The Divas are used to crazy Montreal weather so when the forecast called for freezing rain, it had no impact on our dinner plans. After all, we have to eat! And more importantly, Zeus had requested a Divas night because he missed us and was in withdrawal. So who are we to deny him such a pleasure?
As always, parking in Old Montreal is trying. Parking with a snowstorm becomes a sport. And while the valet at one of the hotels refused to take our car because we weren’t going to the hotel or attached restaurant, he kindly pointed out an illegal parking spot on the corner. Apparently the parking guys were being lenient because of the weather, and somehow we didn’t get a ticket.
Located in the heart of Old Montreal on St Jacques, the main floor has a large bar in the center of the room, as well as tables and banquets with a DJ mixing in the corner – the style is very loft like.
The Divas, Sweet Pea, Vegan Vixen, and our friend Kool-Aid, kept a seat free for Zeus. Greeted by our waiter, he pointed out that some dishes were not on the menu but written on the mirror just across from us.
We decided to start with cocktails. The Queue de Coq was a refreshing gin-based cocktail with Campari, and the grapefruit juice did not make it overly bitter. The Prosecco added a little sweet taste to offset the Campari, and the rosemary was subtle. The Tea-Rex cocktail was made up of green tea, pear and ginger syrup, and spiced rum. Stronger than the other drinks, it was freshened up with the lime juice and blackberries. The Ruby Tuesday was tasty with the combination of strawberry and basil with gin; this was a drink that you could easily enjoy all night. And of course the Divas ordered the Caesar Jo because we love our Bloody Caesars; it was a twist on the usual variety because it was made with Canadian Club.
However, our cocktails were taking forever to get to our table. Eventually, a waiter approached our table holding monogrammed wine glasses and a bottle of red. He announced that the bottle was compliments of our friend Zeus. Points to Zeus for sending a bottle to take care of his girls. But we all knew this meant he wasn’t just going to be late, but rather that he would not be joining us for dinner. He’s a smart man for sending us a peace offering so that we wouldn’t beat him with a stick! He is very good at calming the ladies. After a barrage of texts, he promised to take us out the following week, on him. He’s learning… slowly but surely.
We started our meal with two dozen oysters because why order one when we know that we will want more? Served simply with lemon and the traditional red onion mignonette, the oysters were salty and delicious and paired perfectly with the red wine. Unfortunately the menu described the oysters as coming with a “garniture du moment,” this is deceiving since it made us expect something more original than the usual.
Our next dish was the guacamole which was served with house made tortilla chips and garnished with pomegranate seeds, Diva #2’s favourite fruit. It was light but to be honest, we were disappointed. The guacamole was bland and missing salt. The best bites of the guacamole included the pomegranate seeds but there weren’t enough to make up for the missing seasoning in the avocado spread.
We ordered the mushroom soup which was creamy, earthy and perfect for a cold winter night. Served with crostini on a wooden cutting board, it was garnished simply with herbs and a few dollops of crème fraîche to add a bit more richness to the overall dish. The taste of truffles was not evident but the soup was hearty, and not lathered in cream, which often happens with mushroom soups.
Next is something that has become a staple in the Diva diet, Burratta. Served with crostini on a generous bed of arugula with sweet cherry tomatoes, the cheese was creamy and perfect with the copious amount of drizzled balsamic. We enjoyed it so much that we ordered another serving later on during our night. It was a great and filling appetizer. It was more of a salad dish than an appetizer.
We also ordered the crab cakes. Two to a serving, the outside coating was extra crispy and the inside had lots of crab, it had barely any filler ingredients and was very appetizing. A little kick of spice came from the guajillo chili remoulade which was a nice touch, as well as the wedges of lime which added some citrus delight. Too bad that Kool-Aid doesn’t eat anything from the sea (another problem eater) and couldn’t try this dish.
