MTL a Table: Bonaparte in Old Port

We’re ending MTL a Table in absolute style.  This time, we’re in for a $41 menu at Bonaparte.  Bonaparte is French cuisine located in Old Montreal very close to where I work.  The menu itself was probably one of the most anticipated in our little foodie adventure event.  Also, we didn’t realize but this is a five service meal (including tea and coffee). The restaurant is attached to the Auberge Bonaparte where you go in from the cozy reception area to enter the restaurant itself.

Are you excited? I know I am!

MTL a Table: Bonaparte

Bonaparte

Table decoration/ambiance

Drinks & Bread

Bonaparte

From tallest to shortest: La Presque “Made in Quebec”, Le Old Timer, La Sour D’Automne

Mine was the La Presque “Made in Quebec”.  It has Ungava Gin, Cassis Monas et Filles (a blackcurrant based wine), maraschino, lemon.  This one was quite good.  It did feel a little strong but the mix was rather tasty.  Not too fruity but a stronger taste.  One of my friends described as cough meds. So I guess the cherry and blackcurrent might give that sort of taste if you don’t like it.

Le Old Timer was my husband’s choice.  I cannot remember what it had.  I think its spiced rum, ice cider and lemon(?). He liked it quite a bit.  That one was even stronger than mine in taste but still rather refreshing.

My friend’s husband took the “Autumn Sour” (in translation). It was a fruity mix among at the three.  I can’t remember at all except that it had egg whites in it and some fruity addition.  It was the lightest out of the three in taste but maybe not in content. You know, cocktails tend to be heavier the sweeter it is 😉

Bonaparte

Delicious bread and fantastic presentation

I haven’t posted any of the bread offered at the previous 3 restaurants in MTL a Table but bread is an important part of the menu as well. It starts our meal and sometimes, its important that its appealing to eyes as well.  Bonaparte inspires confidence just because an eating experience also includes a visual one from every angle.  Even its bread not only tasted delicious and fresh and had variety of multigrain and normal baguette but also was presented so beautifully. It was hard to resist eating it.

1st service

Bonaparte

Lobster bisque enhanced with ginger

Bonaparte

Mixed green salad with pine nuts (and parmesan shaving*)

1st service encountered an issue for me.  I couldn’t eat either of the dishes.  In retrospect, I shouldn’t taken the green salads with the parmesan since my friends and my husband shared the dish after their lobster bisque.  What I can’t eat, they now know to share their opinions with me.  Mixed greens salads was great with the addition of the pine nuts adding a nice twist  and it was very fresh.  My friend’s husband preferred the salad over the lobster bisque but my friend and my husband liked the lobster bisque.

2nd service

Bonaparte

Homemade smoked salmon with truffle oil

Bonaparte

Warm goat cheese and almonds in phyllo dough

Bonaparte

Duck foie gras creme brulee with sauteed apples

My choice was the Homemade Smoked Salmon.  This was absolutely delicious. I kid you not. I’m not a huge smoked salmon fan.  I tolerate it and it has a nice texture and all that but this one blew me away.  I took my first bite and was like “Wow!”.

No one was a big goat cheese fan so my friend’s husband took this one.  I’m not sure if goat cheese has lactose but apparently they say it doesn’t.  I think he enjoyed it although there was more discussion on the former topic than the dish itself.

The last choice here had the most conversation between us. My husband and friend both took this one. Duck foie gras was fantastic however, each of them had the same conclusion.  The bread offered to pair it was a little too crumbly, rather, they ended up using the baguettes and multigrain bread offered to us instead. However, the star, duck foie gras creme brulee was a sure winner and possibly a highlight of the meal.

3rd service

Bonaparte

Dover sole fillet seasoned with Meuniere style fresh herbs and pine nuts

Bonaparte

Rack of Lamb and port wine jus

Bonaparte

Beef filet mignon seasoned with five peppercorn and cognac

Bonaparte

Breast of duck flavored with maple syrup and wild berries

Its nice to say that all the meals were done great.  We all loved our own meals.

My friend took the sole fillet.  I had a taste and it was fresh and had a great texture.  The herbs and especially the pine nuts added an extra to the meal itself.

My choice was the rack of lamb.  It was tender and very tasty.  I’m not usually a fan of port wine jus but this one was really well matched with the meat.  Plus, the veggies were a great side.  Every dish had similar vegetable sides.  The sweet potato mash was fluffy and so delicious.  Also, we had an assortment of carrots with the white and the purple sort.  They both were very good since its the first time I’ve tasted it.

My husband chose the beef fillet mignon.  That peppercorn and cognac sauce was key to making this piece of meat just melt in my mouth. I had one bite and while I’m not a huge steak sort of fan.  This cut was amazing. I loved it and he loved it!

