The last time she was in Toronto, radio personality Sarah Bartok (sister of far less popular Dark Matter Consulting Producer Ivon Bartok) threw me a few Montreal restaurant recommendations.  At the top of her list was a place called H4C.  I immediately texted my sister and requested it be placed on the reservation rotation for my Christmas visit.  The other night, we went.  The verdict?  Sarah easily maintains her popularity edge over her brother.  Akemi absolutely loved H4C and is already talking about our next visit.

As is customary whenever I go out with my sister, we simply ordered almost everything on the menu, starting with the amuse bouche and home made bread with country style butter before segueing to…

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Chicken liver mousse with sea buckthorn and and pickles.  Positively melted in our mouths, like sweet and savory ice cream.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Beets with wild cranberries, ricotta, Chateau de Bourgogne, and za’atar cheeses.  Artfully composed (like all the dishes on this night) but delicious.  The yellow beets were like candy.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Marinated mackerel with cucumber, buttermilk, avocado, and brioche.  The mackerel was not overpowering and nicely counterbalanced by the avocado.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Ricotta gnudi with sautéed mushroom and broth, parmesan.  This one was a challenge insofar as the elusive gnudi proved practically unskewereable.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Louis d’or cream tortellini with confit guinea fowl and corn.  Each dish is a culinary masterpiece and I imagine that the devil is in the delicious details.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Trout with carrots, quinoa, bbq, pumpkin seeds, and squash.  One of the uber-highlights on a night of consistent highlights.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Tandoori octopus with caramelized yogurt, red onions, basmati, cashews, and coconut.  Akemi declared it the most tender octopus she’s ever eaten.  The roasted onions filled with caramelized yogurt were a huge hit as well.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Braised beef blade with Jerusalem artichokes, eggplant, black rice, and sunflower seeds.  The tender beef and crunchy black rice was a  terrific textural combo.

December 26, 2015: Dinner At H4c!

Tomato tart with Brillat-Savarin, caramelized onions, chanterelles, and smoked walnuts.  Akemi’s favorite and one of the best vegetarian plates I’ve ever enjoyed.

Tonight, it’s tacos and more at Grumman 78!

18 thoughts on “December 26, 2015: Dinner at H4C!

  1. I’m speechless…. Is this because Ivon is in the Fantasy Championship? I like Sarah (she’s fun and has an adorable cat) but Ivon is my favourite Bartok hehe….

    Food looks great. I wonder if they ever think you’re a food critic by ordering everything.

    Have a great weekend. I’m off to the cricket today with my nephew, then Monday morning I’ll be glued to NFL Red Zone as I’m in the Championship for Fantasy Football too. I’m all over the injury news in case I have to make a quick swap for Karlos Williams.

    Cheers, Chev

  2. What wonderful mouthwatering works of art! A real treat for the eyes … and for the taste buds, I can only imagine 😐
    Not really jealous… much… not really… not much … honest … 😶

    … OK, I lie 😒

  3. If you plated your mom’s dishes like those above, they would all look just as spectacular. And you’d probably sell more of hers… I bet.

  4. …and please always take a picture of the bread and butter. I drooled a little just typing this…

  5. Amazing!

    Keep prayers coming All! My kitty as at the E.R. this weekend with liver problems. She’s eating, so we are waiting to see if she holds it down.

  6. Delightful dishes…I would hope that I could be as daring as you with your choices. I seem to be a tad conservative. Went out for brunch today and had Steak Frites Poutine only because of you and Louise Penny. I’d normally go for a burger with fries or Shrimp and grits. Looking forward to the new year in part because I know DM filming will be amping up again.

  7. Well you don’t know me, I just dropped in to spy on Dark matter stuff, but have to say you eat some awesome food. If I ever move up from the humbler fare I usually eat I’m going to come back to your blog and make a list of items to try.

  8. @Tam Dixon, sorry to hear about your kitty, I hope it is doing better {{hugs}}.

  9. Thanks Gforce and TheOtherOne! She’s eating and holding it down. Plus, the tech says that Ruby is growling. Ruby is normally a bitch, so that’s a good sign. Her nicknames include Rubzilla, VeliciRub, Rubella, and the Rubmonster. This is going to cost a lot but I’m not sure I could lose another cat so soon. This is my Christmas present for 2015-20!

    How many people go to dinner with you guys, Mr. M.? Does your mom go with you?

  10. Tam — sending strengthening good vibes to your kitty and you. Hang in there!

    Wow – had to Google just about every plate description in this entry. I am still not convinced to EVER eat octopus, mackerel, guinea fowl or trout. However, I would certainly try that tomato tart as it looks right dandy.

    Just wondering if you provide food explanations/educations to your table mates as each plate is delivered, or do you ask that of the waiter when ordering? Surely, with your gourmet experience nothing is a mystery to you Joe.

    If I were there, menu items would require extensive explanation prior to ordering, such as:
    1. what is it exactly (the menu name will be foreign to me)
    2. what animal does it come from and what part of that animal (if I never heard of it, I’m not eating it)
    3. how is it prepared (nothing rare or looks under cooked)
    4. what garnish or accompaniment is used on the dish (details expected)
    5. if vegetable/fruit, place of origin, how was it prepared
    6. is it dangerous to eat (puffer fish, etc.)?

    Yes, I would be obnoxious.
    Of course, all of this can be avoided if I stick to simple lettuce salads, Lean Cuisine frozen entrees, grilled cheese sandwiches and Chinese take out.

    =^-^= =^-^=

  11. It looks too beautiful to eat. I must say your culinary experience far out weighed my Christmas diet. Not that I do not appreciate a company provided meal, but it is a far far way from Kraft services. I guess my highlight was when I opened and sampled my first bottle of Japanese whiskey, Nikka Coffey malt.

  12. You are seriously a server’s dream. They usually have a dollar quota for each person at the table (which is why they push appetizer, meal, dessert onto people; they are getting pressure from their boss). You probably make up for those who don’t order the full complement.

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