Licence IV popped into Griffintown on a plane straight from Paris. This French bistro is absolutely fabulous, with an eclectic décor that is both modern and classic French bistro. With a gorgeous little terrace, Licence IV is a lovely spot to grab a cocktail and a little bite before roaming Griffintown. This little corner of Notre Dame is becoming quite the happening spot.
The restaurant focuses on classic French bistro fare with some reinterpretations from their chef. Besides dinner and lunch, Licence IV also serves brunch on weekends. We started with a bourbon lemonade cocktail that was full of bourbon and appropriately sour, not sweet! We had no qualms ordering a second one and drinking it just as quickly as the first.
Oysters, a charcuterie platter, mussels in a white wine sauce, foie gras on a brioche, and shrimp cocktail are a few of the quintessentially French bistro appetizers available at Licence IV. wW started with the salmon tartare with marinated onions, a creamy dill sauce, lemon confit and crostini.
We preferred the beef tartare because we felt that the dill flavour overpowered the salmon. The beef tartare was served with a mix of gherkins, capers, espelette pepper and a quail egg that added decadence when mixed into the beef tartare. There was also a whole jar of majestic little gherkins teasing us on our table, which we happily snacked on!
Mains were separated by earth and sea, a Toulouse cassoulet was an option, as well as a burger and veal in a creamy mushroom sauce. We opted for the onglet de boeuf grillé, cooked just the way we like it at medium rare with plenty of Maître d’Hôtel butter. Maître d’Hôtel butter is a compound French butter prepared with parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper, it’s absolutely decadent over steak and fish. Licence IV knows how to cook a steak!
Other mains included a pan seared salmon in a white butter sauce, a bouillabaisse, and mussels and shrimp truffle pappardelle. We tried chicken à la Marseillaise, and we should preface this by saying that we are not big fans of chicken and that chicken should not taste this delicious. Prepared in a butter sauce with sun dried tomatoes, sitting on vegetables prepared à la ratatouille, we were in Parisian heaven.
The two tartare appetizers were as expected but the mains exceeded expectations, full of buttery goodness. French restaurants are not a place that you count your calories but the richness of their dishes is offset by their smaller portions, you feel full and content with much less food. We aren’t complaining, we left quite content and full!
We shared two desserts, one being La Suzette crêpe flambé with Grand Marnier and flavoured with orange zest. We love crêpes and Grand Marnier so this was our favourite of the two desserts, simple and true to French cuisine, it was a great end to our dinner. Our second dessert was the chocolate profiteroles with vanilla ice cream and almonds, it was tasty but we’ve had better profiteroles so opt for the crêpe at Licence IV.
Notre Dame Ouest is becoming quite a spot for restaurants and bars! Licence IV has a beautiful atmosphere, perfect for a drink and bite after work, especially if you’re craving French bistro cuisine in the Sued-Ouest.
Our Rating: As Expected
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