Montreal is spoiled with tons of French restaurants. They range from bistros to higher end French fare. L’Express is our favourite bistro in Montreal and it’s a classic that’s impossible to beat. Then we went to NYC, and there we fell in love with Balthazar, this is now our French bistro standard in the Big Apple. Brasserie Bernard is the perfect combination of these two bistros that we hold in such high esteem. Not to mention that we’ve been to Paris … it goes without saying that we are French bistro snobs! So when we say that we were dazzled by Brasserie Bernard, we aren’t being glib.
Zeus was introducing his newest concubine to the group. Diva #1, Bellatrix and Whitey were curious but we feared that we would have to play nice which would ruin our usual vibe. But we did what we would do best, we started eating and drank aplenty. The cream of wild mushrooms soup was earthy and more like a stew, than a soup – we loved it. Piled high with duck confit and shitake chips it was not your usual starter soup. And of course we threw in a half dozen oysters for good measure.
The roasted black pudding with parsnip on an apple mousse with buttermilk was divine! This was our favourite of the appetizers, so much so that Zeus ordered a second serving of it after we polished off the first order so quickly. We had been to Brasserie Bernard for brunch and we had fallen in love with their black pudding breakfast sandwich so we knew that this appetizer would be divine. Creamy but still a little smokey from being roasted, the flavours paired well together and we adored it.
Their menu has beef and salmon tartares as main dishes but you can order the appetizer portion for half the cost. We loved the beef tartare, a classic French bistro tartare dish; it was delicious and well spiced. Extra virgin olive oil decorated the plate and the beef was fresh and full of flavour. Diva #1 would definitely return to order this as a main dish, especially in the summer when you are craving something light.
The salmon tartare was good but nowhere near as delicious as Brasserie Bernard’s beef tartare. To be fair we like our salmon tartare made simply and this one had a lot going on with lemon, yoghurt, caviar and dill. It was very creamy but though the caviar added another fishy element to the tartare, the yoghurt was overpowering and you lost the taste of the salmon in the mix.
This traditional French bistro dish is always a treat. This dish was ravioli stuffed with veal prepared in an au jus sauce with mushrooms and port wine. Covered in parmigiano this was our favourite main dish at Brasserie Bernard. We were soon asking for more bread to enjoy the rest of the sauce! It was a decadent ravioli dish that was the perfect size and flavour. This dish is definitely of the same caliber as the ravioli dish at L’Express – we were quickly won over!
Diva #1 and Bellatrix shared the veal ravioli and the lobster ravioli – they were the perfect combination. The lobster ravioli was made in a white butter and truffle oil cream sauce. The ravioli were not drenched in sauce so they remained light and the lobster that stuffed the ravioli was chunky and tasty. Asparagus tips that were cooked to perfection added a nice crunch to the tender ravioli, we don’t know which ravioli dish we loved more, they were both very different.
We also tried the roasted scallops over a saffron risotto with chorizo. The scallops and chorizo were the perfect surf n’ turf mix. The scallops were not overcooked and very tender, and the chorizo was amazing when eaten with a bite of scallop. The saffron risotto was very flavourful and strong, you must really like saffron to enjoy this dish, and we do!
Whitey took the white girl route and opted for the grilled Angus skirt steak that was topped with white wine shallots, thyme and chives. She complained that the steak was cooked medium to medium rare when she had asked for medium well. But no one should eat their steak medium well or well done, so we love Brasserie Bernard for punishing her! The match stick fries were divine and they were served with a side of swirled mayo… we helped her with her fries.
We were torn between trying their different desserts or opting for their delicious looking cheeses. We chose to share three desserts, one being the tatin apple pie with caramel, almond crumble and buttermilk ice cream. This was our favourite of the desserts, it was amazing and rivaled many tatins that we have tried.
The pecan pie with a pumpkin ganache and white chocolate was a twist on traditional pecan pie. The pumpkin ganache cut the sweetness of the pecan pie and we loved it. A scoop of vanilla ice cream added to this dessert’s richness. Last but not least we had the pudding chomeur, perhaps not our favourite pudding chomeur in the city, it was nonetheless delicious and we were soon overdosing on caramel and maple sweetness. We should have ordered some cheese on the side…
Our love for Brasserie Bernard did not begin that night, we had already been here for brunch with our dear Sensei, Montreal Breakfast Review, you can read about our brunch at Brasserie Bernard HERE – it was amazing!
Definitely a place that we would return to, Brasserie Bernard is one of the best bistros that this city has to offer. It doesn’t get a lot of hype and they are quiet on social media, but you will not regret your brunch or dinner. We want to return to try more of their desserts, their cheeses and some more of their traditional French bistro dishes.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 1249 Bernard, Beef Tartare, bistro, Black Pudding, Brasserie, Brasserie Bernard, Brasserie Bernard Montreal, Brunch, Cheese, Dessert, Eggs Benedict, H2V 1V7, Lobster Ravioli, Montreal, Montreal Bistro, Montreal Brunch, Montreal Food, Montreal Restaurant, Outremont, oysters, Pain Doré, Pecan Pie, Pudding Chômeur, Risotto, Salmon Tartare, Scallops, Skirt Steak, Tartare, Tatin Apple Pie, Veal Ravioli