Sunday, January 30, 2011
Restaurant L'Un des Sens
L'Un Des Sens
Recently I went out for a relaxed and well needed dinner with my Mom and Sister. Just the girls!
It was well needed because my Grandmother passed away and all of us have been dealing with this great loss. I have to say, she was so great! She always had a positive outlook on life, always had a smile on her face and was passionate about food, love, friends - everything! She always said, "Bisogna avere la passione" (You need to have passion!) or "non vi dovete mai abbandonare" (Never abandon yourself! - not sure about the spelling in Italian..but anyways) We used to giggle and kinda' poke fun at her for saying that but they are words to live by and she definitely did. She is my inspiration.
So, we needed to decompress… our Family Doctor and friend, who also happens to be a fellow foodie recommended this restaurant a while ago. Its local, market cuisine. Meaning they serve traditional Quebecois inspired dishes, local produce (as much as possible), lots of comfort foods such as a personal sized meat pie, pea soup with quail egg as well as daintier local fare like fois gras. So, anyway, he absolutely loves this place! So much so, that after he discovered it he went back the during the same week. Of course, we had to try.
An interesting concept...It reminds me of Tapas. For 33$ you can order any 3 items on the menu, 4 items for 44$ and 5 for 55$. For example, if you take the 5 item choice, you can order 3 mains, 1 appetizer and 1 dessert. Now, don't be alarmed. The mains are quite small.
Its great if you're a small group, you can order a bunch of different things and share. Its perfect for me because I can never decide what to order...With this place, I can have it all and YES, I was full afterwards.
The traditional green pea soup was served with a poached quail egg on top. It was flavourful and delicious! Then we had a breaded and fried "galette" or patty of chick pea puree - It was served hot and was so tasty! Next, we tried the eggplant caviar (which I learned, just means cooked an kinda' pureed and seasoned eggplant, which was great on bread - very tasty.
I wanted to try a fish and a meat dish so I ordered the trout, served on a sea urchin mousse and bisque. I was nervous about sea urchin mousse but it ended up being my favourite thing on the dish. Next I tried the stuffed rabbit. This one was just OK. The meat was dry and the stuffing of horse chestnut, lentil and mushrooms was lacking something...
My mother had the cod and she loved it! It was served with ratatouille of autumn vegetables. My sister had the Meat pie which was personal sized, served in a ramekin with a crispy pie crust over top. This was one of my favorite things! So warm and comforting.
Dessert came and we were already stuffed. I ordered the grilled cheese, served with breaded and fried squeaky cheese. Its the kind of cheese you'd find in a poutine. It was breaded with what I believe to be brown sugar. It was served piping hot and the cheese was beautifully , gooey and stretchy. Loved it!
In the end, I decided I would definitely return because the food was very good, they use high quality produce, its local cuisine (which I love and want to encourage) and finally just because it was fun to discuss what each of us would choose. However, even though I understood the concept, when I got my mains, I suppose I had an illogical feeling of disappointment. The portions were small and I guess I'm used to a full sized main...on the other hand, had they been full sized, I wouldn't have been able to try more than one!
The service was great in the sense that the waitress was friendly and charming but they were a little "relaxed" when we first got there. We stood at the door a little too long before someone came to greet us and the wait was also a tad too long before someone came to see us at our table.
The decor is modern and kind of zen but the size of the restaurant makes it feel cozy. Its small but feels airy. (there's a nice space between tables) The reddish colouring of the restaurant and candlelight makes it feel warm and inviting. The black chalk board that lines the length of one wall gives it a little dressed down feel. On this chalk board they feature their mission statement about how they are environmentally concious and use local ingredients. It also features their late night menu.
I would dress neatly and "put together" for an outing here but I feel like even if you don't, nobody will care..lol. Its unpretentious.
The music was great, it was subtle and jazzy earlier in the evening and then around 11PM , they upped the volume just a bit with some slightly upbeat dance tunes. It wasn't too loud so you could still talk but you got the feeling that you were somewhere cool and mellow. I could have stayed there all night.
Needless to say this restaurant was just what the doctor ordered!
I definitely recommend this pleasant restaurant & I give it a 4 out of 5. You must be opened to the concept or you may be disappointed with the portions!
Let me know if you try it!