- Merchant Bœuf- The 7th Annual Happening Gourmand Festival
- 124 rue St Paul O & St. Sulpice
- Old Montreal, Québec
Having done the Taste of Montreal festival in November 2013 at the Restaurant Communion on de la Commune street with my partner in crime and both loving it, we wanted to replicate our experience by trying out the 7th Happening Gourmand Festival in Old Montreal which runs from January 9th to February 2, 2014. Being in the mood that week for red carnivorous fare, I opted for Restaurant Méchant Bœuf.
Having been to here upon its opening in 2007 for a 5 à 7 with my event planner colleagues; this place was on my wish list along with numerous others to try again. Owned and run by the Antonopoulos group which own the restaurants participating in Happening Gourmand, as well as The Place D’Armes and Nelligan Hotel in Old Montreal and a few other. You will find Méchant Bœuf attached to the Nelligan Hotel through a narrow hallway in the lobby or its own entrance on the street. This carnivore’s utopia with its casual gastro pub atmosphere is popular with the young 20 and 30 something’s crowd. It has not changed much with its decor of plush velour red chairs, dark wooden tables, long skylight and bull skull head decor.
After finding parking on De La Commune Street and walking a few blocks in sub zero temperatures, we arrived at Méchant Bœuf with my Indian Goddess friend in tow to a warm & friendly reception. We had selected the first sitting for an early supper and for parking reasons as Old Montreal is notorious for not being able to find any. Upon our entering the restaurant we realized it was quiet and empty, which don’t get me wrong I like. I’m not one for crowds and being the only person in the restaurant makes me feel I can get undivided attention. I also like to people watching and after a few glasses of wine I am in the mood to explore, I did not have to wait too long cause an hour into the first sitting, the place was completely filled with its bustling loud music, the sound of clinging glasses and the murmur of chit chat permeating the place. There was not one seat to be had, as it was explained to me by the hostess upon trying to add another person to our dinner reservations a couple of days before; but they managed to politely accommodate us. Our knowledgeable waitress making good suggestions on the choice of wine and menu, we all opted for the Happening Gourmand menu at $ 25.00 ( a good deal) and a Bottle of “The Show” a California Cabernet Sauvignon with its bold oaken flavor accompanied the meat splendidly.
The menu has three items for starters and the main course and two choices for dessert. For starters, there is a salad of iceberg lettuce with creamy blue cheese dressing topped with croutons, Bison brasaola with celery root remoulade served with a baguette crisp, or for those Oysters lovers, there is a starter dish of three oysters with condiments.
The Main meals are Braised short ribs with sweet potatoes puree and mixed vegetables. Fish and chips with Homemade Ketchup or Cordon blue chicken Burger with sautéed spinach and chips. For dessert we had a choice of blueberry cheese mousse parfait or spicy chocolate cake with exotic fruit mousse. Also on the menu is a featured wine and cocktail of argumes francais. Being a little boring and non adventurous this evening we all opted for same starters of Bison Brasaola and main dish of Short ribs. We all enjoyed the starter dish of bison, except I found my celery root remoulade a little salty .The short ribs were fall off the bone tender and flavorful with its juice, the sweet potato puree and vegetables were cold but tasty nonetheless. Dessert was perfect all around the chocolate cake had that little kick of spiciness and my blueberry mousse parfait was creamy and crisp with the right texture of crunchiness at the bottom. For the price it was worthwhile. I suggest another return to Mechant Boeuf to try their famous burgers and steaks. They looked and smelled delicious. I could help getting a glimpse and whiff of them as they passed by.
Cost with wine, tax + 136.00