Amongst the many trends in the restaurant world, reinvention is the oldest and maybe the trickiest, especially with places known for the party more than their menu. Such is the case with Rosalie, a solid de la Montagne fixture in downtown Montreal that has stood the test of time. In December 2014 they underwent major renovations, as well as changing their menu and concept.
The Divas were invited to try out their new menu, they were joined by the always happy Sweet Pea of Montreall.com and the ubiquitously cantankerous Day Jobs and the NightLife. We took our place at one their booths, and were joined by the manager who promised us that we would try a good selection of the new menu.
Starting our night with cocktails, we tried the Kimchi Caesar and the Cucumber Fizz. The cucumber fizz was the better of the two with lots of gin and fresh coriander and mint which made it refreshing. It was similar to a mojito because of the lime juice. The Kimchi Caesar could have used some work, it tasted like a regular Caesar, the kimchi purée that was promised was not apparent.
We believe that oysters are always a good idea, whether you start your meal with them, have them in between or end your night with a dozen or two! Served with the usual red wine vinegar mignonette, lemon wedges and a cocktail sauce, the oysters were meaty and salty, just the way we like them!
The spring rolls were one of our favourite appetizers, they really surprised us. A very crispy, thin shell held an abundance of tender, shredded filet mignon and fresh vegetables. The spring roll wasn’t at all greasy, which is always a plus, and they arrived perfectly warm. The mango chimichurri dipping sauce was a nice change from the usual sauces that are served with spring rolls.
The Asian-style wings were delicious. They were meaty and spicy, sprinkled with red chilies. This is a dish you’ll want to order but we warn you, it’s spicy, Diva #1 accidentally ate a slice of chili and spent part of her dinner wheezing and trying to curb the heat. But never mind that, they’re THAT good that she went in for more, especially if you like it hot!
The tartare of the day when we were at Rosalie was a salmon tartare. This deconstructed tartare was served with plenty of grilled bread, the salmon was topped with red tobiko and dollops of mayo. We’ve had plenty of tartare and this one seemed to be lacking something to make it stand out, it needed some pizazz for it to be memorable to us.
The tacos come three to a serving, each with a different filling. Our favourite was the fried cod, which was also the most appealing looking of the three. It was topped with a bright purple cabbage slaw that added a nice sharp bite in contrast with the flaky white fish. The piri piri chicken wasn’t as spicy as we expected, and a little dry, and the steak with caramelized onions was bland and unappetizing.
Our last appetizer was the Sicilian meatballs, which we loved. The chef learned the recipe from his grandmother and everyone knows you don’t mess with your grandmother’s recipes! The meatballs, topped with pine nuts, were very moist and the sauce complimented them nicely. It was also served with thin pieces of focaccia, perfect to clean up our plate!
We were lucky enough to try three different main dishes to give us a good idea of the new menu. We started with the piri piri chicken which was our least favourite, simply because it was dry and it wasn’t special. When we read piri piri chicken we expect it to have a kick. In any case, it was served with fingerling potatoes and tangy purple slaw, all as expected.
You’re asking for a lot when you want to impress an Italian and a Greek with an octopus dish. At Rosalie, they make theirs with a Spanish twist, using chorizo which tints the octopus a subtle yellowy-orange and adds a little spice as well. It’s all balanced with the capers and sweet roasted peppers. The fingerling potatoes soak up the sauce for a whole new taste. It was different than what we’re used to and worth a shot if you’re looking for something different. Unfortunately the octopus was overcooked and chewy, but they had the right idea.
The last dish was our favourite and something Rosalie does very well, their pizza. We were wowed and we consider ourselves pizza aficionados. We had their Burrata pizza (like that’s any surprise), and we fell in love! We were all impressed at the generous amount of creamy and delicious burrata on the pizza that melted so well with the fior di latte cheese. The prosciutto crudo added a little salt and arugula is always perfect for a nice peppery kick. We’re convinced burrata makes everything better.
We tried two desserts, the key lime pie and the cheesecake. The key lime pie was very light and fresh and not as tart as one would expect from a key lime. We preferred the key lime pie to the cheesecake. It’s hard to please us with cheesecake. Presented beautifully in a deconstructed style, the cake was moist, the cookie bottom crisp and the hint of pistachio was a nice touch, though we would have liked more strawberries on the plate. Not too bad.
Rosalie definitely has some great dishes on their new menu and we’d love to see them concentrate on their great appetizers and their pizzas. They really need to advertise that delicious pizza! They also have a large terrace in the front of the restaurant which is perfect for those long summer nights that we all long for. They also have a private room which can be used for parties or events. Rosalie has a great reputation as a good place to party, but check out their food too, especially that burrata pizza!
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 1232 de la Montagne, Burrata Pizza, Cheesecake, Chicken Wings, Downtown Montreal, H3G 1Z1, Key Lime Pie, Meatballs, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Terrace, Octopus, oysters, Pizza, Private Events, Private Parties, Rosalie de la Montagne, Rosalie Montreal, Salmon Tartare, Spring rolls, Tartare