Shut Up and Eat With Me (recap) – Restaurant Biarritz


July 20, 2012

in Eat with me, Food, Mile-end/Plateau Mont-Royal, Reviews

This month’s Shut Up And Eat With Me dinner event was hosted by none other than the amazing Restaurant Biarritz (original review from 2011 here – as the menu is seasonal, some items may have changed). Welcomed by Chef Stephane Bouzaglou and his amazing team, we sat down for what was the start of an amazing meal, awesome dinner conversation and great company.

As always, guests received an email the night before the event revealing the location of the dinner. We arrived at Biarritz, pleasantries were exchanged, and I apologized in advance for anything that I might do under the influence of a food lust fog. We sat down, drinks were ordered and manager extraordinare Jasmine, came out to explain how the evening will work. Asked if we wanted a print version of our dinner, we chose to leave it as a surprise as Chef Bouzaglou would come out and introduce each dish he was serving.

We started off with an octopus salad with fava beans, bell peppers, onion, and parsley in a light citrus vinaigrette. The octopus was impossibly tender and was like biting into a big stick of butter. Contrasting crunch of the fava beans and vegetables, the tart dressing woke our palates and set the tone for the rest of the meal.

Second course was poached lobster, on sea-bean salad with cherry tomatoes, lobster sauce, topped with shaved smoked lobster roe. Generous heap of perfectly cooked lobster, the sea-beans snapped to the bite, but what set off the entire dish was the home-smoked lobster roe. A small detail, that really added a totally different dimension to the dish – smokey and mysterious.

Third course – Soup of sweet summer corn, seared sea scallop, chorizo chip and cilantro oil. For someone who doesn’t care too much for soup, I killed it and had to fight back the urge to stick my face in the bowl. With a perfect sear, the scallop was tender and sweet. Set off by the light sting and crisp of the chorizo chip, the soup was rounded off by the fragrant cilantro oil.

Fourth and the last of the seafood courses, clam risotto with mint. Creamy italian congee – I mean risotto – was substantial. The clams and mint complimented each other nicely and lightened up the overall flavour and richness of the dish.

Fifth course – Beef beef tartar. Middle-eastern flavour inspired, the tartar was topped with pickled radishes. The finely chopped beef was mixed with nora peppers, fresh mint, marinated turnip and it sat atop of hummus. The consensus of the table that it was reminiscent of kefta or kibbe in terns of flavour and spice. The sting of the heat was subdued and was nicely balanced by the creamy hummus.

The tartar was served with a side of homemade potato chips. A great contrast in textures, the chips also added a nice hint of oil that was needed to really hug the flavours together.

Sixth course – Biarritz’s famous confit pork belly. Succulent slice of pork belly confit-ed in duck fat, on top of creamy polenta, topped with a tomato salad and salsa verde. A substantial amount of the pork fat was rendered out leaving just the right amount of fat amongst the meat that made each bite comparable to your first kiss, sloppy and arousing. The tartness of the salsa verde cut through the unctuousness of the pork. The polenta was made with a corn stock which yielded a very corny flavour.

The seventh and final course of out awesome meal was dessert! Strawberry and rhubarb crumble with homemade ice cream. Biarritz makes their own cheese, then through voodoo, they turn it into ice cream – no, not really… They pass it along to their homie at Les Givres down the street and they make Biarritz’s signature fromage blanc ice cream. The sweetness of the strawberry mixed with the tartness of the rhubarb balances well especially when mixed with the ice cream, which was not only refreshing, but creamy and had a hint of saltiness from the cheese.

I’d like to again thank Chef Stephane Bouzaglou and the great team at Restaurant Biarritz for an amazing evening all of us will not forget. This awesome *SEVEN* course tasting menu was definitely something that not all the guests have experienced before. Executed with precision, each dish was a shining exemplification of the kind of food quality and not to mention service that this spot exudes. The refinement of the menu presented at this Shut Up and Eat with me dinner event parallels the one that is conceptualized based on the season that Biarritz offers to their guests.

Restaurant Biarritz
4801 St Laurent,
Montreal, Quebec H2T 1R6
Biarritz on Facebook

Make sure you check out the Eat With Me page to keep posted on when the next Shut Up And Eat With Me dinner will be. Next one is a doozey and you DO NOT want to miss it. Don’t sleep on this, because you’ve already missed two absolutely crazy dinners already. So join me next month as I take you to another Montreal hot spot!

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