Sunday, June 27, 2010

L'Express - First Of Three Dinners In One Lovely Montreal Evening (Montreal, QC)



When I planned my Montreal portion of my Canadian trip, I had my eyes out for L'Expresss, a quaint, yet ever popular French Bistro located in an area known as Plateau Mont-Royal. However, the lack of meals did me and my travel companions in and I figured I had to skip this popular Montreal eatery. Our original plan was to dine at this Spanish tapas restaurant recommended by our Lonely Planet Travel Guide called Pinxto, but once we were told the earliest reservation we could snag was at 9:30PM, we put our names on the board and went looking for a "snack." Since most of the popular restaurant were located in the Plateau Mont-Royal area, I quickly suggested L'Express, hoping we could somehow snag a 3 top on a busy Saturday evening. With a little luck, our Maître d' told us we had an hour before the next party would arrive and the table was our's if we wanted it. Jackpot!

Bread Basket

Bread Basket

The obligatory bread basket. It wasn't anything special, but it did cure our hunger. Though one thing I'll say is that why aren't the bread always served warm/hot? It's a pain to put butter onto lukewarm to cold bread. Meh.

Pickle Jar

Pickle Jar

Every table had one of those, but since I'm not a fan of pickles, I didn't try it.

Saumon Fume De L'Atlantique

Saumon Fume De L'Atlantique (Smoked Atlantic Salmon) 16 CAD

The first of our two appetizers, a dish of smoked salmon served with capers, red onions and a lemon. The dish and flavors are exactly what it should look and taste like. Although it wasn't anything special, eating smoked salmon always makes me happy.

Os A Moelle - Gros SelOs A Moelle - Gros Sel

Os A Moelle - Gros Sel (Bone Marrow with Coarse Salt) 9.30 CAD

The second appetizer we ordered was the bone marrow. Fatty, rich, and delicious. Served onto of the provided crustinis and some coarse salt, it was definitely a treat, though I wouldn't tell your cardiologist about this particular dish.

Loup de Mer Frais Et Legumes Sautes

Loup de Mer Frais Et Legumes Sautes (Fresh Sea Bass with Sauteed Vegetables) 22.75 CAD

One of my dining mates ordered the sea bass with sauteed vegetables. While tasty, the preparation and the texture does not match to the fish I've tasted at Le Bernardin or Providence, though at this price, it's hard to argue about the quality. Not bad at all.

Poulet De Grain - Sauce Moutarde

Poulet De Grain - Sauce Moutarde - (Breast of Grain Fed Chicken in Mustard Sauce) 20.10 CAD

While I'm not a fan of chicken dishes, the sauce here was the key to the dish. While the flavors are strong, it was definitely needed for this particular chicken breast. Although it was cooked to order, I generally don't care for chicken breast, though the preparation here was pretty tasty for what it is. Although I wouldn't order this normally, it was a solid dish nevertheless.

Foie de veau A L'EstragonFoie de veau A L'Estragon

Foie de Veau A L'Estragon (Calf Liver With Tarragon) 22.90 CAD

Finally, it was my entree, and when I saw the calf liver on the menu, I knew I was getting it. As some of you may know, I have an affinity for liver, and pretty much most of the organ meats that are available for consumption. The liver itself was done perfectly: juicy, tender, and just plain delicious. This dish might not be for everyone, but to all you liver fans, this was pretty damn good! I did however, thought the fries were a bit of an overkill on this dish and I probably would have preferred some sort of a sauteed vegetable dish or a rice pilaf. Regardless, I'm getting this again or the veal kidney that also perked my interest.



Sadly, our hour was up and we had no time for dessert, but we were off for our 2nd meal at Pinxto, thus it makes most sense to save some room. As we bid adieu to L'Express, I was impressed with the quality of food, especially at their price points. However, it's not a place I'd crave or make a special trip out to Montreal for (unlike Au Pied de Cochon or Toque). I wish I had tried a few more dishes, especially more of their specialties, but I'm sure if I ever make it back to Montreal again, L'Express would again be on my list of restaurants to dine.

Final Rating: 7.5 out of 10

*Note* L'Express opens until 3AM on most nights, so it's a great late night dining options. Also, as I stated earlier, booking a reservation here is highly recommended!

3927 St-Denis Rue
Montreal, QC H2W 2M4
(514) 845-5333


Anna A. said...

That is an intense looking jar of pickles... and you like liver (and don't like chicken - holler!) wow. Viva the Canadian adventures, eh!

Diana said...

Haha I can't believe that was a "snack." Pretty fancy snack to me!

Totally agree about cold bread - what's the point? Bread should always be warm.

Gastronomer said...

You and your friends are such good eaters. Can't wait to see how your second dinner played out. I would've been dunzo after the first.

nelehelen said...

the liver looks AMAZING! i love liver! yummm.. and you totally should've tried at least ONE pickle from that pickle jar! can't wait to see the rest of your dinner reviews!

Kung Food Panda said...

Anna: Ya, I guess I'm "pickier" about food than I had imagined. I thought I ate everything.....though I have my preferences :)

Diana: You know how I roll during vacations. We eat A LOT!

Cathy: We can eat. 2nd and 3rd dinner will be combined into the next post!

Helen: None of us touched those pickles, strange. That liver was quite delicious!

Lori Lynn said...

That liver is calling me too.
Great review.

Kung Food Panda said...

That liver was awesome. Thanks for dropping by Lori! :)