For a long time, dining at Les 400 Coups has been on my Montreal dining wish list. And with fair reason too. As one of the top restaurants in the city, the plates that come out of this kitchen are more like art. So finally my time had arrived where I had the opportunity to gracefully wine and dine with a wonderful friend within the walls of this fine dining institute. All thanks to the wonderful opportunity provided by MTL à Table.
Les 400 Coups is a small and beautiful restaurant in the Old Port of Montreal. The appearance of the place itself boasts elegance. With a huge city artwork spanning the width of the wall, black and white trim and long hanging lights, the mood is one of high class. And the food? Equally as elegant.
A hugely popular restaurant year round, this place comes even more alive during restaurant week! A golden opportunity with a $39 table d’hote menu, offering a choice between two entrees, mains and desserts, there are certainly beautiful plates to be enjoyed.
As my friend and I sat and enjoy our glass of white ($11) we admired the surroundings and waited for our plates to arrive. Two friends and two choices for each course worked out perfectly. One of each, please…
Fresh bread and butter to begin, a perfect and simple start to the meal.
The entree left me excited to see what other amazing plates could come out from behind the kitchen walls. The parsnip soup was served with smoked bison, wild blueberries, wintergreens and mustard. It was simple in presentation but oh so elegant! The soup was creamy and silky smooth. It was rich in heaviness but a nice start to the evening. The garnish added a wonderful smokey and sweet element to the plate.
However the second entree was my favorite. A liver paté, the long rectangular piece of paté sat boldly in the centre of the plate as the garnish elegantly flowed around the centre piece. With a peach puree across the plate, whispers of celery, a swirl of honey jelly and sweet oat crumble to finish. The plate was beautiful.
Mains were equally as artistic. The Brill was delicious, although I preferred the pork plate. Served with buckwheat, a cauliflower salad, pickled cucumber and lettuce cream, the fish was fresh and bright. The fish itself was most definitely the highlight of the plate. The pork plate was small, I thought, although it was heavy in meat and potatoes so it was certainly filling. Incredibly tender pork cheeks, served with smoked roast potatoes, shaved beets and dill on a parsnip puree. The meat fell part as I pulled it with the fork, but what I loved most was the smokiness of the roast potatoes. Delicious!
And finally, our favourite course! Dessert was divine, as expected. The chocolate plate was dark and rich. A Manjari chocolate tart, served with Concorde grape sorbet, crushed peanuts, caramel and fresh pear, the plate was elegant. It was a mousse-like tart which sat on a dark biscuit base. Almost too bitter in elements, I found the plate a little overwhelming. However the dark bitterness of the chocolate was neatly balanced out by the lightness of the sorbet.
The lemon dessert was our favourite by far. It was light and refreshing. Soft, sweet and tart lemon cream were prettily piped on the plate with a cantaloupe melon sorbet, fresh melon, crisp meringue and fresh basil leaves to garnish. The plate was absolutely stunning and my favourite dish of the evening. This, and of course an after meal coffee, was the perfect ending to an incredible dining experience at Les 400 Coups.
Les 400 Coups is located at 400 Notre Dame East. Reservations can be made online here or by phone, 514 985 0400.