MTL a Table: Rose Ross

The Battle of Ingredients is taking a break in November as normal to check out the MTL a Table. We’re definitely back on track as this time, we kick off the eating earlier in this restaurant event. The first we’re hitting up is Rose Ross.

Rose Ross is a cozy little restaurant. Its actually just one strip of restaurant that was easily missed when we were first looking for it until we crossed the street and saw the sign. Its rather nicely ambient and while its fairly close quarters, the decor is very comfortable. Right off the bat, the service here was fantastic. They made an effort to make sure that allergies and intolerances were addressed and confirmed before ordering and was patiently answering all our questions and then when the meal came, they made sure to assure that anything that might look like it could trigger food allergies were confirmed to not be the case.

MTL a Table menu was rather good with a good few choices for each course and they also offered the Exclusive Aeroplan privileges for Aeroplan members.

Exclusive Aeroplan Privilege: Glass of Suriol Cava

Suriol Cava

They offered everyone with the Aeroplan card on hand a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, Suriol Cava as a starter. I’ll talk more about it in the wine recap for November. I can say that I’m not usually a huge fan of sparkling wine but this one was pretty good and matched well with the meal.

STARTERS

Rose Ross

Honeynut squash, pumpkin seeds and herbs, pesto, mozzarella di bufala Maciocia

Rose Ross

Mushroom cream, fried shallots, chive, curry oil and crispy chicken skin

Rose Ross

Brussel sprouts a la vietsesame oil and coriander

A big group is always nice as we get to at least see everything on the menu. With the starters, we got the 3 out of 4 choices. My husband having the first one with the honeynut squash where his general comment about his meals throughout the evening was that they had a lot of depth in the food with the different textures combined and the flavors and such.

I had the last one (which was the one that I had my eyes on) with the brussel sprouts. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to cook and eat brussel sprouts. While this one was a tad powerful in the vinaigrette, it was really delicious for the majority of it and we all had a debate on how to fry or roast the brussel sprouts to be like that. Very lovely dish and it says a lot about it as I’m not a huge fan of coriander to begin with but the vietssesame oil and coriander was great with the brussel sprouts.

MAIN COURSES

Rose Ross

Gnocchis, pecorino romano, chanterelles, fried cauliflower, chard, tarragon and cream

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Blood pudding from Cochonnailles, squash puree, embeurre of cabbage with lovage and bacon, glace de viande moutardee

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Coregone, carrot mousseline, beluga lentilles, fennel and basil

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Onglet de boeuf IPE, cognac sauce, fries and mayonnaise (+$10)

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Kid’s meal: Penne with tomato sauce

The husband’s choice was the Gnocchi, Phoebe’s choice was the Onglet de boeuf and mine was the Coregone fish option with the carrot mousseline. Everyone liked their main course. Mine was very unique as I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this type of fish before. The fish was cooked nicely and then the carrot mousseline was heavenly then it was paired with the sides that gave it a lot of depth and the flavors blended really well together.

Worth noting here is that they gave the option for kids menu where they had various types of pasta and two types of sauce to choose from which is always nice to see it having a certain level of accommodation on that level.

DESSERTS

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Hazelnut cream puff with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel and goglu cookie crumble

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Carrot cake and miel d’Anicet

In terms of dessert, they also landed quite well. The group enjoyed the hazelnut cream puff while I had the carrot cake which was a change in the original MTL a table menu which was some almond milk rice pudding. This one was also lactose-free option and tasted really  nice. It was very aromatic and not too sweet and the cake texture was moist as well.

Overall, Rose Ross is definitely a restaurant that we’d go back to. For MTL a Table, it was in the 2nd tier pricing at $33 a meal with a lot of options in each course to choose from. The service was impressive and very friendly. The restaurant atmosphere was really efficient and very comfortable. The food also delivered really well especially since it has a mix of French and North American food which sometimes is rather sensitive on the possible allergies but they were all very knowledgeable about their menu so had options for the basic allergies. It was an awesome first impression and first experience that we’d gladly go back a second time, even during a non-MTL a Table event for their regular menu if the opportunity presents itself. If you’re in Montreal, this one is a definitely one to consider.

MTL a Table: Café Griffintown (Montreal, Canada)

November is finally here and with that comes one of our favorite events in Montreal called MTL a Table. I’ve gone the last two years. If you don’t know what it is, MTL a Table is a gourmet event where selected restaurants offer a fixed menu for $21, $31 or $41 for dinner and some even offer brunch. It is the perfect opportunity to try out some new restaurants and not exactly destroy your wallet over it. This year, our group increased and we are doing a triple date. We have three scheduled over the next two weekends.

The first one this year is Griffintown Café. They had a $21 three course menu.

