Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Le Paris (1812 Rue St.-Catherine Ouest, Montreal)

Day Two of our Montreal extravaganza started off very, very slowly. Still trying to shake off the booze & meat marathon of the previous night, it took us quite a while to drag ourselves out of bed. We finally got ourselves going & had a nice walk along Rue St. Denis, stopping at a few bars to play pool, then off to our favorite hangout; Thursday's for some pre-dinner drinks (they have a club in the basement, the aptly named; Thursday's Club... Fitting, eh?)

There was some confusion in locating Le Paris, a Montreal gem since 1956. We got dodgy directions & ended up at some dump called Cafe Le Paris. After a quick visit to an internet Cafe, we were on our way. There was some sort of mix up regarding the time of our reservation. Were the Gods aligned against, trying to keep us from a tasty meal? We were offered a seat at the piano & given the choice to eat there or wait till our table opened up. We were eager to get off of our feet & booze down our gullets, so we sat at the piano, facing perhaps the campest piano-player in existence. The (3rd generation) owner came by to explain the menu (which took far too long, he really prattled on & on).

Our table was soon ready, so we moved to more comfortable seating & started ordering. We ordered 4 starters & shared:

Malpec oysters; Served on a bed of sea salt & accompanied by a raspberry vinaigrette & lemon. These oysters were salty, juicy & very delicious. The plating alone let us know that we were in for a treat.

Fromage de Tête; Even though we had had some the night before, I was so excited about this dish. Ever since I went to The E.U in the East village & was disappointed to find that it was removed from the menu. Now was my 2nd chance at redemption! It was packed with gelatinous flavor & a hint of mustard while the meaty sections were very dense. This pig must have died happy for the fromage to taste so well.

Calf Brain; Feeling adventurous, there was no way I was going to leave Montreal without having tried this dish. I'm not sure if the rest of the gang shared my enthusiasm. While everyone tried the dish, I basically went berserk & scraped the plate clean. 'Here you go luv, no need to wash the plate!' The easiest way to describe the texture & taste would be cream cheese or a soft boiled egg white. Covered in capers & lemon, the brains were buttery, fatty & creamy. I was in 7th heaven!

Mashed Cod; Our final appetizer was great as well; salty, tasty & smooth, yet surprisingly firm, it basically clung to your fork. Very good stuff!

We took a bit of a break in between courses, both to compose ourselves & to ponder the delicious dishes that lied ahead.

Sid had the Beef Bourguinon.

Teddy opted for the Saucisses de Toulouse.

Adam got the monstrously large Steak Tartare which was a hubcap-sized plate of goodness.

Still on my offal kick, I ordered the Calf's Liver Meunière. I was greeted 2 delicious crescent-shaped strips of insanely tender calf's liver. Rich, flavorful& pink, the amazing taste was unobstructed by the sauce. It was served with bar far the best mashed potatoes I've ever had in my life!

I think by the end of the meal, we were fighting off the urge to fall asleep at the table. 2nd night in a row that we over-did things a bit. We left Le Paris contented & slinked off into the snowfall of Montreal.

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