It’s a Christmas holiday tradition. I let my sister know when I’m coming into town and she books a bunch of dinners at some of Montreal’s best restaurants. Last night, we kicked things off with a tremendous meal at LeBremner in Old Montreal. The place is owned by celebrity Executive Chef Chuck Hughes with Top Chef Canada competitor Danny Smiles overseeing the kitchen action as Chef de Cuisine, and it’s one of Akemi’s favorites.
Raw scallops on the half shell. Sweet, clean, and delicious. Given the choice, I’ll always pick them over oysters.
Brown butter lamb heart, remoulade, bitter greens, and slaw. Thinly sliced with a texture and flavor akin to gyu-tan (thinly sliced tongue grilled over charcoal).
Butter-poached whelks with Jerusalem artichoke chips and puree. Akemi’s favorite. We’d have ordered a second plate if we didn’t have so much more coming.
Chips, labneh, lobster rosamarina. The only misfire. A pretty plate but the sour labneh thoroughly overpowered that subtle lobster flavor.
Pickled herring. Surprisingly good. As my sister put it: “The best pickled herring I’ve ever had.”
Fish sticks with tartar sauce. This was a revelatory experience for Akemi.
Wild mushroom risotto. Great.
Rib-eye with new potatoes and sauce aux poivres. Since having wagyu in Japan, North American steak has rarely impressed – but this was one of those rare occasions. A nice seared crust with a perfectly pink medium-rare center.
Hake, clams, and maple dashi. My second time having this dish with its luxuriously rich broth.
Lamb neck cavatelli. My second time having this dish as well. The texture of the cavatelli is what puts this dish over the top.
Whole roasted sea bream with rapini and salsa verde. My sister loved this one.
We ended the meal with four handmade Ferrer Rocher-like truffles stuffed with what tasted like warm Nutella!
Another day, another restaurant. Looks like octopus is on the menu tonight!