Griffontown Café

Drinks

Griffintown Cafe

Russian in July & Long Island Iced Tea

Griffintown Cafe

Ginger Beer Bourbon and Bourbon Sour

1st Service: Appetizers

Griffintown Cafe

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup (lactose-free modification)

Griffintown Cafe

Roasted Winter Vegetable Soup

Griffintown Cafe

So Simple Salad with Mixed Greens and Roasted Vegetables

Appetizers was good. A lot of love to Griffintown Cafe for being able to modify the soup without the lactose. The roasted winter vegetable soup is very good. Only one person took the salad and I think it was pretty good. Everyone else had the normal unmodified version of the soup. Not sure how they felt. My husband enjoyed it and he isn’t exactly a soup person (or a vegetable person at that). The only difference we talked about was that it was heavily spiced with pepper and I mean like actual full pieces of peppercorn. That added a lot of kick to the soup. For the most part, it was delicious until I went screaming for water when I bit into a peppercorn. It was a funny experience and refreshing to say the least. However, the roasted winter vegetable soup is still a winner especially on a chilly day like when we went this weekend, some heat in the foods adds a little extra warmth and coziness to the meal.

2nd Service: Main Course

Griffintown Cafe

So British Fish ‘n Chips (Haddock filet, IPA Beer batter) served with fries and house tartare sauce

Griffintown Cafe

Espresso Burger (espresso and dark chocolate glazed Griffintown Burger, blue cheese dressing, tomato and maple braised bacon)

The menu has three choices. The third being a mushroom risotto which no one ended up taking. We were half and half with three taking the Fish n Chips and three with the Espresso Burger. I took the Fish ‘N Chips. The meal was a little salty to my taste however, the IPA beer batter was done really well because the crush kind of melted in my mouth as I ate it. Also, haddock is something I usually eat with fish ‘n chips but really would like to have more because I like the texture of the fish. The home fries are cooked pretty well. Yet again, a little too salty for my taste but I eat pretty bland food compared to most people that I know so perhaps its just my individual issue. I should start mentioning in my order to be a little lighter on salt as a personal preference.

As for the burger, the first hesitation most people had was how they’d make the taste of it all work out. It seems like there is a lot going on there. The burger was huge in height. However, the espresso and chocolate was not overpowering, nor was the cheese supposedly from what I gathered as my friends discussed it.

3rd service: Dessert

Griffintown Cafe

Oreo Tiramisu

Griffintown Cafe

Carrot Cake

The last course was one I was totally exempted from but I ordered the carrot cake for everyone to share and have a taste. The dessert was probably the underwhelming part of the meal according to my husband. He enjoyed the Oreo Tiramisu more than the carrot cake however, it wasn’t anything special.

Overall, Griffintown Cafe is pretty  nice. The restaurant itself is a little cozier in size. We also went on a night where they hosted the Paint Nite event and that minimized the amount of guests at the restaurant itself not a part of it. The service probably also was slower because of it. However, our waitress was very nice. She was a little short with the details but very accommodating in helping me with my allergy issues. It was a really nice place to hang out with friends. The food was pretty good. There are some small personal preference criticisms but its more a matter of individual tastes and habits than the shortcoming of how the food was cooked because it was done well.

If you are around town, perhaps it is a spot you’d like to check out! They even have brunch normally and that is something that has peaked my interest.

Spiced Carrot Cake

I’m FINALLY back with some baking! I think I’ll start making Wednesday my baking day…let’s see how that schedule holds up. I’m planning to get back to cooking on the weekends and some continuation of the A Bite of China Project! Just need to find some time to head out to the Chinese groceries soon 🙂

So I had a few recipes I was looking for and I ended up looking up Martha Stewart’s Easter dessert slides and this  Spiced Carrot Cake came up.  The other choice would’ve been Oatmeal Shortbread, but I’ve been doing  A LOT of shortbread in the last few baking posts that I wanted to switch it up a bit.  So here it is!

Spiced Carrot Cake

The recipe is right here: http://www.marthastewart.com/315931/spiced-carrot-cake?center=276968&gallery=275096&slide=262144

There were some minor modifications made. For one, I don’t own a round pan so its square.  Thats just aesthetics, of course.  I’m sure it won’t make much difference to the taste.  Right now, my house is filling up with baked goods smell again and this smells delicious 🙂

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Okay, focus back to the changes I made.

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– I used the 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

– Since I’m lactose intolerant, I don’t have any yogurt, so I replaced it with almond milk.  I was going to use water but then I felt that almond milk may probably provide a thicker complex to it, making it resemble the consistency of yogurt more.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference.  Of course, my second option could have been soy milk as well.

-I omitted the glaze or confectioners`sugar since it was already sweet enough and we have balanced lifestyle to work on 😉

This one is a winner in terms of carrot cake.  It smells amazing, it looks awesome, the texture is fantastic.  The only thing I would change when I bake it again (and I know I will) its probably less sugar.

What difference in taste will happen with using cinnamon over cardamom? I have never used cardamom so I don’t own any.  Definitely down to try it if it is enhances the taste or gives it a little something special.

I want to continue with some Easter baking..what do you suggest? Cupcakes? Spring Sugar Cookies? Shortbread?