Now that the holidays are over and our pockets are a little lighter, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out to enjoy a fantastic meal! We’re all about economical fine dining, and Happening Gourmand makes that easy.
For the 9th year running, Happening Gourmand is taking place in Old Montreal until February 7th. A total of eight restaurants will be featuring a three-course menu at either 22$, 25$ or 29$. The restaurants have once again partnered with Igloofest, anyone eating at one of the eight restaurants during Happening Gourmand can purchase their tickets for 18$. We attended the launch held at VP Steakhouse where each restaurant showcased a sampling of their dishes as well as their signature cocktail for the month long event.
Bevo never disappoints us and their menu for Happening Gourmand 2016 is delicious. We tried the tortelloni filled with beef in a pesto cream and mushroom sauce. Filled to bursting, the pasta was delicate and the mushrooms in the sauce were well paired with the tender beef. The pesto cream wasn’t heavy at all. Their second dish was a tuna salad that was both refreshing and light. The tuna was flavourful and paired well with the acidity of the tomatoes and the pickled red onion salad, and the white beans added a little creaminess.
The salmon tartare offered by Taverne Gaspar was fresh, smooth and the celery gave it a nice crunch contrast. Taverne Gaspar even makes their own lager for that real tavern feel. We’re not beer drinkers but it does pique one’s curiosity.
The mac & cheese at Taverne Gaspar was made with aged cheddar with crispy lardons and peas. The cheese was perfectly melted, the peas had burst open and the lardons added a good hint of salt to a favourite Diva dish! You really can’t go wrong with mac & cheese on a cold winter night.
Kyo offered up two dishes, one maki topped with a spicy salmon tartare and the other was their beef sashimi which we’ve enjoyed on previous visits. Dressed simply with a crispy garlic chip, green onions and citrusy ponzu sauce, this dish always impresses us.
The maki was fresh with a subtle hint of spice and crunch from the cool cucumber. We love the sushi at Kyo Bar Japonais, we keep going back for more, and now it’s even more affordable during Happening Gourmand.
The swordfish from Méchant Boeuf was served on grilled cornbread. The fish had a nice citrus flavour and the cornbread was full of fresh herbs like rosemary and dill. We also tried the beef blade. The star anise flavour was not overwhelming and the steak was cut very thinly and rested on a cube of potato prepared in au confit syule, in beef fat, for an extra touch of flavour.
Suite 701 had two great dishes. The first was the steak piled on top of a polenta cake. The polenta was crispy on the outside and light on the inside and the steak was very well flavoured with the mushroom sauce.
We also enjoyed Suite 701’s pan seared King Fish with a tomato salsa, red onions, corn, jalapenos and citrus flavoured quinoa. We preferred the roasted flat iron steak, but this dish was very refreshing. They even had a dessert table with a decadent brownie and banana dessert, it was a real treat!
Vieux Port Steakhouse was full of delicious food stations from all the restaurants participating in Happening Gourmand, we couldn’t get to them all. Even Verses Restaurant had an amazing tower of desserts and canapés taunting us, but we were just too full to indulge.
Old Montreal’s Happening Gourmand is a perfect way to try out some of the great restaurants without breaking the bank after the holiday season. If you’re looking for a lunch or dinner idea, why not head down to the Old Port and treat yourself to one of the table d’hôte menus being offered at affordable prices. Hurry up, you have until February 7th!
Tagged: Antonopoulos Group, Beef Sashimi, Bevo Montreal, Happening Gourmand, Happening Gourmand Montreal, Kyo Montreal, Mac and Cheese, Maki, Méchant Boeuf Montreal, Modavie Montreal, Old Montreal, Reservations Needed, Salmon Tartare, Suite 701 Montreal, Swordfish, Table d’Hote Montreal, Taverne Gaspar Montreal, Verses Montreal, VP Steak Montreal