By this time, Zeus’ bottle of red was finished and a second bottle was ordered. Diva #1’s phone had died, which meant that everyone else’s phones were fair game. So she proceeded to send somewhat increasingly inappropriate texts to the men in our lives. Some enthusiastically wrote back, some were confused and others have yet to reply. All the men in their lives (well those with wandering eyes) were texted from Vegan Vixen’s, Diva #2’s, Kool-Aid’s and Sweet Pea’s phones. Diva #1 loves causing trouble and she enjoyed sending inappropriate texts and awaiting the responses. Even Sensei got a message about his bloody nipples… long story.
Alas we were still hungry so we tried two of their tacos, the shrimp and the Kobe beef. The Kobe tacos was very flavourful with the guacamole and tangy tomatillo salsa, but again, missing some salt to round out the flavours.
We ordered two shrimp taco plates to split amongst the four us (Kool-Aid avoids shrimp *sigh*), though we ordered them at the same time, our second order took a long time to arrive which meant the first plate got cold since we wanted to eat together. We kept reminding the waitress that we were awaiting our second order of shrimp tacos… Nonetheless, the corn tortilla held everything in and didn’t fall apart. The cabbage added a nice crunch and also helped dull the heat from the spicy tomatoes. The shrimp were plentiful and well cooked, but some pizazz was missing.
The AAA beef sliders were good, served on a brioche bun, the meat was tender and the cheese gooey. They were served with homemade potato chips which were golden and crunchy but again, missing a bit of salt. A lot of their appetizers were tasty but bland, even a little more seasoning would have made them better. Besides lacking salt, the sliders fell apart quite messily and we were forced to eat them with a fork and knife. This is not the correct way to eat two bite sliders! Though a fun bar-snack, these AAA beef sliders were lacking something fabulous to make them stand out from any old hamburger slider.
To appease our favourite somewhat-vegetarian friend, we ordered the sautéed mushrooms. Served with triangles of black bread and a cool crème fraîche-yogurt spread, the chanterelle mushrooms were meaty and buttery, and Vegan Vixen looked like she enjoyed them. They tasted even better without their accompanied sauce which overpowered the mushrooms. Though Vegan Vixen seemed satisfied with the food, she wasn’t happy when the men that Diva #1 was texting from her phone started to write back…
Since we started our meal with oysters, it seemed fitting to end with them as well, this time in the form of an oyster po’ boy. Served on a brioche bun with lettuce and tomato, the oysters were plump and not over-fried. The sauce could have been a bit spicier, but everything was tasty, without being fried to death.
As our night was winding down, Diva #1 was still sending texts with our phones when we weren’t looking and we were still replying to the men brave enough to reply. One such fellow, who had his eye on Sweet Pea, sent us his address in hopes of a late night visit. The Divas love a challenge…
We asked for our bill, trekked to the car and Diva #1 managed to get a complete stranger to clean the ice off the windshield while we sat in the car warming up. She loves getting people (especially men) to obey her! We went to Sweet Pea’s admirer’s apartment. Suffice it to say that Sweet Pea showing up with Diva #1 was not the kind of visit he was hoping for, and unfortunately for Sweet Pea, he is still sending texts in hopes of getting some sweet loving.
If that wasn’t enough Diva #1, Kool-Aid, Sweet Pea and Vegan Vixen showed up at JB’s apartment where we watched Peter Pan and passed out on his couch. We then crawled into his bed where we stole his sweater and snored the night away as unattractively as possible. To quote him “it was my dream to have four women in my bed… but not like that.” Good times all around!
Our Rating: Meh!
Tagged: 52 Saint Jacques, Burratta, Cocktail, Crab Cakes, DJ, Guacamole, H2Y 1L5, Joverse, Joverse Montreal, Joverse Old Montreal, Joverse Saint-Jacques, Joverse Salad, Kobe Beef Tacos, Late Night, Meh!, Montreal, Mushroom Soup, Old Montreal, Old Port, Old Port Fishing Co, Oyster Po Boy, oysters, Pekin Duck, Pulled Pork, Pulled Pork Taco, Reservations Needed, Sautéed Mushrooms, Shrimp Tacos, Sliders, St-Jacques, Tacos, Tex-Mex, Tortilla Chips, wine