Au cinquième Péché, Montréal – continues to be in my top 5 favourite

Posted: May 25, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Restaurant: Au Cinquième Péché
Cooking Style:  Bistrot (French)
Addr: 4475 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal
Phone: (514) 286-0123
Event: Dinner on Tuesday April 1st 2014 18:00
URL: http://www.aucinquiemepeche.com/stdenis/
Click here for past reports of my meals at Au Cinquième Péché

Recent reviews:Le Serpent, La Chronique, Jun IL’Européa, Sushi Yasu, Kyo, Peter Luger, Kam Fung, FiregrillPatrice Patissier, Raku.

The meal started with an amuse-bouche of ‘potage potimaron, marrons, beacon’ – the pumpkin  velouté showcasing precise  understanding of  how to extract eventful flavors without being stuck in the trap of the usual ‘heavy richness‘  of the traditional veloutés while retaining its exquisite dimension. The texture refined, the addition of chestnuts enhancing well the velouté and  the quality beacon imparting thoughtful subtle smokey meaty notes. This was not just a startling  velouté (by any restaurant standards, btw, here and abroad) but also a reminder that using restraint in cooking (no overwhelming use of salt/ butter)  can still lead to exciting food. You just need to know how to properly do it, which is  an aspect that plenty of restaurant kitchens (not just in Montreal) do not master this well.  Here’s a great  example of what I wished my velouté at le Louis XV in Monte Carlo (reported here)  could have been. 9/10

ImageLangue de boeuf braisé, oeuf mollet frit, haricots verts, carotte, choux fleurs – The braised beef tongue (the temp lowered on part of the meat, warmer on the rest, an interesting feature I found) benefitting from appealing chargrill flavor, its seasoning spectacular and the quality of the ingredients as high as it gets in town. There’s no shortage of great braised or grilled beef tongue dishes in Montreal (it’s one of the things that our cooks do consistently well, usually)  as it’s hard to get that one wrong, but this was one of the most exciting, if not the most exciting braised beef tongue dish I ever had in this city. 10/10

ImageRis de veau crousti-fondants, ,carotte au beurre noisette, carotte et noisette – Chef Benoit Lenglet’s signature sweetbreads remains  the sweetbreads restaurant dish  against which I  judge all  its other versions in Montreal. This time, the sweetbreads managing to be even a tad more exciting in mouth than the last one I’ve sampled last year, a feature I thought not possible given how they’ve perfected that item and yet they made it happen. The impeccable quality of that meat and the know-how that went into its preparation and cooking maintain Chef Lenglet’s ‘Ris de veau crousti-fondants” among my all time favourite bistrot fares in town. Top quality carrot, both served as a flawlessly executed purée as well as nicely boiled and hazelnut (also of exemplary standing) accompanied the Ris de veau crousti-fondants. A stellar bistrot item by Montreal standards (here’s his online video on how he crafs his little marvel) 10/10

ImageCh’tiramisu is a take on the famous Italian dessert, using speculoos in place of ladyfingers, a take … so not to be compared to the original Tiramisu (for eg, the one  I was having did not focus on the usual coffee taste of the Italian Tiramisu). This evening’s version starred  long lasting fresh aromas of hazelnut flavoring nicely the mascarpone element as well as a  mousse  of chicory which   gorgeous textural consistency pertained to very ambitious pastry standards. This dessert was as delicious (the impression is one of a light take on the tiramisu,  but the delicious part brought forward),  as it was technically superbly achieved.  9/10

Conclusion: 10/10 What I was sampling on this evening was clearly a benchmark meal by Montreal bistrot standards with dishes that were not only strong on the technique, but also exciting on the palate. In retrospect, this is one rare bistrot  that has been consistently good throughout the years. Of course, not all my meals have been as spectacular as this one (there’s no kitchen, there’s no Chef that can be consistently  spectacular meal after meal, obviously), but even on less ‘spectacular’ meals, their performance has always been better compared to the norm in town.  Featuring consistently in my top  favourite restaurants in Montreal (alongside Le Serpent, Restaurant La Porte, Kitchen Galerie on Jean Talon, Bottega, Bistrot Cocagne).

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