My friend’s husband had the duck breast.  I had a little tasting of this as well.  The wild berries sauce works really well with duck.  Berries seem to be the best way to match with duck meat and its definitely a winner.  They suggested this choice as the highlight dish.  I can definitely see why.

4th service

Bonaparte

Fruit Salad

Bonaparte

Symphony of homemade desserts: Creme brulee, cheesecake, raspberry torte, chocolate mousse

Typically there is only one choice and its the symphony of homemade desserts which is like a taster dish.  The winner of this one is the creme brulee that everyone liked a lot. A very close second was the cheesecake.  That was the general consensus. Obviously, I couldn’t eat this so I got a very appealing diced fruit salad. First of all, I always find fruit salads to be a cheap replacement to my neighbors who are having this fancy array of desserts. But, what made me feel a little better about this was that they had mangoes in their fruit salad which pretty much increased the value of it.  Plus, you add mango to anything and I’m in love so good move on Bonaparte.

5th service: Tea and Coffee

Sorry, I was on baby duty at this part so I didn’t take any pictures.  We had a proper teapot with Four O’Clock tea.  There was a variety of choices. Mine with Green Tea and my friend took Camomile.

Overall…

$41 at five course meal is very decent.  When we flipped through the menu, there was a degustation menu which had two more services and was priced at $74.  Plus, the service was great.  The food was very enjoyable and appealing.  They had a few little details that we didn’t enjoy or some pairings some of us couldn’t get passed but overall, it was a delicious meal.  The presentation and the taste, especially in our main course (3rd service) was a winner for all of us. I tried all the plates and each one was like it melted in my mouth and made me feel so happy. A nice way wrap up our MTL a Table outing!

Definitely an event worth going to! We made some really good discoveries in this year’s MTL a Table week and I look forward to what next year has to offer. My only suggestion to have restaurants always offer something that is allergen free of some sort, whether its gluten-free or at least the basic lactose-free.  It really helps to get the full experience without having to feel left out or guessing what was set to balance it.

MTL a Table: Restaurant Verses in Nelligan Hotel (Old Montreal)

Next up on our food adventures was just two days later on a Monday evening after work to a restaurant relatively close to my work place! The next few are all in Old Montreal actually, now that I think about it.

Restaurant Verses offers French cuisine and the menu looks relatively decent. I’m a little nervous about a few parts of it but it does also say that it’ll offer other options (which they did).  The menu had extra options in both the 1st and 2nd service.

Excuse the blurry photos.  The lighting here gave me a lot of issues with the focus on my phone.  I’m taking my DSLR for the next two.

MTL a Table: Restaurant Verses

Cocktails

Restaurant Verses

La Marronnier & Dolce Vita

I had the Dolce Vita and its a mix of Amaretto, Captain Morgan spiced rum, pineapple juice, egg white, cinnamon, “bitter fumé”.  It tasted absolutely awesome.  It wasn’t too sweet or too sour and it had a nice balanced flavor. My friends had the other one. I believe they said the espresso bits were mostly for taste and it had a peculiar taste.  Not sure if thats a good or bad thing.

Restaurant Verses

Chef’s bonus: something to do with bison, radish, gravlax (I think), and mayonnaise

1st service

Restaurant Verses

New fashion fish soup

Restaurant Verses

Beef gravlax, chocolate truffle, brioche

Restaurant Verses

Mushroom ravioli

I had the New Fashion Fish Soup.  So okay, this time we hit a little bit of a snag.  This soup has a few seafood bits, I think gravlax and fish mousse.  Fish mousse was put to the side because it has cream in it so I didn’t want to risk it. The soup itself had a peculiar taste between being salty and bitter in a way.  However, with the gravlax bits, it tasted a lot more balanced.  My friend tried the fish mousse with the soup and said it balanced it also.  I’m guessing if I didn’t have to remove the fish mousse and had the soup as a whole, it would taste a whole lot better.

I also took a little tasting of the beef gravlax and it had a really refreshing texture that I liked quite a bit. My friend found the chocolate truffle a little too sweet but she also enjoyed the beef gravlax.

2nd service

Restaurant Verses

Icelandic cod, cipollini, passion fruit, carmelized apples, baby potatoes, Sherry veal jus

Restaurant Verses

Mac n Cheese with orzo, peas, mascarpone

Restaurant Verses

Honey and thyme butter glazed sweetbread, root vegetables, potatoes, juniper berries

I had the Icelandic cod and it was done so good.  The fish was cooked perfectly and especially tender.  The sauce was a nice mix.  It did feel a little schizophrenic with the flavors.  There were some bits where the pepper was really strong and then some where it was rather salty.  The fish and the sauce on top was great.  The veggies were fine.

