We fell in love with Caribou Gourmand in 2016, and considered our dinner there one of the year’s best meals. This culinary gem is perfect for the foodie who wants to discover a new restaurant. It isn’t “Montreal-famous” yet, but it should be because it’s THAT good. The chef is from Normandy, and he not only incorporates his French roots in this modern French bistro, but more specifically, Normandy cooking.
With an emphasis on market fresh ingredients, and a dash of Quebec, this is the sort of restaurant that you return to because they have an ever-changing menu. Before reading about our fabulous dinner, click HERE for our first experience at Caribou Gourmand. We were quite happy to return in the spring and see what else this little gem had to offer. Everyone that we have sent to this restaurant has raved about it!
If you’re someone who appreciates a meal that demonstrates attention to detail and beautifully plated dishes, than this is the restaurant for you. When the fresh baguette is served, you’re also served homemade flavoured butter, which always changes. On this visit, we enjoyed a citrus poppy seed butter, and it was absolutely delicious!
We started with two cocktails, the Melon-Mèleche was right up our alley, with vodka, litchi liqueur, watermelon and basil, it tasted like summer! The Spritz Pamplemmouse was made with rosé wine, Triple Sec, grapefruit juice, grenadine and soda. Both cocktails were refreshing, well priced and strong, we love our cocktails the way we love our men, strong and unstable!
Unlike most restaurants, Caribou Gourmand specifies what type of crab makes up their crab cakes which is something that all restaurants should do; we generally avoid crab cakes because we expect the usual imitation crab meat. Caribou Gourmand specified snow crab cakes, and that’s what they delivered. Served with a curry mayonnaise and caviar on a bed of arugula salad, with dollops of beet purée, the crab cakes had a crunchy outer coating, cooked perfectly, and a tender center – perfection!
The foie gras was whipped into a creamy mousse that was even creamier than foie gras torchon. Enrobed in cacao, with mustard seeds in a berry coulis, the flavours were intense and full of dimension. All of this sat on a grilled piece of cornbread, with greens, pickled onions, and a few dollops of beet purée which both decorated the dish, and added to the intense flavours.
They had a swordfish, bison and veggie tartare on this season’s menu, and they all looked splendid. The swordfish tartare was our favourite of the two that we tried, it was refreshing, seasoned with lime, cucumber and daikon. Caviar and fresh herbs further added to this tartare that wasn’t too fishy but light and enjoyable to the palate. We ordered both tartares in appetizer format, but you can also order them as mains.
The veggie tartare was made up of fennel, apple and goat cheese, perfect with fresh baguette. Dressed in a honey lemon dressing with plenty of fresh herbs, the veggie tartare was topped with walnuts, paper thin slices of radish for a peppery hint, and pumpkin seeds, for a change of texture. Make sure that you like the taste of goat cheese, as we do, as this veggie tartare is potent!
We were further spoiled with a Trou Normand, a strawberry sorbet with vodka that was then topped with Calvados. This palate cleanser is popular in Normandy because they eat a lot of smoked fish. A Trou Normand is traditionally Calvados over an apple sorbet, Caribou Gourmand put a twist on this traditional palate cleanser, and trust us, we couldn’t have enough!
The pièce de resistance was the lobster lasagna. Not to sound overly confident, but if we haven’t tried anything like this before, we believe that you haven’t either. Big pieces of lobster were layered with oyster mushrooms and squid ink lasagna sheets. Lobster and oyster mushrooms have a similar texture making it a palatable combination.
The sauce? A bisque with whiskey, the dish does not seem large but we assure you that it is very rich, and it’s more than enough. Make sure that you use plenty of that fresh baguette to finish the creamy sauce pooling on the bottom of the dish. We were too full for dessert, but of course, we ordered dessert.
The country-style ricotta tart was made with brown flour and stuffed with red fruits. Served with cinnamon ice cream, it was a delicious dessert. Even the brown flour added a density and dimension of flavour that you would not have gotten from white flour. We had this along with a blueberry crème brûlée that was packed full of blueberries and topped with popcorn for a salty hint.
If you haven’t already dined at Caribou Gourmand then you’re missing out! They do lunch and dinner, and even brunch on the weekends, but our heart belongs to their dinner!
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 5308 St Laurent, Caribou Gourmand, Caribou Gourmand Montreal, Crab Cake, foie greas, French Bistro, H2T 1S1, lobster lasagna, Montreal French Bistro, Montreal Restaurant, Plateau, Plateau Restaurant, swordfish tartare, Tartare, Trou de normand