I should go off on a rant about Donald Trump disrespecting Khizr Khan and his wife but I am going to have to show some restraint. I think if I react to every stupid thing Trump says or does that is all I shall be doing for the next 100 days. I'll have to save them up and do a round up of stupid Trumpisms from time to time.
Instead I am going to finish up that post about our Birthday dinners. Part 1 - Paul's Birthday dinner in New York at Babbo is here. While Paul knew right away what he wanted to do for his birthday dinner I was less sure. I was very busy at work so I didn't have much time for research. I also hadn't been to Montreal for decades so I had no idea what the top spots were. In the end we just figured we would show up and just 'wing it'.
Not the best plan for a special dinner in a top tourist destination.
The day we arrived I had an email from a colleague about some places she thought I should go. She mentioned a place some foodie friends took she and her husband but she couldn't remember the name - did I want her to find out?
The restaurant was called L'épicier and it was located about 15 minutes from our hotel by foot.
I called to see if we could get reservations for my birthday and we were in luck - they had had a cancellation so they put us in.
The restaurant was in a beautiful heritage building and the inside had many of the original walls/floors remaining. The result was a gorgeous setting.
We ordered a cocktail and spent time perusing the menu.
The server brought along an amuse bouche - a black olive macaroon with goat cheese filling.
After struggling with the menu - we wanted it ALL. We decided to order the tasting menu - 7 courses with 5 wine pairings. This was to start an eating adventure or amazing, well-presented food. The portions were small, so you never felt as if you were ready to explode, just enough to give a true sense as to the expertise of the kitchen as they played with fresh, local ingredients.
chilled fennel soup
Marinated zucchini salad, house made feta, basil puree. Served with a Ligurian Vermetino.
Pan seared salmon, white wine sauce, Jerusalem artichoke puree, beans, tarragon. Served with a Burgundy Pinot Noir.
Pan seared foie gras (don't hate) caramelized apple, cherry chutney, brioche. Served with a late harvest white from Cotes du Rhone.
Seared duck breast with elderberry puree and beet splash. Heirloom beets. Elderberries. Served with a Malbec from Cahors.
Pre-dessert - rhubarb tart, homemade Lemon ricotta, roasted peaches.
The unplanned 8th course - lemongrass truffle, maple financier, vanilla marshmallow.
This really was a meal for the ages - in fact, it was definitely on our list of the best meals we have ever had. Given how creative everything was it got us thinking that we should order chef tasting menus more often.
If you are in Montreal, are adventuresome, and looking for an awesome meal we certainly would recommend L'Epicier.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.