Last year, we told you about a talented chef that we discovered at Le Bec à Vin. We felt that once he moved his talents to Montreal, he would get the recognition he deserved. Now as head chef at Griffintown’s HVOR, Chef Phil Tees is showcasing his kitchen genius for Montrealers to enjoy!
It’s safe to say we’re chef groupies, however, the food at HVOR speaks for itself. You have the option of choosing from the menu or you can indulge in the tasting menu, which we whole heartedly recommend. Since everything on the menu looked delicious, we decided to let the chef choose our meal. And what a meal it was! We started with a simple amuse bouche of compressed melon, chili, and edible flowers from their rooftop garden. The melon itself still had a nice bite to it and was crisp, and the chili added a very subtle heat
Sabo had been waiting all week to have HVOR’s burrata dish and it did not disappoint! This dish on its own, not part of the tasting menu, is 50$. We know what you’re thinking, who would pay that price? If you enjoy top shelf ingredients and a generous portion, then this is the dish for you. The burrata was soft and creamy, drizzled with olive oil. The pata negra was luxurious – a deep red, almost purple colour; it was smooth, salty and delicious. Paired with tomatoes, we would have been satisfied if the meal had ended right there!
Matane shrimp are small and sweet, which paired nicely with the lobster vinaigrette. We loved the addition of the Napa cabbage to the salad which gave it a crunch; and we also tried something new, watermelon cucumbers. They look like mini watermelons, but taste just like cucumbers, with a subtle hint of lemon.
We’re not big on liver but trust us when we tell you that the deep fried rabbit liver at HVOR is delicious! Served with a corn relish that had a little spice to it, lime sour cream for freshness, and pickled beets for acidity, all the elements on the plate complimented the sinful taste of being deep fried and the texture of the liver.
It’s no secret we love pasta so when the Parisian gnocchi hit the table, we were happy. They are made with pate a choux dough (like when making cream puffs) which is where they differ from Italian gnocchi. Just as delicious and light, the Parisian gnocchi were served simply with butter, sweet peas, red onion and cherry tomatoes.
The photo doesn’t do it justice but the black cod was cooked perfectly. Served with chunks of kohlrabi, a vegetable we don’t see often enough on menus, and mushrooms with an earthy, yet almost caramelized flavour. But the pièce de resistance was definitely the black butter, smeared on the plate to look like a painter’s canvas. It was thick and velvety, perfect with the fish.
Somehow, we managed to find room for dessert, we enjoyed both the ricotta profiterole and the corn ice cream. The profiterole was one giant cream puff, and once we broke it open, it was filled with basil ice cream. The outer shelf was crispy with a pine nut crumble that the profiterole sat on. The ice cream had a fresh basil taste, bringing us back to summer.
The corn ice cream sat atop a hazelnut cake, with caramel and popcorn. We loved the ice cream, with the sweetness of the corn. The cake was moist, the caramel was dark and sweet and the popcorn was a fun touch!
We ended the night with a tour of their rooftop terrace which houses HVOR’s garden, including their own bee hive! We knew we were in capable hands with Chef Tees and his team. The food that is being produced by HVOR is without question some of the best that this city has to offer.
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 1414 Notre Dame Ouest, Black Cod, Burrata, Chef Phil Tees, corn ice cream, Griffintown, Griffintown restaurant, H3C 1K8, HVOR, HVOR Montreal, Matane Shrimp, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal tasting menu, Montreal Terrace, Outdoor Garden, Parisian gnocchi, profiterole, rabbit liver, Sud Ouest restaurant