Happening Gourmand, offering up three-course meals for $23 or $27 at Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Modavie, Taverne Gaspar, Méchant Boeuf, Suite 701 or Bevo Bar + Pizzeria. Now, Montrealers have an even greater selection of gourmet dining on a dime with Le Chop, created by Tom Nacos Group and offering table d’hôte menus for less at l’Atelier d’Argentine, Decca77, Guido & Angelina, Le Newtown, Wienstein & Gavino’s until February 20th.
Last night, we were invited to see – or rather, taste – what Le Chop has to offer, sampling one dish from each restaurant’s specially crafted menu, chauffered from one restaurant to the next by limo, no less. What food blogger could resist? The evening started out at Le Newtown, where we sampled their appetizer Harvest Salad, a mix of arugula, goat cheese, pine nuts and apples with a maple vinaigrette. Light and flavourful, it was the perfect way to ease into a long night of eating. Newtown’s version of an old-fashioned was a welcome kick-off cocktail with plenty of kick. Next, we headed three doors down (we decided to use our legs for this trip) to Wienstein & Gavino’s, where Executive Chef Giuseppe Sacchetti is at the helm and pushing organic, local produce wherever possible. Set out on our table was a plate of flash-fried calamari paired with a spicy ‘diablo’ sauce – always a crowd pleaser.
After a quick chat with Sacchetti and a few bites of calamari, we loaded back into our limousine and headed towards Decca77. On the higher end of Le Chop’s roster of participating restos, we knew we were in for a great main course. The carnivores of the group dined on grilled strip steak with a Robuchon-style potato purée (in other words, equal parts butter to potato), confited shallot, slow-cooked egg yolk, tarragon oil and a roasted garlic purée. For us non-meat eaters, we were served grilled salmon with a sautée of root vegetables and a sweet potato purée. But we all agreed that it was our side dish, mac & cheese, that took the proverbial cake. We may have to make a return visit later this month just for that dish.
Slowly reaching our foodie limits (such a thing does indeed exist), we got back in our awaiting limo and headed a few streets North towards Guido & Angelina. There, we tried a few bites of their linguini misto de mare bianco, or seafood pasta in cream sauce, before throwing in the towel. However, we did manage to find room for dessert when it came to our last stop at the group’s newcomer, l’Atelier d’Argentine. Each one of the bloggers in attendance agreed that their lemon bar with basil sorbet was worth the food coma it inevitably would induce.
Needless to say, we have five more reasons to dine out this month.