How did Balthazar’s popular duck confit poutine fared / At Ichigo Ichie Izakaya ask for the staff’s recs

Posted: April 1, 2016 in poutine
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Poutine BalthazarIn the city of Laval, a poutine attracts its share of raves. It is the poutine Balthazar. Home made french fries, swiss cheese, pepper sauce and pulled duck confit. All fine enough -the cheese tasting fresh, the not too peppery pepper sauce an interesting alternative to the classic poutine sauce, pulled duck confit always a popular choice –,  though not really a poutine that I  would rave about (the pulled duck fine rather than dazzling, same could be said about the french fries – In such condition, I prefer a  classic poutine). A 6/10, above average, in my (subjective) assessment, but I was not as impressed as many have been reporting about. Newer generations  of foodies or people bored with classic poutine may like this better, perhaps. But Balthazar is a classy place, the service charming and I will go back for more of their great beers as well as the other food items that I haven’t had a chance to sample. Le Balthazar 195, promenade du Centropolis Laval,Québec H7T 0B3 (450) 682-2007

05Ichigo Ichie Izakaya – I went twice at Ichigo Ichie. The first time, I ordered marinated tuna served with yuzu sauce (the picture above), the bowl of ramen that was a hit the last time I had it, as well as some skewers (chicken gizzards, pork belly, shishito peppers ). The bowl was not as impressive as on my first visit (noodles cooked longer than what i came to be accustomed to, the egg not runny, so cooked too long), and the marinaded tuna left me indifferent (here, the tuna needs to be   stellar   to leave an impression but on that evening, it did not, for me) . On my 2nd visit, I remembered that at an isakaya, the items of the day and recs of the staff is what I should look for, and I did just that. So, I sat at the bar and asked the bartender what were his top  picks and his (a first rate piece of beef tataki nigiri / some mochi with a twist (mixed with beacon) – thoughtful take on the theme of the mochi and one that was  well made) were some of the best isakaya food  items I had in this city.  My verdict: 8/10 by our local Isakaya standards.  Many isakayas have opened in town, and this one pertains to the leading pack. Just ensure that you ask the staff for their suggestions. Ichigo Ichie  360 Rachel Est, Montreal, QC Phone:(514) 282-0009

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