There is no couple that Diva #1 loves more than Peaches and the Sun God. To be honest the Sun God is what makes the couple absolute perfection, but Peaches pulls some of the weight. We hadn’t been to Maison Publique since 2012 when Derek Dammann first opened his high end English pub style restaurant in the Plateau. You can read that entertaining review HERE, it was an interesting night to say the least! Maison Publique is eclectically decorated like your hipster grandma’s house, the restaurant is perfect for a fun night out of sharing small plates and drinking aplenty.
Diva #1 and Peaches are big drinkers, and the Sun God thinks that we may have a problem! Since Diva #1 and Peaches love drinking, it comes to no surprise that they would celebrate St-Patrick’s day with gusto. This was the second year in a row that this trio were out celebrating this holiday together. Both times Peaches ended up worse for wear from drinking too much. We started our night with a Bloody Caesar, unfortunately Maison Publique uses Walter Craft Caesar Mix. We know that it’s all natural and apparently better than Mott’s Clamato, but it’s just not a favourite of ours.
At Maison Publique the beef tartare on toast is absolutely delicious, you can really taste the beef! The meat is fresh, lightly dressed with fresh herbs and olive oil. The egg yolk appears throughout the tartare and the pickled onions add another element of flavour. Served on a simple toasted piece of bread, it’s very rustic in its simplicity.
One of the most beautiful dishes at Maison Publique is the foie gras parfait. Whipped foie gras torchon is made into the most delectable creamy parfait that’s dotted with fleur de sel. It’s an awesome combination of flavours. To those of you who preach that the geese suffer in the making of foie gras, well you’ve never been attacked by a toothy goose! Diva #1 assures you that she eats foie gras with a vengeance, she was bitten multiple times by geese when she was a Mini Diva at her grandfather’s country house. The foie gras parfait at Maison Publique is served on toasted bread with plenty of gherkins, and we were soon licking the plate clean.
It wasn’t just Diva #1, Peaches and the Sun God at this year’s St-Patty’s Day dinner, they had brought two more Greeks. We really do travel in packs… it’s disturbing! We ordered the oyster cooked in the oven, and man what an oyster it was. It was huge, one oyster allowed for each person to have a bite as an amuse bouche. The colossal oyster must have been from the West Coast, we would have loved to eat one of these babies raw! It was briny and chopped up to a manageable proportion and tossed in a cheesy sauce that was then baked in the oven.
The fried rabbit was perfectly salty and delicious. The outer fried shell was crispy and delightful, and the meat within the crusted skin very tender. We’re used to roasted rabbit but this was a nice change and it was packed with flavour. Slightly wilted greens from the heat of the fried rabbit topped the dish, they were minimally dressed and well paired with the meat.
Spaghetti alla chitarra is a type of egg pasta from Abruzzo, Italy. Chitarra means guitar in Italian, and this spaghetti is made with a tool that’s also called a chitarra that gives it its porous nature to soak up any sauce, name and shape. At Maison Publique, their spaghetti alla chitarra was tossed in pieces of cubed bacon, similar to pancetta, and mussels, in a buttery sauce with parsley and onions. It was a salty dish, and our least favourite of the dishes that we tried.
The roast lamb at Maison Publique was out of this world, perfectly pink and juicy, each bite was tender and it simply melted in your mouth. Served on a bed of creamy polenta with a salsa verde and grilled onions, we were soon licking the plate clean. We were a bunch of Greeks after all, trust us, we know our lamb, and we loved it!
We ordered the two vegetable dishes to compliment all the meat, the fried Brussels sprouts in a X.O. sauce were definitely not the same Brussels sprouts that you were forced to eat as a kid. Fried to perfection, the Brussels sprouts were tossed in a X.O sauce which is a spicy seafood sauce that originated in Hong Kong. It added a fishy element to this vegetable dish, as well as some Asian flair.
We also enjoyed the bagna cauda which is a warm dip from Piedmont, Italy, that is similar to a cheese fondue. Anchovies add a salty element to the bagna cauda, but many other local variations exist for the type of Italian fondue that is typically served with raw, boiled or roasted vegetables. At Maison Publique, the cheesy fondue-like sauce with anchovies was draped over carrots, celery, beets, turnips and other winter vegetables. Black pepper and fresh parsley dotted the piping hot cheese sauce, we would have eaten more vegetables as kids had they tasted this good!
We’re gluttons so we had lots of dessert too, not that it was necessary because we were so full. The chocolate cake in the oven was like a molten lava cake with crème fraiche and sour cherries. This dessert fell short, the chocolate was not as rich as we were expecting, and it was lacking something but we couldn’t put our finger on it.
We loved the sweet pot de crème made with sucre à la crème in an ode to Quebec cuisine. Delicious buttery cookies for dipping into the sucre à la crème were an additional treat. It was sugar overload but divine! Our favourite of the desserts was in fact the simplest. We loved the wild Quebec blueberry and vanilla soft serve twist. Covered in cookie crumbs, the soft serve ice cream was incredible, and something that Maison Publique is known for; their flavours of soft serve changing frequently!
With a menu that slightly changes according to the seasons, fun dishes that are perfect for sharing, and a relaxed and casual atmosphere, Maison Publique you’re Montreal’s best English pub! One of these days, when we aren’t hungover, and we roll out of bed early enough, we need to try your weekend brunch that Mtl Brunch has raved about, see his review HERE. For now we’ll continue with raving about dinner 😉
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 4720 Rue Marquette, Beef Tartare, Derek Dammann, English Pub, foie gras, foie gras parfait, Fried rabbit, H2J 3Y6, lamb roast, Maison Publique, Maison Publique Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, oysters, Plateau, pot de crème, Pub, Rabbit, soft serve ice cream