My sister choose the restaurant this time and she chose restaurant Le Valois, in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood. (If you want to look cool, just say HoMa.) I love to try restaurants that aren’t downtown, they know that they have to do their best for you to come back… they aren’t full of chicks in stilettos and businessmen who look very, very, busy talking on their Blackberries … the kind of place you feel bad if you’re not dressed up because Ken and Barbie are sitting next to you. Anyway, I went to Le Valois with my family and was pleasantly surprised by this Montreal restaurant. The space is very cozy, full of wood and coloured glass (reminded me of a church). Outside there is a beautiful large terrace in the summer just besides Place Valois, (where there is a William J. Walter Saucissier location…sorry, can’t help it, I love the William Suisse sausages …I even bought some after my meal). The list of wine is quite extensive (2 pages!), and the service is great (cute guy and my sister is single), discreet but always right.
Now, about the FOOD, the cold vichyssoise and the cream of green vegetable was just o.k, the tomatoes were not really “confites” in the puff pastry on confit tomatoes they were just broiled. The herring tartar with green apples was too salty for my taste, and tasted like a dill pickle ( my father loved it). The goat cheese with honey and thyme was good but oily. I also did not like the fact that it was in a phyllo pastry and they put a whole stem of thyme (I had to perform an operation to get it out). Overall, I was not extremely impressed by the appetizers, but my palate liked it, so it couldn’t have been too bad. For the mains, the beef “bavette” was good and the fries came with a homemade mayonnaise. The chicken with mango salsa was good but gave me a sense of déjà vu. The confit duck leg was succulent and I personally liked it the most; it was served on a bed of hot slices of green apples and an outstanding aragula salad. For dessert, I suggest you try the pound cake served with a shot of Bailey’s, the cake was very scrumptious, (I normally hate cake but I do like alcohol).
The restaurant is an intimate and fun to place be in. They made an effort on the presentation (decor, food, everything), and it was worth it. A definite plus, parking meters are free on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays! The bathrooms are clean (although downstairs and a long walk).
Everything is good, but not great. There is no sparkle, nothing special … they could do a little bit better. I think I am going to try it 2 or 3 times before I can really say if I like it or not. But, on the whole, it’s okay, and like I said, the waiter was cute … so I don’t mind going back!
For two: 50$-60$, wine and tax included, tip not.
7 days a week, 8 am to 11 pm.
25 Place Simon-Valois (near 3809 Ontario)