The Divas are romantics, though some may misunderstand our version of romance. While we may not believe in the commercial holiday that is Valentine’s Day, we do like to keep traditions alive, and we do love our friends. So for the third year in a row, we planned our Anti V-Day dinner on Valentine’s Day. The premise is simple, we choose a painfully romantic restaurant and we eat everything on the menu, drink too much and become a touch disorderly. This is all done in the name of love, and we truly do love ourselves!
This year we celebrated Anti V-Day at Le Serpent, the sister restaurant of Le Filet, which we adore, and Le Club Chasse et Pêche, which we have yet to visit. The Divas were in good company, joined by Sweet Pea and Sensei for this ever so romantic dinner. We sat at the bar of this beautiful industrial Old Montreal restaurant, while they prepared our table. We started with cocktails and chatted with Sensei about his upcoming trip to the Middle East, in which we are very concerned that we won’t see our little cherub of a man ever again! Fret not, dear Sensei, the Divas will come looking for you if you go missing.
If you know anything about us, you know that we get excited about food so when the waitress came to see us, she just laughed when we handed her our phone with a list of the items we wanted to order. The service was impeccable; she grouped our plates in a specific order and helped us choose a delicious full bodied red wine. When we asked for bread, we were brought focaccia with tomatoes, arugula and fresh herbs, not exactly your usual “table bread”.
The only way to properly start a celebratory meal is with oysters. Served simply with wedges of lemon, there was also a maple mignonette which blew us away. Different from the traditional red onion mignonette which tends to be acidic, this mignonette was actually smokey and not overly sweet. This was the perfect combination with our salty Shiny Sea oysters.
We didn’t hesitate to order the raw plate which came with three types of fish. The mackerel was cut thick and the soft flesh contrasted nicely with the matchstick radishes that added crunch. The pear was subtle but balanced the tangy radish. The sea urchin with bbq eel was different and very light, topped with some delightful crumbs and pineapple which melted into the fish. The fluke was Asian inspired and had a prominent ginger flavour, the sweet chilli glaze adding to its complexity.
This was a decadent appetizer bursting with flavour. The tart shell still held its crunch, despite the abundance of toppings. The rabbit meat was tender, the porcini foam and sliced mushrooms added earthiness and the sauce was rich and coated the bottom of the plate, which we gladly cleaned up with their focaccia bread. Fontina cheese added to the absolute decadence of this dish.
The lobster risotto was fabulous. It was sweet with big chunks of lobster meat, creamy and rich. The mascarpone and the slivers of basil added to the sweetness of the lobster, all while giving the risotto a bright herby flavour. The orzotto reminded us of the cavatelli dish we had fallen in love with at Le Filet. Foie gras shavings topped this dish which simply melted into the toothsome orzo. The shredded veal shank meat was tender and the sauce had a deep, rich flavour. Our last pasta dish was the chestnut ravioli. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the chestnut filling was smooth and creamy. Served with Jerusalem artichoke, we were impressed with the ravioli’s filing that was so flavourful because the sauce was so simple.
We tried the skate fish and we were quite happy that we did. The fish was flaky and buttery and the top was broiled to create a little crust that added more flavour. The white beans were tender, the artichokes cooked to perfection, and the calamari was not overcooked. The chorizo did not overpower any element on the plate and it added a crispy textural element. The red sauce that came with the dish added a hint of tanginess and we polished yet another dish at Le Serpent.
The pork jowl was tender and the skin was almost caramelized to give it that sweet caramel flavour that goes so well with pork. It was salty and sweet at the same time, and everything was well balanced with the apple purée and tart cherries.
We tried to keep it classy until we started talking about our latest antics in the dating world. Of course we never hold back, who knows what the table next to us thought of our loud and crass stories. We chastised dear Sensei for his “alleged” bedroom faux pas with a lady friend and set him straight on a few misconceptions that men have. We hope he listened to us, we only want him to find true love…that we approve of.
We opted to share two desserts, the first being the caramel pudding. This was the sweeter of the two, with a heavy caramel flavour. Served in a glass mason jar, there was a generous portion of diced apples sprinkled on top to cut the sweetness, along with a few salty olive biscuits. But the doughnuts impressed us most of all. Served warm, the outside was nice and crispy, and the middle was soft and filled with squash and apple filling … which we burnt our tongues on. Served with vanilla bean ice cream and crunchy pumpkin seeds for textural contrast, we adored the doughnuts at Le Serpent!
Our night was far from over. We headed out to meet friends at SpiritHouse and continued our Anti V-Day tradition of eating fine food and drinking aplenty with our nearest and dearest. Montreal is filled with fabulous restaurants, and Le Serpent is definitely part of this elite category. We hope that you had a fabulous Valentine’s Day dear readers 😉
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 257 Prince Street, Caramel Pudding, Chestnut Ravioli, Crudi Dish, Desserts, Donuts, H3C 2N4, Le Serpent, Le Serpent Montreal, Lobster Risotto, Montreal, Montreal Food, Montreal Restaurant, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Restaurant, oysters, Pork Jowl, Prince Street, Rabbit, Reservations Needed, Sea Urchin, Skate, tapas, Veal Shank Orzotto