Bronte Restaurant (Montreal) – The best meal I’ve had in the last 10 months. Period.

As part of the typical food tourism thing that Jules and myself do when we go on a trip, we chowhounded for days about Montreal. That is how we heard about Bronte, a chic restaurant just off of Sherbrooke Street. Even their website is ultra-modern! They claim: “a premiere destination for gourmet and design aficionados alike”.

On a beautiful night in Montreal, we walked from the Hotel Omni (a forgettable hotel, rated 4 stars, feels like 2.5) to Bronte with Jules on her heels and pissy at me because I didn’t exactly know where it was. When we finally made it in, the ambience was certainly cool with house/chill music playing in the background and the faint glow of blue and red throughout the room. We sat right beside the sommelier’s station. I wanted the window. The host indicated that it was reserved. I guess in Montreal, when you reserve a table, you need to specify that you want a window seat as well… Regarding the layout, I would say that the tables are maybe a bit narrowly spaced such that I could overhear our neighbours conversations fairly easily.

 

The bread was fantastic, likely the best I have ever had in a restaurant. In this photo, you see a ricotta bread in the background, a fig/anise bread in the middle, an oil and basil focaccia in the foreground, and on the side, thin wafers seasoned with sesame seeds. The ricotta bread was Julia’s favourite as the cheese flavour came out more as you let the bread sit on your tongue. I really enjoyed the complexity of the fig and anise bread. The oil and basil foccacia was a bit oily but the flavours were still excellent. The wafers I’ve had before at WD50 in Manhattan but they were still addictive. The waiter brought another round of bread for us after we devoured this. It is a good sign of things to come when the bread is excellent.

 

This is the amuse bouche: grilled octopus with basil and a tomato vinegrette. Light and fresh. The octopus was bouncy and delicious. I love it when they throw in a pre-appetizer like this. It really elevates the food I think. Or maybe I just like to get free stuff.

 

This is the seared scallops, soya maple glaze, shitake custard, haricots verts, bacon. The scallops were seared perfectly with the inside being just cooked. I wish there was 1 more scallop, especially at this price. The soya maple glaze was sweet and salty and the shitake custard was excellent. Pricey at $18 but worth it.

 

This is the crispy sweet bread and fresh florida shrimp, chorizo, piquillo peppers, pumpkin seeds, shellfish emulsion. I’ve never had sweet bread before (calf thymus, where marrow produced T cells go for their education about foreign and host antigens) but I really liked this. It was nicely crispy on the outside but very juicy and tender on the inside. I felt like the sweetbread stood on its own and the other flavours didn’t really support it. That being said, I liked the other islands of shrimp and peppers. Again, pricey at $18 but worth it.

This is the Nova Scotia lobster, sweet pea ravioli, and wild mushrooms. The lobster had excellent flavour but I thought it could’ve been a bit bouncier. The ravioli had an excellent noodle on the outside and a smooth and creamy sweet pea emulsion on the inside. It looks like there is spit on the ravioli but I was assured that it was a foam (I can’t remember of what but it was tasty). I really enjoyed this dish. Considering the amount of lobster you got, this wasn’t a bad deal at $32.

This is the duck magret and foie gras, quinoa, almonda, chapagne grapes, beets, and yellow oyster mushrooms for $36. I am not a huge fan of foie gras but this was excellent. Fatty, delicate, and flavourful. I let Jules have most of this but the bites that I had I enjoyed. The duck magret was beautiful. You got so much duck and it was all so juicy when served medium rare. The mushrooms were really sour and refreshing.

To finish, we had the blueberry cake, honey and lime emulsion, basil syrup and sweet corn ice cream. The blueberries were tart and the cake was soft. But it was the sweet corn ice cream that really got me excited. It was salty, sweet and smooth. I am not sure but I believe it was $10.

One thing that I love about Bronte is how when they serve the food, they describe what is on your plate. I find that I often forget some of the small things and garnishes that come with by dish.

Overall, I loved my experience at Bronte. The food was creative, fresh, and great to look at. It was an expensive meal for us but well worth it. I will come again for sure next time I am on Montreal.

Bronte Restaurant, 1800 Sherbrooke O, Montreal, QC, 514-934-1801, www.bronterestaurant.com

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~ by Russ on October 19, 2008.

2 Responses to “Bronte Restaurant (Montreal) – The best meal I’ve had in the last 10 months. Period.”

  1. Sadly, it’s closed for years now. This was largely in Montreal’s top 5 tables. The Chef went to work at the Rosalie, left that place and now I lost track of him. Certainly a talented Chef.

    • JOE MERCURI is currently opening his new restautant called MERCURI. Which is located on 645 wellington and soeurs-grises Montreal. We will be opening late january beginning of febuary 2014.

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