb with salted herbs from the lower St-Lawrence region, so tender I could cut it with a fork, and a filet of sweet-salty black cod with a tomato, olive and caper sauce.

The desserts were quite special, too: A chocolate/meringue fondant and pistachio macaroon sandwiches with raspberry sorbet filling.

And all this, for under $40 per person! TASTE MTL goes until November 11, check out all of the menus here.

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