Les Coudes sur la Table
2275 Rue Ste-Catherine E.
Chef Hats; 5
Cost $168.72 ( tax included and tip included)
There are some restaurants that hit all the marks in terms of hospitality management. Les Coudres sur la Table is one of them. It has a great ambiance, perfect service and exceptionally good quality food. Located in the East end part of the city on Saint Catherine Street, it is worth the drive or trek to this part of the city by a long shot.
Since its opening in September 2013, by Chef Cedric Deslandes, Serge Gauthier and maître d’ Alexandre Jourdan; this team has definitely achieved a winning formula. Albeit the mixed reviews about the Les Coudes sur la Table, some good, some lukewarm. I don’t understand the extreme variations in opinion, but then I understand a little about humanity and our different and selective criteria of what expectations mean to each individual. At times I can only speak for myself and hope that your criteria meet mine. But I have a strong sense of admiration for hard work and a keen eye for my own set of rules that conclude perfection. Though difficult to obtain at times due to unforeseen exterior forces or circumstances, we all try our best in an imperfect world and sometimes situations beyond our control create imperfect situations. But good team work shines by far and must be rewarded and this can be said about Les Coudes sur la Table. So I had to venture there for myself to discover and form my own opinion.
Les Coudes sur la Table is a small French style local Bistro located on a quiet stretch .It stands all on its own, which sets it apart from all the competition. Tonight we ventured forth to celebrate a belated birthday for that special person in my life. Even though it was six weeks later due to unforeseen circumstances we were finally able treat ourselves to a special dinner out. As mentioned by my dinner guest it was long overdue, but we were eager with anticipation. We were not disappointed upon entering the establishment, admiring the appealing decor like small children. The bistro is long and narrow but very quaint in its own way with its honey beige and red walls, modern bar set in a corner and dark wood table that create a warm and welcoming ambiance. We got a table all the way in the back of the resto in a quiet spot, fit for a private tète à tète, with French tunes playing in the background to remind us of Paris at the same time soothing our souls . We ordered two cocktails to go with that, which is not usually our thing, but I heard that the cocktails were a must try here. We chose two cocktails at $ 9.00, the Framboises en Colere , served in a short martini glass, it was a mix of raspberry liqueur with rum, sugar with fresh raspberries as garnish and a Grands Esprits cocktail, served in a highball glass which is a mix of Grand Marnier, cordial and soda water with a lime wedge . Both refreshing and a good appetite opener and starter to a relaxing evening before our convivial meal.
Our waiter Alexandre brought us our menus, from which we chose the tasting menu at the reasonable price of $40.00 and $41.00, the latter being more expensive because of the cost of the torchon de foie gras.
For Starters we sampled the Velouté Soup of tomato and fennel, with basil pesto, homemade croutons and lots of crème fraiche. The soup was indeed warm and velvety creamy, thick with hints of pureed fresh tomato and the sweet taste of anise, atop as garnish swirl of basil pesto, which gave it a perfectly paired Mediterranean twist.
I had my favorite, the Torchon de Foie Gras de Canard; which I cannot get enough of these days. This came presented with a confit de fruits sec, with a slight onion medley, a side of sliced baguette style toasted sweet pain de brioche that beautifully completed the dish. The foie gras was silky and smooth, melting on your tongue, of superior quality but exceptionally simplistic.
The appetizers were a sweet prelude and a good start and end to the completion our cocktails. All the dishes from the appetizers, to the main meal and especially the dessert served tonight display Deslandes’s talents completely.
For our main meal, we ordered two glasses of wine, a glass of Pinot Noir -VDP Côtes de Thongue, Pinot Noir, 2014, Moulin Montarels, France for $ 9.00 and a Rioja, Inedito , 2013, Bodega Lacus, Espagne for $9,50, a decently good price . Both revealed notes of fruit and spice, fresh, light and well balanced, with mild tannins pairing well with our dark meats.
Our second course was made up of Grilled Beef Bavette from Prince Edward Island, sat on a bed of creamy polenta infused with parmesan cheese and lardons of Brussels sprouts in a thick red wine sauce. The bavette was of a superior quality and a good cut, tender, tasty and devoid of any fat. Cooked to perfection and not overdone. The combination of polenta and wine sauce made it heavenly if you crave lots of protein in your diet. This has got to be one of the best I have ever tasted in town.
The second plate was a Roasted Magret de Canard on a bed of pureed parsnip, with caramelized onions and a juniper pepper orange sauce. The sweet duck was perfection in itself, again another superior cut of meat that was not overly fatty, perfectly cooked and tender. Well balanced and different with the mixed flavors of the puree of parsnips and tanginess and hints of the juniper berries.
The two desserts sampled were the pièce de resistance, chosen this evening were the Tarte au citron which is my dining partner proverbial favorite done by Chef Deslandes ‘’ à ma facon’’ ou à ca facon , beautifully presented with a piece of Breton Sablé, Meringue, caramelize marshmallow, garnished with teardrops of chocolate sauce and a ground cherry, and my choice was the Peach Melba which sat atop a chocolate sauce with whipped cream and pieces of nougat garnished with a strawberry. Although light, the better of the desserts had to be the lemon tart; just looking at it was a masterpiece in itself.
Chef Deslandes food techniques are impressive and his displays of food and pairing skillful. It can be comparative to some of Montreal very high end restaurants; the only difference here is the prices. It is rare to find such good quality and quantity as we had experienced this evening without making a deeper dent in our pockets. It is a privilege these days to dine out in some of Montreal’s finer dining establishments without breaking the bank or bankrupting yourself for a few months. That is why we need to be selective these days. I am not sure about you, but I work very hard for my money and my experience needs to be perfect or close to perfection as I can get or my expenditures cannot be justified.
Les Coudes sur la Table, justifies this on all levels, not only is the restaurant very professional in every respect; it differentiates itself from others because of its caliber and finer attention to details; not only creating a memorable experience but an unforgettable one too. All that said, the ambiance and feel of Les Coudes sur la Table is very relaxed and familiar, it is perfect for any occasion and I would definitely recommend it on the top echelon of anyone’s “MUST TRY” list because it is just a real gem of a place.