The Divas are not the type to brag (*cough cough*) but we do consider ourselves seemingly well versed in all things delicious. And we know quality when we see it and Marché 27 delivers on all Diva fronts; food, atmosphere, décor and a guaranteed good night. After all, we’ve already been to Marché 27 four times, including twice in one week. So trust us.
The always packed Marché 27 is an unassuming Montreal gem just off the corner of St. Laurent on Prince Arthur. The long, cozy restaurant is warm and intimate and the perfect place for the Divas to celebrate the birthday of our good friend Zeus and his girlfriend Hera…the Divas really love nicknames (yes, we get sentimental sometimes). Sadly this restaurant no longer takes reservations but if you do not mind sitting at the bar, you will probably get a seat within 30 minutes, at most.
The Divas walked in to meet their friends who were sitting at the bar and quickly ordered a Diva favourite, Le Fancy, a refreshing cocktail made with vodka, Limonata, strawberry coulis and basil. Their cocktail list is short and sweet, and we’ve sampled it all, from the Red Dragon Martini to Lucille’s Bloody Caesar, a nod to Lucille’s Oyster Dive that burned down last year (we think Bellatrix had something to do with it). The drinks are fairly priced for their size, and definitely worth a visit during 5 à 7. The bar is very accommodating when ordering custom shots and the service has always been amazing. We even have a favourite waiter, who we lovingly refer to as Mr. Big (crazy resemblance)! On this visit, our engaging waitress soon collected us and brought us to our table / banquette and we got down to business: studying the menu!
Marché 27 is known for its mix of tartares and the Divas were ready to order them all. But we started with plenty of appetizers: Grilled Octopus, Grilled Shrimp and a dozen East Coast Oysters, and we threw in some Sweet Potato fries for good measure.
The octopus was done in a Japanese style, sitting on a bed of noodles and bok choy, and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. It wasn’t overcooked and had a great charred taste that you can only get from a grill. The dish was a bit soup like, and we were not sure if that was done on purpose, but damn, it was delicious.
Zeus suggested that we order the grilled tiger shrimp and the large portion did not disappoint. I suppose that we had to listen to him …since it was his birthday. They were grilled to perfection, perfumed with basil and served with a great dipping sauce. It was nice to see such large shrimp and we considered ordering another serving.
Next up, the East Coast Oysters. It’s worth mentioning that our waitress actually recommended these over the West Coast variety which they also serve; even though they are the less expensive option. Served with a lemon wedge, Tabasco and a red wine / onion vinaigrette, Diva #2 lost her oyster virginity and swallowed her oyster whole and went back for more! Diva #1 is so proud because her mantra is that every meal should come with a dozen oysters *tear.*
The Divas have been known to order an entire menu and that’s exactly what we did. We have our favourites but we chose to indulge in both tartare tasting platters to try them all. It’s important to note that you can also order individual tartare dishes and mix and match the flavours, but if you are a big group it is wise to enjoy the tasting menus. The different tartare styles are as follows:
The Plateau Dégustation had 5 different tartares, including Beef French, Duck Italian, Spicy Veal, Tuna Japanese and Salmon Thai. They used to have Spicy Deer on this tasting platter but it was replaced by the veal. All of these combinations were delicious but the Tuna – Japanese style and the Duck – Italian style, really stood out. Dear readers you have to understand that this is our ultimate favourite tartare restaurant, when we crave tartare we think MARCHÉ 27, there is nothing else to say without sounding obtuse.
The Plateau Poisson had 6 tartares and is a bit more luxurious if you consider the scallops and the lobster, which was especially good. The Barramundi was also tasty and not a fish that you often see on menus, let alone raw. All in all if we had to choose between the two platters we would choose the Plateau Dégustation because its meat tartares are too tasty to pass up!There is something to be said for that damn Italian styled tartare…the Divas are always craving it.
And after all that, a little bit of dessert to celebrate Zeus’ birthday was in order. Our waitress informed us that one of their four desserts was not available, and their Tiramisu was so-so. This left us with two and so we ordered the warm chocolate tourte and the apple tart tatin.
The Warm Chocolate Tourte was served with ice cream and the tourte was still warm, but not hot enough to burn your tongue. It was dense and the fudge was oozing out of the cake, adorned with a caramel drizzle on top.
The Apple Tarte Tatin was amazing and just in time for the end of apple picking season. The apples were slightly caramelized and tasted great. And the pastry crust was perfectly flaky. Great autumn dessert!
