From the outside, the newest supper club to hit Montreal looks rather ordinary. Located on de Maisonneuve in downtown Montreal, its entrance is unassuming and can easily be missed. But once you step inside, it is anything but ordinary…
Soubois aims to create an intimate and cozy atmosphere. You head down the stairs and enter their “chalet” area with couches, wood paneling and a fireplace. To your right, a fake bookcase moves aside like a door and you enter their speakeasy. The cocktails are expertly mixed, and the area is discrete, perfect for a private cocktail event. To your left of the main area, the restaurant, an underground enchanted forest with a glass enclosed wine cellar, murals on the walls and large artistic trees created with fine wood craftsmanship that will leave you gawking.
We started our night in the hidden speakeasy, behind the fake bookshelf. It was warm, cozy and relaxed and the drinks were delicious. The Cherry Hill cocktail had an extra treat of fresh cherries, not crappy maraschino cherries, for the perfect addition to your cherry cocktail. The Colonnade cocktail was a gin based cocktail with house-made sweet tea and a citrus twist, and the Wilmer’s punch had flare, with the bartender lighting a sprig of spruce on fire!
We made our way to the restaurant where we sat in a separate mezzanine section, a few steps above the rest of the restaurant; the décor was definitely unique. We were served an extensive menu, with different wine pairings. We started with a unique presentation of crudités. A gorgeous block of raw cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, wax beans, radish, carrots, thinly sliced beets of every colour and sea asparagus, all beautifully placed in a “garden” of chocolate graham cracker “dirt”. A creamy chive dip was provided as a dipping sauce for your vegetables – we certainly had our daily veggie intake at Soubois!
We didn’t really know that veggies could be so fun! It was a nice simple beginning to our meal, and they went very well with oysters. Served with wedges of lemon, lime and the customary red onion mignonette – they were fresh and simply delicious! You can always win us over with some oysters.
The salmon confit dish was very fresh and light. It was served on paper thin slices of cucumber which added to the freshness of the dish. The crème fraiche melted into the cube of confit salmon, the disc of radish added a little crunch, and the lemon was subtle but brightened it all up. Cipollini onion and sea buckthorn added complexity to the appetizer – we enjoyed the unique combination of flavours!
We were served Alaskan King crab in two ways, one was deep fried in a crab cake. It was very crunchy, and you lost the taste of crab because it was made into a crab cake. However the crab salad with herbs and sea asparagus was very fresh, you could really taste the sweetness of the crab meat. The cherry tomatoes that were scattered in the dish were charred to perfection, and the creamy dip painted in the center of the dish was perfect for the crab cakes.
The arctic char was definitely one of our favourite dishes of the night. The fish was cooked perfectly and fell apart at the touch of the fork, the skin was slightly caramelized for an extra hit of flavour. It was served on a sesame purée with honey roasted carrots that worked seamlessly together. We have never tasted Arctic char this delicious, it almost had a Middle Eastern flair.
Next was a dish with a couple elements of a Niçoise salad with an old-school steakhouse staple twist. Slices of seared Albacore tuna, still cool and pink on the inside, were laid out with wedges of Romaine lettuce, dressed in a light Caesar salad dressing. The dressing was creamy, it embraced the romaine lettuce and was covered in bacon bits and chives. Although there was plenty of dressing and bacon, the romaine lettuce remained crisp and did not wilt. The Albacore tuna was complimented by this interesting take on a Caesar salad.
We have an affinity for small, cooked birds – to be fair Diva #2 has loved little birds since she ate her budgie in the 6th grade. Of course she is civilized so she didn’t eat it raw, instead Mickey the Butcher cooked Freddy the budgie in a lovely mushroom sauce. But that’s a story for another time!
At Soubois, there is no budgie on the menu, but there was a delicious smoked Cornish hen. The bird itself was served whole and left for us to carve. The meat was still moist and the skin was a bit crispy. It was served with sliced peaches, not something you see very often with such a savory dish. The peaches added a little sweetness to the gravy-like sauce, and peas and a burning piece of spruce topped the hen itself.
Another favourite of the night was the venison tataki, and what a beautiful presentation! The tataki was thinly sliced with a hard sear on the outside, leaving the middle a vibrant red. The grated horseradish did not overpower the meat and the two kinds of pickled beets added a crunchy element to the dish. Yellow creamy dollops were hard to distinguish from the dominant flavours but they added a creaminess to the dish that was much appreciated.
Another favourite dish was the grilled ribeye steak. Cooked perfectly to a medium rare, it was served with vinegary baby chanterelles which added acidity to the dish. The sauce was also delicious but then again it was made with decadent foie gras – how could you possibly go wrong?! It also came with thick cut potato fries but the brazen Day Jobs & the Nightlife ate them all, leaving us with none to try!
Our last course was dessert and we were presented with a 3-tiered plating of mignardises, consisting of chocolate shortbread cookies, peanut butter cookies and various other small treats. This was accompanied by Soubois’ take on s’mores. The s’mores were a deconstructed rendition with plenty of chocolate graham cookie crumbs on the bottom of the serving platter. Toasted marshmallows, dollops of chocolate ganache and cherry compote topped the sea of chocolate graham cracker crumbs. A fun presentation, but not our favourite dessert.
Often, a supper club will automatically be approached with hesitancy when it comes to food. But we left Soubois pleasantly surprised with some of their dishes, as well as their décor. They’re beginning a lunch service soon, but they now offer dinner from Tuesday to Saturday starting at 6:00 pm. Of course they are still a supper club with bottle service, but you can also indulge in a nice meal in their underground enchanted forest without ever joining the after party.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 1106 de Maisonneuve Ouest, Alaskan King Crab, Albacore Tuna, Arctic Char, Bistro du Terroir, Cocktails Montreal, Cornish hen, Downtown Montreal, foie gras, H3A 1M7, Montreal Nightclub, Montreal supper club, oysters, Reservations Needed, Ribeye, Salmon Confit, Soubois, Soubois Montreal, Tataki, Venison