Another favourite haunt in Montreal is Le Locale, located almost under a highway tucked away from the bustle of downtown restaurant goers. You enter what looks like an old warehouse with high loft ceilings and a giant projector with a black and white movie silently playing on the high wall. Unfortunately we forgot to reserve on the terrace but it was possible. Since the terrace is facing a large parking lot it has been skillfully decorated with lush green plants under a tent so that you do not feel like you are enjoying your dinner in a parking lot but in a secret hideaway. Le Local is located a handful of blocks from the water which makes for a nice walk after dinner on a warm Montreal summer day.
When we arrived we were seated near the open kitchen which was lovely when we had gone in the winter but unbearable in the summer. The staff was very accommodating and since the was no room in the dining room we sat on beautiful armchairs surrounding round tables in the bar area overlooking both the terrace and the black and white film projected onto the wall. Diva #1 ordered a mojito which was made well but in an old fashioned glass which is too small of a glass for a drink that boasts a lot of ice, limes and mint leaves.
Last time we were there, a friend of the divas enjoyed a rabbit dish that we were looking forward to. Unfortunately, although the menu is not completely seasonal, some dishes will be exchanged for others. This is understandable because it ensures the freshness and quality of good ingredients.
We were here for Diva#2′s birthday so we were in the mood for a night filled with different appetizers! We ordered the salmon tartare and the beef tartare which are fresh, lightly seasoned and are tasty. Unfortunately, the portions of these appetizers were small. The beef tartare was mixed with a creamy cheese which was very tasty and original, but the salmon tartare’s flavours was unimpressive.
The appetizers ranged from 7 – 14$ and since the tartare was not as plentiful as we would have liked we asked that the waiter recommend a commonly ordered appetizer. The Divas love asking the house special to really evaluate a restaurant’s most famous plate. the waiter commended the pissaladière which we had never tried and some of us had never heard of. It was exquisite, piled high with lightly seared tuna, prosciutto and hard boiled eggs, and topped with frisé lettuce. The dish was filled with complex flavours and other ingredients like capers and onions. The presentation of the dish was intimidating since it was so high and we don’t know how it did not topple over when the waiter brought it to us. It was hard to serve and cut as an appetizer but it was well worth the trouble. I wish the menu described this appetizer in greater detail because I am sure it would be ordered more if people knew everything it came with.
We also ordered a type of dip that is not necessarily food divas style but one of our guests this night was adamant that we try it. It was a layered dip that sounded interesting but odd since there was cream cheese within it. It was delicious and it came in a jar so you felt like someone’s grand-mère had made it using garden ingredients. Even the nachos that it was served with were anything but typical. We soon finished the nachos and devoured the rest of the dip with our spoons.
We asked the waiter to bring us a dry white wine which was, as promised, cool and dry; we love daring suggestions from a restaurant’s staff. Two divas had the duck confit which was served with vegetables, a poached egg and orange mayo. The duck confit was good but typical to most French restaurants, nothing particularly stood out. The orange mayonnaise was interesting and surprisingly really good with the duck. Even the Parmesan cheese was a generous amount over the arugula salad.
Entrées range from 17 – 70$. Another diva had the lobster roll on toasted white bread with cheese curds. The lobster roll was slathered in mayo as per the typical way one sees lobster rolls. The roll also had red peppers and lettuce which added to the flavour and the mass of lobster. The fries were also delicious and there is even a poutine option for an additional cost that we did not take advantage of but is an option.
For dessert we asked the waiter to bring an assortment since it was a diva’s birthday. The mixed plate arrived on a large wooden cutting board with bite size strawberry rhubarb crumble like pies, brownies and maple ice cream pops. The brownies tasted like Reese’s chocolate and were anything but ordinary. The waiter was very accommodating and the wooden cutting board even had Happy Birthday written in chocolate. Too bad it didn’t say “Bonne Fête Diva #2″ … next year!
As if this was not enough dessert, we ordered a petit pot de caramel crémeux, with espresso ganache with fleur de sel and financiers. The little bites of desserts were not on the menu but the pot de crème is.
”Petit pot de caramel crémeux, ganache espresso, fleur de set sel, financier” 6$
All in all this restaurant was fun for appetizers and drinks due to its ambience in the dining hall, terrace and bar but other French restaurants dominate it in terms of portion size.
Our Rating: Splendid