Diva #1 likes to think of her birthday as more of a birth week. When Zeus told the Divas that he could not come to Diva #1’s birthday Thursday… he wisely knew to book another date with the Divas. He chose to have a night of the Divas all to himself to celebrate early, and chose La Bêtise for the occasion. Off we went on a Monday night; you know it is a good week when you start drinking as early as Monday.
La Bêtise is on St. Hubert, in the Saint-Edouard area of Montreal. It is a small restaurant that could easily be missed if not for the brown and white cow print on the mailbox by the door. This cowhide theme continues inside on the bar stools.
We were seated at a booth and given the menus which are mounted on wood. While we were tempted to order the three degustation menus, we chose to order multiple starters and share. We never even looked at the main dishes; instead we got carried away with the selection of appetizers!
The degustation menus are sold individually or all three for 148$ for a minimum of four people. The options are the roi de la mer for 56$ that is more seafood based, the Bête-Tease for 66$ that hosts the Bêtise classics, and the dessert degustation called the Mignardises that includes a fried bueno, macarons shooter and crème brulée.
The music low, our drinks arrived first. Zeus had the classic Bloody Caesar which was served in a small mason jar rimmed with celery salt and adorned with a piece of celery. The Divas opted for the gin and tonic with cucumber and green apple. Different than the usual solitary slice of cucumber, the drink was served with an espresso spoon to scoop up the diced apples. Very refreshing and different from the norm; we made the same drink in the office later that week but that’s another story! Take note that to order alcohol you must also order food.
Our first appetizers arrived and the Asian influence could be seen right away. The tartare de saumon classique Bêtise was served in a martini glass with a few deep fried crisps. We’ve had a lot of tartare and this one tasted very much like sushi, which made it different from many of the others that we’ve had. There was plenty of caviar on top and the avocado lining the bottom of the glass added to the smooth texture. It was a very fresh, delicious dish and visually beautiful.
In keeping with our love of raw, we also had the beef tartare. It was tossed with green onions and topped with crispy bacon. It was good and spicy but the bites that had no bacon in it seemed like they were missing something. Diva #2 always joked about getting a tattoo of a slice of bacon and Zeus seemed intrigued at the thought! This little appetizer came with baguette crisps and was tasty but not as good as the two salmon tartares.
We also ordered the second type of salmon tartare, for comparative reasons, of course. This one was more heavily seasoned and came with matchstick green apples which not only tied in with our drinks but was also a nice combination. Again, caviar adorned the top and it was served in a beautiful martini glass. We rarely get impressed with tartares anymore, we have tried them all and we have our favourite places but La Bêtise had some amazing salmon tartares.
Our next tapas were the crab bites. There was an abundant of crab and it was extremely fresh tasting. It was light on the mayonnaise and the crab mounds were sitting on tortilla-like crackers which were very crispy and not soggy. This was a great tapas and we were soon awaiting the cooked tapas with anticipation since we had enjoyed their raw options so much.
Next up, the lamb ravioli. Again, the Asian influence was evident as the ravioli’s were more like dumplings, sprinkled with green onions but not saucy. The lamb and ginger raviolis came with a delicious soy/ginger dipping sauce. They were very moist and not overly lamb-tasting. A very interesting combination because you do not see lamb stuffed dumplings in Asian restaurants. Of course Zeus was in his element, to him lamb = Greek and he is always happy when there is Greek influence around him. He undid another button of his dress shirt to expose his manly Magnum PI chest hair and the thick gold chains and medallions from his home country. Diva #1 sighed and Diva #2 swooned and Zeus impishly grinned.
The Divas love strange food; our motto is that we will put anything in our mouth. Frog legs are not something you see very often on a menu so we had to have some. Thankfully we were with Zeus, an adventurous eater who loves strange dishes. These wonderful little legs were buttery and garlicky and just really good! There were six to the order and we could have easily ordered more. We would definitely choose these over Buffalo wings any day! And yes … frog legs do somewhat taste like chicken, but really good chicken with an interesting after taste.
The pork belly kimchee was next and we absolutely loved it to the point where Zeus asked the chef if he could buy some of the kimchee sauce. When Zeus really enjoys a meal he buys sauces, slabs of meat, Albacore tuna, etc. Chefs love him because of his love of food and you know the restaurant is good when Zeus starts treating it like a grocery store! The chef was flattered and brought a few small containers to take home, he didn’t even charge him! This is quickly becoming Zeus’ thing! The pork belly was fatty, meaty and spicy, just a wonderful dish all around. The pork belly was served with julienned carrots and topped with kimchee and green onions.
Next week we brought in our Panini press to work and made amazing cheese pita wraps with arugula, tomatoes, avocado and you guessed it, La Bêtise’s kimchee. The whole lunch room was intrigued with our creation and we directed them all to La Bêtise who got the credit for their amazing sauce.
A number of people had told us about their general tao poutine so we ordered a plate. We expected more chicken pieces and some spice but instead it was tangier. It was a good dish but I think we expected more since we had heard so much about it. We also found that the cheese curds were not melted enough, just look at the picture. La Bêtise has many more delicious dishes so though it was tasty, we do not understand why, out of everything that we tried, this is the one that was raved about.
We wanted to order one more dish and had trouble deciding. Our waiter helped us settle on the mussel ceviche but a couple minutes after ordering it our waiter came back to our table and told us that he spoke to the chef and he was going to make us something special. Who are we to argue?!
We fell in love with this off the menu dish. It was lobster, enoki mushrooms and sea urchin. The dish was ridiculous; we all agreed it was as good as sex! All elements of the dish were spot on, the lobster chunks were big and meaty, the mushrooms added a subtle but not overpowering flavour, and it was smooth. It’s going to be on their summer menu and can only be described as dirty good! The Chef came to see us and he explained that some of the menu was being revamped for the summer months, after tasting his lobster creation, we cannot wait to go back. Just look at Zeus, he licked the plate clean…
To think, we never even made it to their main dishes which include their tartares in a larger format, a larger general tao poutine, burgers and a steak plate. To be honest they looked good but embrace the ambiance at La Bêtise and enjoy a variety of their tapas instead. We cannot wait to return and try more.
We had no room for dessert but our waiter recommended the deep fried Bueno with ice cream and Amarula. This was very good and not too heavy to end the meal with. We were also brought glasses of complimentary digestifs, a sweet, decadent and perfect end to our meal.
Overall, La Bêtise is a great restaurant with some incredible food. It’s not located in the heart of any restaurant district but it’s worth a trip in our opinion. They have ladies nights on Tuesdays and a new summer menu coming up that, if the last dish we had was any indication, will be hard to resist. Zeus chose well, the Divas were satisfied, Diva#1 felt extra loved that all of this was for her birthday and we went home full, satisfied and ready to celebrate the rest of Diva #1’s birthday week… she wishes it was a national holiday.
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 5 à7, 6015 Saint Hubert, Asian, Bar, Beef Tartare, Burger, Cocktails, Crab, Dégustation, Fish Tacos, French, Fried Bueno, Frog Legs, General Tao Poutine, H2S 2L8, kimchee, La Bêtise, La Bêtise Montreal, La Bêtise St-Hubert, Ladies Night, Lamb Ravioli, Lobster, Macarons Shooter, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Mussel Ceviche, Pork Belly, Reservations Needed, Saint Édouard, Salmon Tartare, Sea Urchin, St-Hubert, tapas, Tasting Menu