I had a little tasting of the sweetbread as well.  My friends compared it to this sweet and sour pork while it did taste a bit like eating some sort of liver that I had tasted before. Its not a bad blend.  The glaze tastes really good.  Its just the texture of the meat makes me hesitate but that is a personal preference.

Finally, the Mac n’ Cheese was something I couldn’t try but my friend couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t that it was not good but rather that it was a little heavy.  Her guess was it was a mix of cheese.  Instead of macaroni, it was orzo (which I find usually fills me up quicker). Plus, there was mascarpone which is rather heavy in itself. I know that from before my lactose-intolerance days.

3rd service

Restaurant Verses

Deconstructed carrot cake

Restaurant Verses

Pear and chocolate sponge

Restaurant Verses

Strawberryand lime sorbet with assorted berries

For our last service, we’re at the desserts.  I had my lovely extra choice because of lactose intolerance issues yet again.  The mixed sorbet and berries was awesome. The raspberry was really sour but every thing else was great. My friends always choose the opposite to make sure to taste more of the menu. They all have wonderful appearances.  Not a lot of feedback about how it all tasted though.

Overall…

The restaurant is very lovely situated on St Paul street which is where a lot of activities go on and right behind the Basilique Notre Dame. The set up and the seating was very comfortable.  The service was extremely thorough.  They made the effort to try to accommodate to my allergies as much as possible and remembered to mark down everyone’s allergies to make sure even a slight chance of it being in our food would be eliminated. The meal itself (at least mine) was really nice.  The cod was definitely the best part of the entire meal. The service is a little slow and relaxing.  We spend almost 3 hours for dinner.  We did take a bit of time to order but it still took longer than I had expected.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Early Bird

For this week’s photo challenge, get up early and explore the morning light. – The Daily Post

Its been a while since I’ve done a Weekly Photo Challenge.  I’ll be doing some late posts to catch up on this probably but lets take a look at this week.  Its been mega busy at work so getting up early was not an option for me but I haven’t shared a lot of the sunrise pictures back in last year’s early December when I did a sunrise photo session with my friend.  So here’s a few of them!

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

Old Montreal

I think we’re going to be planning a spring/summer sunrise photo session soon 🙂 If not events will slowly liven up the city and I’ll try to head out to capture some moments!

Photography 101: Water

For day three, we want to see your interpretation of water — how might your image reveal more about you?

After you snap your picture, rotate your camera and take a second shot from the other orientation — horizontally if you first took the picture vertically, and vice versa. If you’re aiming for an establishing shot, what orientation works better? How does a vertical shot affect your scene? Which version do you prefer? – The Daily Post

My new morning activity now is to get a photo (or two) in for this daily challenge.  Today wasn’t so hard because I usually take photos both ways to see which way gets a better effect.

Today’s story includes the morning sunny autumn day over the Old Port and the rundown old Grain Elevator No.5. In the front in the shadows is also the Bota Bota spa on water.  The vertical shot catches the spa really little in the frame.  A contrast of old and new maybe?

Horizontal

Horizontal

old montreal

Vertical

I almost just took pictures of puddles.  But who can resist a calming morning walk along the Old Port boardwalk right before work?

A Word A Week Challenge: Boat

This week, Sue at A Word in Your Ear challenged us with the word BOAT!

Sounds fitting to do this post, since yesterday, I know a certain boat that murdered me yesterday resulting in a day off today and how I just want to lie in bed and when I get up, stretching all those aching muscles!  It resembles something like this

Dragon boat!

Dragon boat!

I love dragonboat but man, yesterday’s practice (after not going for a month) was brutal! My abs and back are especially in pain! Lots of stretching due for the rest of the day…but you know, I LOVE IT! 🙂

Next up, I’m going to continue to use some older pics from within the past few months!

Some of the best are from Hong Kong in last November!

On my way to Lamma Island, surrounded by boats :)

On my way to Lamma Island, surrounded by boats 🙂

 

Fishing boats off of Stanley harbor :)

Fishing boats off of Stanley harbor 🙂

Charlie Brown and Snoopy canoeing at Snoopy World

Charlie Brown and Snoopy canoeing at Snoopy World

After that, we head off to Burlington Waterfront 🙂

Burlington Waterfront!

Burlington Waterfront!

And to bring you all back to home (Montreal), on the Old Port waterfronts we see ships or boats 🙂

at Old Port in Montreal

at Old Port in Montreal

Still counts, right?

My brain is really tired.  So tired that words are actually flowing to my brain but dragonboat did this to me so here we go!

This is my response to Sue at A Word in Your Ear’s A Word A Week Challenge: BOAT and please follow the link HERE to see other fantastic responses 🙂