It’s hard to run a restaurant in Montreal. Diva #1 grew up in the restaurant industry watching her dad open and close multiple restaurants. They’re hard to run, especially when you want to stand out, and give your restaurant an identity by doing fusion cuisine. Other times you try to have a bit of everything on your menu, but that’s a 90s concept that died with the pizza-ghetti.
We were invited to Les Sottises to try their dinner menu, and right away we noticed that they suffered from an identity crisis. There were Greek elements, Italian, French and a dash from the Middle East; what type of restaurant was Les Sottises? The menu needs redirection, and though the restaurant has potential, it needs a little help. We started our dinner with an amuse bouche of a very simple bruschetta of lightly seasoned tomatoes.
Our waiter recommended that we start with the salmon tartare as well as their antipasto platter for two. The salmon tartare was delicious, the fish was fresh and there was a generous amount of truffle oil. We love truffle oil and we hate when we see truffle oil on a menu but we can’t taste it. Trust us, we tasted it in their delicious salmon tartare! The antipasto platter arrived and we were told that the fried zucchini was missing from the board, but they compensated with other delicacies.
Unfortunately, the antipasto platter was a miss. First, the calamari was mediocre. Overcooked and rubbery, the breading itself left much to be desired. The picture is telling in and of itself. The antipasto platter also came with a bowl of awful feta that was dressed with pistachios, olive oil and sumac. The feta was more or less tasteless, and chewy, it could not be saved by its dressing. A pleasant surprise was the accompanied arugula salad with a flavourful balsamic reduction dressing the salad. The shrimp cocktail was a pleasant surprise because the shrimp were so big and juicy, served in a shooter of cocktail sauce – they saved the platter.
The lamb shank was our favourite of the two mains, marinated in saffron, it had that Middle Eastern flair that Les Sottises should consider incorporating in their entire menu. The meat was tender, and the sauce was flavourful. Their duck confit was simple, nothing particularly stood out and impressed us, it was simply a leg of duck. Both mains were served with fries, grilled red peppers and green beans, and a dry rice that was saved when we doused it with their accompanying au jus sauce. The duck confit platter arrived with a second sauce, a creamy sauce that we dipped our fries into, but this wasn’t enough to carry the dish.
We feel guilty, we always do when a restaurant invites us to try their menu and we aren’t as excited as they are about their concept. We received their desserts which were flavoured with rose water and Middle Eastern seasonings, they were good, but again, a part of their identity crisis.
Les Sottises needs to decide what type of restaurant they are and perfect those dishes, only then can they incorporate elements from other cultures to create a “fusion” menu, until then they seem a little lost. Honestly the pictures speak for themselves, they aren’t particularly appetizing and it breaks our little hearts.
Our Rating: Never on Thursdays