We have a soft spot for Le Pois Penché, deep inside our Diva hearts! It’s one of the first places that we visited and reviewed as bloggers in 2012. We also use a picture of their gorgeous (yes, you can call food gorgeous) beef tartare as part of our website’s header. We’ve been back a few times over the years, but we felt that they deserved a second review after our last visit on Mother’s Day. Click HERE for our 2012 review!
The décor has always been on point at Le Pois Penché; a 1940s upscale Parisian feel, one step above a traditional bistro, it’s a touch more high end in both décor, food, and price range. With a seafood menu that we always gawk at but never get around to ordering from, and a brunch that we have returned to many times, Le Pois Penché adds classic French to downtown Montreal, and we love its style.
They have a full bar, and when you order a gin n’ tonic, they serve the tonic on the side, so you control how much you want to dilute your gin on the rocks. That’s the sort of attention to detail that we love about the place. One of the specials of the night was a bone marrow dish, we’re truly a carnivorous bunch as most of us chose to order this appetizer. Honestly it was out of this world, topped with croutons and drenched in a sweet and sticky au jus sauce, we have no idea how they managed to make bone marrow more intense and rich than it already is.
We don’t order French onion soup enough, but we absolutely adore it. We always judge a French onion soup on the amount of cheese and Le Pois Penché did not disappoint, with tons of melted gruyere cheese topping the crispy croutons and hot onion broth. Up until now we were quite pleased that after five years, and countless restaurants, Le Pois Penché still managed to wow us. But we were a little disappointed when our steak tartare arrived at our table…
You need to understand that we used their steak tartare dish as the benchmark for plating, and we alsoused their steak tartare picture in the header of our website! Although it still tasted the same, the two pictures below speak for themselves. It seems that the chef has become a little lazy in his presentation of the dish, and it’s just too bad because their plating was part of Le Pois Penché’s 1940s French style.
The cuisse de canard was as full of flavour as it was in 2012, now served with a mustard sauce. Unfortunately, they replaced their salardaise potatoes which were a favourite of ours, with fingerling potatoes, sautéed with smoked duck. They were a delicious substitute, but unfortunately, the portion of potatoes was smaller. Do we sound picky? You must understand we had a love affair with this restaurant, so we’re critical of its changes!
The mushroom fettuccini was tasty but it did not exceed expectations. Homemade fettuccini, perfectly al dente, was in a wild mushroom velouté sauce with parmesan shavings. Wild mushrooms were a bit of a stretch, the pasta dish only had cremini mushrooms, but we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that we missed something. The mushroom sauce was rich and decadent, making up for the lack of more diverse wild mushrooms.
For dessert, we ordered the cheesecake with a raspberry & yuzu foam that was wonderfully tart in comparison to the sweeter cheesecake. We loved this dessert, but the best part? Instead of dollops of raspberry coulis, we accidentally received dollops of ketchup. It was a good laugh all around when P’tit Frère tasted it and asked Diva #1 to confirm if it was ketchup or not. It was a silly little mistake that was easily corrected, but made for a wonderful Mother’s Day story and laugh! They replaced the cheesecake but they didn’t charge us, which was very nice of them.
Le Pois Penché is a gem in downtown Montreal! We miss some of the splendour of their dishes from 2012, but the overall taste and quality has remained the same. It is an upscale 1940s Parisian bistro in downtown Montreal, with delicious French food in a fabulous atmosphere.
With a private room downstairs that opens into their fabulous wine cellar, Le Pois Penché is also available for private parties. Their terrace is right in the middle of the sidewalk on Maisonneuve, yet another European element that defines the restaurant. And when the windows lining the street are open, you can watch the hustle and bustle of the street as you enjoy your meal. It’s a restaurant with a lot of character!
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 1230 Boulevard de Maisonneuve, Bone Marrow, Duck Confit, French Bistro, French Onion Soup, French Restaurant, H3G 1M2, Le Pois Penché, Le Pois Penché Montreal, Montreal duck confit, Montreal French Bistro, Montreal French restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Steak Tartare