***Sadly this Restaurant is Closed***
Anabel Bar & Vin didn’t make a big fuss when they opened, in fact, they made barely a whisper. We tried their fried gnocchi at Oysterfest in the summer and slowly but surely people began recommending that we try them out. Located in Outremont, it has that old school bistro feel. Black and white tiled floors, diner style light fixtures, and marble tables decorated this retro looking spot. JB never wants to go out for dinner so imagine Diva #1’s surprise when he asked her out for a night on the town.
Of course nothing is ever simple with Diva #1 so their night out soon included Peaches and the Sun God in tow. The appetizers at Anabel sounded more intriguing than all of their mains so we decided to order a bunch of them and share. We started with the succulent bone marrow that was topped with thinly sliced and lightly pickled cucumbers, mustard seeds that were made slightly sweet, and mache lettuce. If bone marrow isn’t rich enough, smoked meat lay on top of the heavy and deep bone with a side of rye bread. We adored this appetizer! This was a gourmet play on a traditional smoked meat sandwich.
Our next appetizer was the lobster made into a mayo-based salad with celery and onions.. This was reminiscent of a lobster roll and it was thankfully not heavy on the mayo. Sitting on a slice of French toast that could have been sweeter, a large dollop of bacon marmalade topped the lobster with a side of chips. Though very good, this was not our favourite appetizer of the night. The French toast could have been better and the lobster salad could have used more lobster, or at least left the pieces in larger chunks for extra flavour. But bacon marmalade is always a winner!
What we liked about Anabel is how they took dishes that we know and love, like a smoked meat sandwich or lobster roll, and changed them in significant ways that alter the dish entirely. This was also the case with their salmon tartare that was identical to what mainstream sushi restaurants call “sushi pizza.” Samphire greens, which reminded us of sea asparagus, added a refreshing element to the salmon tartare. The tobiko was a great addition to the fresh, raw salmon, adding another Asian element. This little concoction sat on top of a deep fried rice cake creating the “sushi pizza” effect.
The deep fried gnocchi was our favourite appetizer of the night, but we knew it would be because we had fallen in love with it at Oysterfest. Beautiful little gnocchi were fried to create a crispy crust and then tossed in a truffle oil crab sauce. Lardons and peas were incorporated into this dish and though the truffle oil wasn’t very apparent, the dish itself was rich and complex.
And then Anabel simply spoiled us by bringing over a nice little surprise! A treat that wasn’t even on their menu. We received a simple salad with mache lettuce and tomatoes was topped off with delicious cubes of fried cheddar cheese. These were adult mozzarella sticks; the white cheddar was sharp, perfectly melted, and very lightly breaded. Thanks Anabel!
We only ordered one main dish; we had had too much fun with the appetizers. We chose the short rib with carrots, haricots, chimichurri and mashed potatoes. Short rib is a bit tricky, we’ve had really good short rib, and often it isn’t always as fall-off-the-bone tender as we would like it to be. We have had short rib that was more succulent than what we had at Anabel’s, but it’s almost irrelevant because the sauce coating the meat was delectable, and the chimichurri was perfection. It was a fun dish, and well-priced. Next time we are trying their polenta!
We were getting boozy, and for those of you who don’t know, boozy is between tipsy and drunk, it is the perfect medium. Boozy means a yearning for deep fried food! Therefore Anabel’s deep fried Oreos were an absolute must. What sort of sick bastard doesn’t order these bad boys if they appear on a menu? Four Oreos to a serving, they were battered up and fried to perfection with a side of vanilla ice cream and two shots of milk. A very fun dessert!
Since we were still pretending to be adults we also ordered a cheese plate. Anabel showed us the the different types of cheese that they were offering on this particular night and we were recommended two of them. The pecorino truffle from Tuscany was absolute heaven, and the Brillat-Savarin from France was a type of triple cream brie. The Brillat-Savarin was creamy and the pecorino truffle aromatic, both cheeses were a success. Perfect with the walnuts that were provided, baguette, and more bacon marmalade, we were in heaven.
Our night ended with one of our favourite things: oysters, but at this point we were too boozy to bother asking what type of oyster was available, we just wanted oysters! Anabel Bar & Vin offers a fun atmosphere to go for dinner and enjoy some inventive dishes. Perfect for a date night or even night out with friends, the atmosphere is relaxed and fun. Our night at Anabel ended with Sensei showing up for a drink, and we were soon making late night plans to drink some more and cause trouble elsewhere. No one looks back on their life and remembers the nights they had plenty of sleep!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 361 Rue Bernard, Anabel Bernard, Anabel Montreal, Bacon Marmalade, Bar Anabel, Bone Marrow, Cheese Plate, Cocktails Anabel Bar & Vin, Fried Gnocchi, Gnocchi, H2V 4H3, Lobster, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Outremont, Salmon Tartare, Short Rib, wine