Summertime is terrace season! Everyone wants to enjoy dinner and drinks on a terrace during the fleeting summer months. We were invited to L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel to experience their new menu by Chef Ola Claesson and, of course, enjoy their terrace. We had already been to L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel in the winter, for fondue and charcuterie, it was now time to try their summer menu! You can see our review of their winter menu HERE.
We tried all the appetizers except for one, we started with the snow crab and soft boiled egg. The snow crab was sweet but there wasn’t much on the plate to warrant it being a crab-based dish. The leeks were tender and slightly sweet, and the soft boiled egg, once cracked open, added a touch of richness.
The salmon tartare was served with toasted baguette slices and a garnish of thinly sliced cucumber. The salmon was mixed with mango and wasabi, which did not overtake the taste of the fresh fish. It was a nice light summer dish that had an Asian feel.
This is a dish most people avoid simply because it sounds strange, tuna mayo does not tempt the palate. The veal was sliced ever so thinly and dressed generously with a mayo based sauce that was lightly flavoured with tuna. It was also garnished with thinly sliced radishes, and croutons for a little crunch.
A simply presented plate with two bones filled with marrow, salt on the side, a side of parsley salad and toast points. It made for a spectacular appetizer. The gelatinous marrow was paired perfectly with the bright parsley salad dressed with salty capers for a little bite.
One of the most popular dishes when dining on a terrace is the charcuterie plate, so we couldn’t pass on this appetizer. Filled with thinly sliced prosciutto, salami, duck breast and cheeses, olives and pickled vegetables, we wolfed it down! It comes in two sizes, as an individual portion or one that can be shred at the table. This was definitely a favourite of the night!
A special of the night was roasted cauliflower which was one of our favourite appetizer. It had a nice charred flavour from the roasted exterior but the cauliflower remained crunchy. It thankfully wasn’t soggy! Topped with fresh herbs and breadcrumbs, this is definitely a dish that you should order.
While we enjoyed our appetizers, the mains are not what we would return for. We’re generally picky when it comes to gnocchi, and the gnocchi at L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel fell short. They were very undercooked and lacked taste. The mushrooms that they were tossed with were good but that was about it.
The lobster gratin, which the chef told us was a take on something from his childhood, was good but nothing stood out for us. We appreciated how it was presented so that it was easy to eat without getting messy, but the au gratin lacked flavour. It was served with a small salad on the side and fries that we couldn’t resist.
Our waiter brought out the cooked sirloin steak before it was sliced and it looked delicious. When it arrived at the table, piled high, it was perfectly cooked to medium as requested. However, once you started chewing a piece of steak, you kept chewing that same piece to the point where your jaw grew tired of the exercise. It was served with a side of grilled vegetables that we enjoyed, but the meat wasn’t tender.
The aged beef rib started to win back our confidence in the main dishes. Cooked perfectly with a nice, blushing pink middle, the meat was full of flavour and very tender. Served with mushrooms, pearl onions for sweetness and fava beans, it also came with aligot, which is a traditional dish made with cheese blended into mashed potatoes. It was definitely creamy but we found the cheese to be overpowering – nonetheless out of all the mains, this was our favourite.
It was hard to resist ordering the bouillabaisse and we’re glad we did. The fish was cooked well but the real star was the broth. It had the familiar clay colour from the rouille, which is a spicy garlic sauce traditionally used in fish stews. We dipped the crusty bread in the broth and loved it. We would have been happy with just a bowl of the broth and plenty of bread – a very rustic way of eating, perfect in an auberge!
Desserts were next and we tried a couple of them, including the chocolate and salted caramel pie. This was rich and decadent and definitely for the chocolate lover! The next dessert was simply macerated strawberries with both strawberry and vanilla ice cream. Day Jobs & the NightLife may have had one too many cocktails because he tipped part of the dessert off the plate. Some boys just can’t handle their liquor! The dessert was refreshing and light, and a nice way to end our meal.
The terrace at L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel is beautiful, especially at night when it is lit up. The cocktails are great, the appetizers as well but the mains fell short for us. Maybe it was an off night or the chef is still getting used the menu. If you’re looking for a quieter terrace to enjoy some appetizers and cocktails before heading off for a night on the town, check our L’Auberge Saint-Gabriel!
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 426 St Gabriel, Auberge Saint-Gabriel, Auberge Saint-Gabriel Montreal, beef rib, Bone Marrow, bouillabaisse, Charcuterie, Chef Ola Claesson, Cocktails, Gnocchi, H2Y 2Z9, lobster gratin, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Terrace, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Restaurant, Salmon Tartare, Sirloin, Snow Crab, vitello tonnato