When New Year’s Eve came around… the idea of being squished like sardines, confined in a bar with a thousand strangers, didn’t seem like that much fun. Call me a granny all you want, I was longing for something much more low key.
Thankfully for me, P-the-workaholic also agreed. Coming straight from the office, he met me at Monsieur B – which turned out, not by chance, to be one of his favorite restaurants.Tucked between Villeneuve and de Grand Pré, Monsieur B is a tiny French BYOB with a strong neighborhood vibe. Seating max 40 people, it has four framed pictures on its walls and no fancy lights. The restaurant is devoid of everything that can distract you from the main reason of your presence on its premises: the food.
For the occasion, P brought the mother of all wine – a 2006 Château Montrose Saint-Estèphe and all the promises of full-bodied Bordeaux. A marvelous Grand Cru worthy of the special menu Monsieur B had concocted for the night.It started with salmon gravlax on blinis and Rockefeller oysters. The cured fish had a perfect balance of sweet and salty, a hint of dill and popping fish eggs for some action at the end. The oysters, of the spinach school (vs. watercress) made us feel like a million dollars with that rich scent of melting butter.A delicate rabbit stuffed with figs and pistachios followed our appetizers. Now, rabbit is always tricky because it’s easily overcooked. Not here. Braised with duck fat and a touch of port wine sauce, our rabbit retained all of its meaty texture and subtle flavors. By that point, we were happily fed and could have stuck to our wine until midnight. But no, warned Monsieur B, we were only midway through our meal. To help us digest, we were given a trou normand. Not quite your calvados, but a Vodka-raspberry-sorbet nonetheless! This little intermission signaled the perfect moment to give P his overdue Christmas gift: The Psychopath Test by John Ronson (no personality correlation to be draw to P or myself). If you haven’t read it yet, I’d highly recommend. It dives into the world of psychopathy and our society’s strange obsession with it. Be warned: it will make you snort loudly in public thanks to the wit and uniquely hilarious ways of Ronson. The second main eventually emerged from the kitchen: a glorious trilogy of beef and mushrooms. There was porcini mushroom-induced ravioli, truffle oil enliven tartar, but most memorably, a perfectly executed beef Tataki. A savory piece of meat marinated with Japanese soy sauce and seared just enough to leave it with a pink glow. The evening finished with dessert that both satisfied my sweet tooth and P’s salty preference: a chocolate pot and platter of triple cream Brie drizzled with honey. Content, we photo bombed the party across from us and headed into 2015.
With a few days’ delay – wishing you all a wonderful 2015 with lots of incredible adventures and even more memorable meals. Thank you a trillion times for having been a part of my eating adventures in the last year. I promise you, the next twelve months will be even better.
|371 Rue Villeneuve Est, Montréal, QC H2J 2L5