1106 Rue Beaubien E. (Near Christophe Colombe)
Telephone : 514) 273-1106
Cost: 67.26 (for one-person tax & tip included)
Chef Hats: 4
December 13,2019 -Like every good foodie, there is always a resto on our list that we never got around to writing about. Such is the case with this new fantastic Moroccan restaurant located in la Petit -Patrie called Darna Bistroquet. We got to sample Darna Bistroquet just before the holiday break. At the time we were looking forward to the holidays, a new year and more great dining adventures; which we were so eagerly planning. We could not phantom what lay ahead. After two months of social distancing and hibernation, we’re all dying to share a convivial meal with friends. It may not happen for a while, but we can only hope and remain positive. When this happens Darna Bistroquet should be on your bucket list.
Over the years, La Petit Patrie has seen a slow gentrification like many other Montreal neighborhoods. It has become a cool and hip area with its influx of new pubs and restaurants. This quaint little restaurant serves a mix of Moroccan cuisine with French nuances. It opened last fall, by Otman Amer and his wife, Selma Laroussi. Its name means” our home “in Arabic and is the couple’s first venture. Amer has previous experience working for Café Ferreira for 20 years. The restaurant showcases Otman & Selma’s Moroccan roots, with a twist on modern cuisine but with classic Moroccan favorites
The kitchen is manned by French Chef, Billy Galindo who worked with Marc de Canck at La Chronique and for the Ferreira Group as well. The restaurant prides itself on fresh local produce, natural and organic wines and inspirational cocktails. The service is super friendly and hospitable. The décor is simple with a casual, cozy feel. You will find picture framed walls, bright pillows strewn on banquettes, a few bistro tables and subdued lighting. It is a local restaurant that attracts not only locals but those from afar, that have heard of it through word of mouth. It can get very busy on weekends and is packed with big groups, making the acoustic rather noisy, which we experienced this evening.
Albeit the noise levels, we started of our evening quietly with a glass of Troballa Garnatxa, from Spain for $12.00 a glass. It is an organic wine from Costers del Segre, Catalonia, Spain. Its bouquet comprised of florals and berries, with silky tannins that paired well with lamb, without being to overpowering.
We knew from the onset, we were going to be having lamb couscous, it was our sole purpose for dining here tonight. It is a traditional custom for Moroccans to have couscous as a meal after prayers on Friday’s, and If you want to have couscous at Darna they only make it on Friday evenings.
The lamb served at Darna comes from Les Trouvailles Gourmands farm in the Eastern Townships, a local Quebec farmer who raises good quality lamb in a sustainable environment and who bring us a great farm to table experience. The lamb was in deed delicious, it was tender fall off the bone good. It came served atop generous portion of cilantro infused couscous and a medley of root vegetables, cauliflower & chick peas. If there is a dish that must be had a Darna, this is it.
Our friend Helen, had the grilled endives with chive infused yogurt and topped with slivers of crunchy almonds for $ 15.00 which was good, much not much too look at. He liked the smoky flavors of roasted endives and the yogurt sauce added a level to the plain endives, the crunchiness of the almonds added texture of the dish. Another dish sampled was the Hen’s Egg Florentine Style for $ 16.00 served with garden green salad and a flan type triangle made with chives. The bread was moist and cake like and had a sweet consistency. Original and delicious and also appropriate for breakfast.
For dessert, two of us had the Tarte Tatin which was delicious, but a little over caramelized and dark in color, it came served with traditional mint tea and Turkish coffee to complete the meal. The other dessert was the baba au rhum cake, which was very flavorful as well.
The hospitality exhibited at Darna was impeccable, the staff was warm and we got to talk to the owners, who came to our table. The Lamb Couscous, has got to be one of the best in town. While in the neighborhood, one should also visit Boulangerie Automne on the corner of Christophe Colombe with their fantastic bread, which you can also get to sample at Darna. It is out of this world.
There is lots to do just on this stretch of Beaubien street, if you want to keep going all night visiting Isle de Garde Brasserie is another good option. Let’s hope, they keep alive after the pandemic.