We’ve been going to Lucille’s Oyster Dive since 2012, but lately we catch ourselves recommending this seafood haven more frequently. Located on Monkland in NDG, what used to be a neighbourhood restaurant has now created quite a reputation for itself. Of course we love their food truck, and they recently opened Brasserie Lucille’s which is a similar concept but less nautically rustic, and so much more Wesmount, in Lesley Chesterman’s words. But something keeps bringing us back to the NDG location!
The restaurant is quaint with an amazing terrace that runs the length of the restaurant facing Monkland. We hate them for not taking reservations but if you don’t want to wait, their sister restaurant Brasserie Lucille’s, not only takes reservations but has an almost identical menu. Unfortunately for us we adore a restaurant’s atmosphere and Lucille’s Oyster Dive reminds us of a fisherman’s tavern in Maine or Boston, so it tends to be our favourite of the two.
When the Divas love a place, we tell our friends about it, and then we bring them, and we have a lot of friends who like to eat! We don’t mind visiting a restaurant multiple times in one month if we can order different things and if we are impressing people with our phenomenal good taste. We have a bit of an ego! Of course if you go to Lucille’s Oyster Dive you have to order their oysters…. As if there was a doubt? They have quite a variety that changes depending on the season. We prefer to ask them for a mismatched dozen, or two, so that we try a bit of everything.
Since Diva #1 loves last minute adventures she was quite happy one fine Sunday afternoon, when she ended up with the St-Lau Boys enjoying the half portion of Lucille’s Oyster Dive’s seafood platter. Oysters, half a lobster, crab legs, clams and shrimp make up this gorgeous tower. All barely cooked or raw and so fresh and delicious! Served with cocktail sauce, their in house habanero, the traditional red wine vinegar and red onion mignonette, fresh horseradish, two more hot sauces and tons of lemon, this is what our last meal on death row would look like!
If a seafood tower is not in your budget, or there aren’t a lot of gluttons at your table, you can enjoy Lucille’s Seafood Bloody Cesar. This Caesar is an appetizer all on its own with an oyster, shrimp and crab leg. On one visit they spoiled Diva #1 and gave her two oysters, they must have sensed her love of this little aphrodisiac.
On one of our many visits we also ordered the Asian style salmon tartare on a bed of crispy rice noodles, which can be ordered as a starter or main. Our photo is of their main with iceberg lettuce to fold into a healthier wrap. The salmon is fresh, well-seasoned and the addition of the crispy noodles add a textural element to the dish.
We had fallen in love with their littleneck clams at Brasserie Lucille’s, you can choose between mussels and clams and have them either with white wine and shallots, or garlic and cream. Not ones to diet, we ordered the garlic and cream broth that came with grilled country bread perfect for soaking up the remaining broth. The clams were cooked to perfection, the sauce only enhancing their fresh flavour. And the grilled lemon soaked in the broth underneath the clams added another dimension of freshness.
The grilled lobster plate is another decadent choice. The tail of the lobster is split in two and grilled with a light garlic seasoning. The claws remain steamed and perfect for dipping into the accompanied garlic butter. Served with a delicious green salad with ginger vinaigrette, you also have a choice of a second side, and they have quiet the variety to choose from: regular or sweet potato fries, cheesy mash potatoes, fried onions, grilled vegetables, mushrooms, or a Greek salad. The grilled vegetables were our choice and fantastic!
We also ordered a side of Greek salad with goat’s milk feta. As a Greek, Diva #1 so rarely orders a Greek salad but Lucille’s Oyster Dive is truly about the details and we love a restaurant that respects the details! The red onions in the salad were pickled, the feta was probably Bulgarian as it was so creamy, and the touch of greens hugging the perfect room temperature tomatoes, cucumbers and pitted Kalamata olives made for a salad that yiayia would be jealous of.
On one of our visits, one of the geniuses behind Montreall.com known for his body building and strict diet could only order a chicken plate. The Divas are all about excess and they cannot imagine a life of strict limitations when it comes to diet. So though we scoffed at the person who ordered the grilled chicken brochette at a restaurant specializing in seafood and red meat, we were quickly quieted after tasting the tender tamarind chicken. Grilled to perfection and served with a chunky guacamole with tortillas, it made for an intense wrap. He didn’t even talk to us as he ate in complete religious silence! Served with a green salad, Lucille’s Oyster Dive impressed us once more in an unlikely fashion.
We tried the grilled octopus at Brasserie Lucille’s and thankfully it is also available at Lucille’s Oyster Dive. We must stress the perfection of this dish! If you’re an octopus lover you won’t regret ordering it and we are very picky about our octopus because unfortunately, it is usually overcooked.
Of course they are known for their lobster rolls that we have ordered many times, most recently at Brasserie Lucille’s. Nothing screams Boston beach town treat like a lobster roll! Lucille’s Oyster Dive also specializes in dry aged Angus beef, but every time we go there we are fixated on their seafood. They also offer a plate with one lobster roll (instead of their usual two) with smoked baby back ribs as a surf & turf option at their NDG location. We’ll be back…
What more can we say? We’re in love. Summer in Montreal means sitting on a terrace with cocktails or wine in our fleeting summer months enjoying seafood and, more importantly, oysters. We now have as much love for Lucille’s Oyster Dive as we did when we reviewed them in 2013. Their atmosphere is relaxed and fun, their seafood fresh and their oyster variety unbeaten. If you need a reservation you can check out Brasserie Lucille’s but our heart belongs to Lucille’s Oyster Dive.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 5626 Monkland, Angus Beef, Blood Caesar, Clams, Grilled Lobster, H4A 1E3, Littleneck Clams, Lobster, Lobster Roll, Lucille's Monkland, Lucille's Montreal, Lucille's NDG, Lucille’s, Lucille’s Oyster Dive, Monkland, Montreal Restaurant, NDG, Octopus, Oyster Dive, oysters, Ribs, Salmon Tartare, Seafood, Seafood Caesar, Seafood Tower, Shrimp, Steak, Surf & Turf, Tartare, terrace