638 Notre-Dame St W/Rue Richmond
Telephone: (514) 925-7007
Cost: $311.89 for three including tax & tip
Chef Hats: 4
The first time I walked into Foxy`s was by accident, I was looking for some friends who were having drinks next door at Le Bureau. My visit was too short to think much of it; in fact it looked like just a local watering hole. Then I heard from some colleagues that they had a great time and some good grub one evening there. I figured they had too much to drink and were delusional. Being my inquisitive self I did some research and found out that it had opened in late 2015 by the owners of Olive & Gourmando in Old Montreal.
Dyan Solomon and Eric Girard both of whom worked and trained at the reverable Toque, where many of the city`s new and best upcoming chefs have at some point done stints there. Dyan is no stranger to television; she has been on numerous television shows like Josée Di Stasio sharing her famous recipes and appears often on some media outlets both in English and in French to discuss food in general. She has become the go to person for great healthy ideas, her cooking is known to be downright homey, packed with flavor yet made of simplicity.
Olive & Gourmando has been around since 1997, and in the last twenty years has built up a reputation not only has an exceptional bakery, but a great place to stop to have great soups and sandwiches in Old Montreal. Asked many times over the years if she would open another resto, she held off till now and then she and her partner Eric decided to open Foxy`s. Half way between Olive & Gourmando ,so she does not have to go far to oversee both.
They enlisted the help of Chef Leigh Roper who is no stranger to the Montreal Food scene. Formerly of Vin Papillon, she brings a heaping ladle of experience to Foxy`s, at the young age of just 30 years old. She has also trained in the South of France and USA at Chez Panisse, Chez Quince and Tartine Bakery and brings a phletora of new ideas to the table.
Foxy`s concept is all about cooking on open fire and in a wood burning oven. The food is all about simplicity but packed full of flavors with lots of vegetables playing a main role alongside meat and fish dishes. The portions are small and Foxy does not serve bread on the onset of the meal. Instead, delicious flatbreads can be had for a fee. The menu is limited and not extensive but everything is absolutely delicious. The goal here is not to binge on big plates but to eat well and healthy. The food can best be described as market cuisine du terroir.
What sets Foxy’s apart by a long shot from many restaurants is the outstanding service and extreme friendly atmosphere; stuffy dinner guests need not apply here. The staff is uber friendly and in your face. The clientele is a mix of young cool urbanites that come from all over the island because they have heard of Foxy’s great food and fun ambiance.
The décor is minimalistic. Éric Filteau the contractor who had a hand in Foxy décor has worked with the likes of Zébulon Perron and Bruno Braen, who have established a name for themselves as masters of cool hip restaurants designers of Montreal.
You can see the resemblance in design in the long narrow room with rows and rows of communal wood high bar tables and stools and open bar / kitchen design concept. The draw here is the open kitchen and wood burning ovens, which create a feeling of warmth and coziness. The front of the house and back contain some low-lying tables. If it is privacy you need ask for a table at the back, they have a great nook for a romantic tète a tète.
The room is very dark in the evening with minimal suspended lighting over the bar and tables, creating a clandestine aura, yet it are also very communal and convivial, the noise levels can get high.
This evening a lovely waitress sat us for cocktails before our table was ready at the floating bar across from the wood burning oven. We ordered a Vera Cruz, with a cayenne pepper rim, Honey Bee for $ 15.00 made with gin and honey and a glass of Toscana Cinque red wine for $ 13.00. The cocktails were original and delicious. Just before we melted from the heat of the oven we were moved to a table in front near the window.
For entrees we shared the Flatbread with Kale, Escarole, Shallots and three cheeses, Winter Coleslaw salad and the Pita Salad with marinated Feta, citrus and spices for $ 17.00. The flatbread although delicious was a small portion for $19.00, but it was outta this world. The dough was cooked just right and had smoky flavour from the charcoal oven. It was fluffy and chewy and packed with flavour. The topping of kale, escarole and cheese mixed with shallots was one of the best things I ever tasted.
The Winter Coleslaw Salad for $ 17.00, which had came highly recommended, also hit the mark. It is worth going all the way too Foxy for just this salad alone. Top with pulled duck, it was a mix of charcoaled greens, with an aïoli sauce and parmesan shavings.
The Pita Salad was just as good for $ 17.00. Original in concept it is not the usual Greek Feta Salad, but a mix of greens, radishes and micro greens atop a base of marinated oranges and feta crumble, an infusion of flavours mixing citrus blends, spices and bitterness. On the side a large puffed pita that was freshly cooked in the charcoal oven. Simply delicious!
For our main meals we ordered two Roast chicken for $ 32.00 each to be shared by three, a steep price to pay for roasted chicken. The chicken came served with shallots, avocado and some tomatillo; not much in accouterments as sides. The chicken was perfectly grilled and very tasty, except for the price we expected more than less than quarter of a chicken.
Then, this is where Foxy is considered more of a bar and the food is more of a snack than a meal.
With our meal we ordered two glasses of Toscana Cinque 2014 at $15.00 a glass and a white wine by the glass called Juste Ciel for $13.00. The alcohol tab alone was $105.00. We could have had a good bottle of wine instead for that price. But we were so happy revelling in the moment of being in such a happening place, that we forgot the cost and went with the flow and just enjoyed it.
For Dessert we ordered a Crème Brulee à la Vanille which came infused with hints of vanilla bean. The dessert was creamy, and absolutely delicious.
Coffee came served in a carafe of and was enough for two and for our non coffee drinker a green tea which was too strong. Bitter and overpowering.
This all to say completed our meal and we were very happy and content with everything we tried at Foxy. Not too much food but just right. Like its neighbouring restaurants, Foxy is a place to go to be seen and to enjoy being with the in crowd of Griffin town, while getting some original healthy dishes with a twist of “je ne sais quoi”. Just be prepared to spend the cash, everything comes with a price.