If Marché 27 was not wonderful enough, they also have an Express version of the restaurant on Philips Square in downtown Montreal. The Divas are willing to move to a new postal code to take advantage of their delivery service…if you’re looking for a roommate and you live downtown please comment below.
It’s a great little place for a quick tartare fix and the Divas, as you would expect, recently made a little stop to soothe our tartare craving. We had the Beef Italian, served in a little take out box, and we opted for the baguette crisps, instead of the celery sticks or chips. Celery? Ugghhhh. At Marché 27 Express, you can choose the size of your tartare (100gr, 150gr or 200gr) and what it is served with. Our little tartare meal made for a great lunch, it’s inexpensive, healthy and in a great location. Damn we wish that we lived downtown…
The Divas already have plans to go back and try Marché 27’s caviars (trout, salmon, herring, etc), which sound delicious and maybe find the mac n’ cheese poutine (macaroni, gravy and curd cheese) back on their menu. And seeing our favourite waiter Mr. Big won’t hurt either!
We came back …
Our love for Marché 27 is no secret. So it should come as no surprise that when they announced that they revamped their menu and brought back our beloved mac n’ cheese poutine, we were already making plans for our visit.
The Divas arrived for a rare, early dinner. Drinks were a must so Diva #1 ordered a dirty gin martini and Diva #2 had a staple, the Le Fancy. Both drinks hit the spot. The dirty gin martini is all alcohol and the briny taste is satisfying while the Le Fancy can easily be tossed back without realizing how many drinks you’ve had!
We were happy to see the mac n’ cheese poutine back on the menu, as well as some new items. But before getting to that, we had to have a little tartare. After all, we were sitting in our favourite tartare restaurant in Montreal!
We chose the red tuna Japanese style and the salmon Italian style. The red tuna was very fresh, the pickled ginger added a nice little kick and the rice crackers were plenty. It was also served with a sheet of nori which added sushi-like taste when combined with everything. The dish was aesthetically wonderful, served with chopsticks in a narrow bowl similar to what you see in a Japanese restaurant. The salmon Italian is a Diva go-to. Again, like the red tuna, it was very fresh and served at room temperature, not too cold, and the different styles stood out. The marinade was light and savory. The Divas were happy!
We were excited to try one of the new menu items and Diva #2 spotted the confit duck wings. They were heavenly! The dish came with four wings and two drumsticks. Dressed in a sweet & spicy Asian glaze with chives, the duck was meaty, ever so spicy and definitely worthy of getting our hands dirty. And we are not afraid to get dirty! The sauce really was the kicker. It was so good and it took a lot of restraint from the Divas not to lick the plate clean. We are definitely not going back to chicken wings!
A tuna carpaccio was also amongst the new appetizers but we went back to our favourite mac & cheese poutine, after all, it was what we came for. It was better than we remembered! It would be considered somewhat sacrilegious to put brown gravy on pasta, especially for Diva #2, who is a nice Italian girl. However, this dish is simply too good to let any ethnicity get in the way! The perfectly cooked pasta was covered in melted curd cheese and delicious mouthwatering gravy. This is a dish that the Divas are happy to have back on the menu, even though neither of us are big fans of poutine itself. It is so wonderful that two lovely girls, who hate poutine, are already planning their next visit.
Once again, the service was top notch and even though we didn’t see Mr. Big, we’ll keep our eyes open the next time. For dessert we decided to try something new so we ordered the apple fritters. Crispy and breaded on the outside, with gooey apple filling and caramel on the inside, these tasty little fritters were lovely. Marché 27 never disappoints, with every new dish comes new delicious discoveries.
A few days later we were still salivating over their duck wings and telling Zeus at work. What to do? During our lunch break at work, the Divas zoomed to Marché 27 in their iconic red mini cooper. We called and ordered our take out order in advance, drove like maniacs (we work nowhere near St. Laurent & Prince Arthur) and returned to work within our lunch hour…sort of…to bring Bellatrix and Zeus lovely tartare and duck wings. Gluttons? Maybe….but we prefer Divas.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 5 à 7, Always on Thursdays, Bar, Barramundi Tartare, Caviar, Cocktails, Confit Duck Wings, Delivery, Downtown, French, Fusion, Lobster Tartare, Mac n' Cheese, Marché 27, Marché 27 Express, Montreal, oysters, Phillips Square, Plateau, Plateau Dégustation, Poutine, Prince Arthur, raw bar, St-Laurent, Tartare, Tartare Bar, Tasting Menu