The Prohibition Era in the United States was a country’s attempt at legislating morality. Alcohol was deemed “evil” and legislated as illegal. But who wants to stop drinking? With this came the birth of the speakeasy; hidden bars without signs or visible entrances where people could still enjoy their favourite cocktails. That charm and mystery continues today, forget loud visible signs and entrances, these speakeasy bars are shrouded in mystery and are popping up all over the city. Such is the case with the newest addition to Old Montreal, Le Speakeasy.
A sandwich shop during the day, but once the red light above the fridge door turns on, this speakeasy is open for business! The interior is dark, lit with candles, elegant chandeliers, black and white photos, and other 1920s décor. We were greeted with an Aperol Spritz and then moved on to more cocktails, including an Old Fashioned.
We started the night with two variations of oysters, one served simply raw with a lemon wedge and red vinegar, and the other was Le Speakeasy’s take on Rockefeller oysters. The oysters were simple and salty, and the Rockefeller oysters had a lovely salty taste from the prosciutto.
Next was a seafood charcuterie platter which was a nice change from the usual cured meats. It was filled with caviar on toast, lobster bisque which was served as a solid bite you could just pop in your mouth, spicy shrimp and marinated octopus that was a little on the tough side. The crab cakes were delicious and crunchy and our favourite on the platter.
The gyozas were something we were looking forward to when we read the menu but maybe because they were serving so many tables at one time, they fell flat. The shrimp flavour was prevalent, they could have been stuffed with anything, and the gyoza wrapper wasn’t crispy, it was a little too soggy for our liking.
We love a good charcuterie plate and Le Speakeasy presented us with homemade fare that went perfectly with our always full glasses of bubbly. The prosciutto chips were nice and crunchy, rather addictive actually, and the lamb rillettes were a nice change from the usual duck rillettes you’ll find on platters. The chorizo was spicy and the platter was served with homemade kimchi, pickled onions, marinated fennel and gherkins.
All we can say about their homemade gnocchi is that we only ate the arugula and Parmesan shavings. Maybe it was an off night, but this dish is definitely not recommended. The gnocchi were way too soft and disintegrated in your mouth. And despite the sauce, they were very bland.
However, we loved the little squares of cheese and confit vegetable-stuffed bundles known as mutarbak. A squeeze of fresh lime really kicked up the flavours and the filling was cheesy and delicious. The flaky crust stayed crunchy and we could have easily eaten another plate-full!
For dessert, the chef created a tableau of art with his ingredients, painting the sauces and chocolate on a tablecloth. We were then served the same ingredients in individual portions. There were several elements and this was one of our favourite dishes of the night! We really enjoyed both the butter cookie and the coconut cookie that were served with vanilla ice cream and little cubes of dark fudgey brownies. This dessert was topped with a large piece of chocolate too!
All in all Le Speakeasy has some satisfying dishes but we really think it’s best suited for cocktails with friends, and if you’re feeling peckish, a small bite to eat. They need to improve on a few things before we recommend Le Speakeasy for a full dinner. Until then, we’ll gladly be back for cocktails behind the fridge door with the red glow!
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 120 Rue McGill, Charcuterie platter, Cocktails, Cocktails Montreal, Gyoza, H2Y 2E5, Le Speakeasy Montreal, Montreal Bar, Montreal Restaurant, Mutarbak, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Bar, oysters, Rockefeller oysters, Rue McGill, Seafood Platter, Speakeasy Montreal