***Sadly this Restaurant is Closed***
The Divas have been to Suite 701 many times for drinks, and even a few times to eat, but not in the last couple of years. When we were contacted by Suite 701’s Marketing Director about their new fall menu, we were more than happy to come by and see what Chef Yves Lowe had created.
Unfortunately for us, our night started off with an unplanned errand. While the Divas were having pre-dinner drinks and getting ready at Diva#1’s apartment, Diva #1’s dad called up and said he bought a Christmas tree and needed a lift in “your sardine can of a f@*%#$ car.” With such a sweet request like that, how could we say no! So the Divas picked up a seven foot tall Christmas tree, Diva #1 dad’s girlfriend, and left him to take the bus. Too bad he didn’t fit in her Mini Cooper, but small cars do mean less degenerate passengers!
Located on Côte de la Place d’Armes in Old Montreal, Suite 701 is below the Place d’Armes hotel. One of the more beautiful hotels in the city with a fabulous rooftop terrace that the Divas almost live on in the summer. We walked inside and were led to our table, the entire dining and bar area bathing in a purple haze with grey accents, chandeliers, high ceilings, rich drapery, fireplace, and a DJ spinning his magic. A posh atmosphere with a lounge-like vibe.
Our waiter greeted us with a flute of champagne and a strawberry. It’s always a good night when champagne is involved and we toasted to our poor taste in Greek men and frequent bad decisions. The kitchen had an idea of what they wanted us to try but being Divas, we had our own ideas! We were intrigued by a couple items on the new menu, and they were more than happy to combine our choices with their own.
Before our first plates arrived, the waiter helped us choose cocktails. Their list is quite extensive but the Basil Raspberry Martini and Bourbon Berry Tea stood out. Fresh and perfectly balanced, the martini was delicious, flavourful and definitely something to return for. The bourbon tea wasn’t as strong as expected but the Galliano was definitely dominant, and the vanilla flavour did not make it overly sweet.
A Diva dinner doesn’t seem complete if we don’t have oysters, so naturally our night started with luscious bivalves with two different condiments. We had two oysters each, one with the customary mignonette, a red wine and shallot reduction, and the one that caught our attention, the mojito-inspired mignonette. The red wine and shallot dressing was full of flavour and balanced the salty oyster well. But the mojito mignonette wowed us! Fresh and vibrant, it really took the oyster to another level. It was a wonderful mojito cocktail in a salty oyster bed…Diav#1 wanted to eat a dozen of these by herself. Next time we will try their third mignonette, which is a marinated English cucumber brunoise.
Our next plate was the tartare. They served this appetizer in two plates, half for each Diva which was very nice, so usually the portion is larger. Served with a sunnyside egg, mustard seed caviar and addictive housemade potato chips, the chunky beef was perfectly seasoned. When scooped up with the salty chips, some eggs, and mixed with the mustard seed and slightly sweet pearl onions, it was the perfect bite. The mustard seed caviar was delicious and wonderful with the beef tartare. It was nice to see this dish served with potato chips and not the usual baguette crisps, it added some originality to this classic
Our second appetizer was the foie gras parfait. Our waiter recommended having it with a glass of a dry chardonnay from SonomaCounty. Paired beautifully, the wine enhanced the creamy texture of the foie gras; this is a waiter who knows what he is doing. This was further improved by the smooth and sweet red apple compote, and tart julienned apples. It was a combination of flavours but also textures with the crunchy crispy brioche bed and housemade toffee. There could have been a bit more foie gras parfait in the dish, but it was nonetheless very tasty.
Our final appetizer was suggested by our waiter and we are glad that we listened, something that we don’t usually do. The house-smoked salmon was creamy and the mascarpone was herbed, creamy and delicious enough to eat on its own. The salmon was smoked but still very raw, and left in whole pieces that easily gave way to the fork. The fennel was delicious and was nicely tossed with some small greens and dill. Our only complaint was the few raw button mushrooms on the plate; they did nothing to enhance the dish.
We were enjoying our night, happily drinking and plotting, and though Diva #1 says Diva #2 is her voice of reason, some would question the reasoning behind some of her suggestions. Nevertheless, plans were made for the next night and we sent some devious texts to some of our delicious male victims. We even tried to get Diva #1’s dad to shuck a few dozen oysters for us on the weekend, but he was still bitter from being left at the bus stop….whatever.
After a small pause in our dinner, our mains arrived simultaneously. First we had the roasted monkfish, which we’ve had at Verses, a sister restaurant. The fish was lightly smoked and very tender. It was seasoned well and the top was roasted and crispy, but below was a flaky fish that was as sweet and fatty as lobster. We were a bit thrown off by the taste of curry but it was something that we had never tasted with fish so we were intrigued. Served with braised cabbage gratin and sweet potato, we mixed everything together and tasted each bite with the accompanied almond milk sauce. A very interesting concoction.
When we saw the rabbit on the menu, we knew we wanted it. But since it was a plate for two people and we wanted to try more than one main, the kitchen made us a smaller portion. The rabbit came with vinegary but fresh coleslaw, and a cold barley salad. Usually the rabbit is accompanied with an orzo salad, but on this night we had it with a delicious barley salad with peppers. The rabbit was served in a tin bucket, fried to perfection and not at all greasy. The meat was still tender and juicy, and the outside coating was very crunchy but did not interfere with the taste of the rabbit. This was a very interesting way to enjoy rabbit, and different from the usual ways that we have tried it. The chipotle sauce was just spicy enough to add a little tang to the rabbit. Our waiter also served us a chilled red wine from Bourgogne to compliment the rabbit, and it truly did.
Our waiter told us that they had already planned what we were having for dessert and we were quite happy to see that we were presented with three different desserts. The Cointreau beignets were delicious, crispy on the outside and very creamy on the inside. Light and airy with a sugar coating and creamy Cointreau filling, it is one of our favourite liquors because of its orange taste. The donuts came with wonderful dipping sauces: chocolate, berries and peach, adding different dimensions of flavour to every bite.
The chocolate noisette cake was dark and rich, and was paired nicely with the bitter coffee shot that we were given. Served with poached pear, and adorned with gold leaf, the cake was moist and delicious. The little bit of crunch from the nuts worked well with the creamy mousse.
The last dessert was a panna cotta with figs topping a pumpkin pie with a pecan crust and pumpkin crust. This was our least favourite simply because it was pumpkin pie, which neither Diva is crazy about. But aside from our own personal taste, the dessert was good and was very aromatic with cloves and nutmeg.
Things to return for include the pork pie with fingerling potatoes that sounded heavenly, or the guineafowl potpie with vegetables. If you would like something lighter as an accompaniment to wine, the cheese and charcuterie plates for two with prosciutto, pancetta, rosette de Lyon, salami and assorted cheeses from Quebec with jams and jellies sound absolutely amazing.
This obviously wasn’t our first visit at Suite 701, it’s a popular boozy brunch spot as well as lunch spot in Old Montreal. On previous visits we had enjoyed their fresh salmon tartare topped with salmon gravlax and plenty of lemon with a green salad. Definitely something to return for!
The Divas always have a fabulous time at Suite 701 – ambiance, service and their new menu are all top notch. Suite 701 also has group menus and can accommodate almost any occasion. You can be sure that the next time the Divas are at Suite 701, it won’t only be for drinks!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 701 Côte de la Place d'Armes, Angus Filet, Bar, Beausoleil Oysters, Beef Tartare, Charcuterie, Cheese, Cocktails, Cointreau Donuts, Cote de la Place d’Armes, foie gras, Guinefowl Potpie, H2Y2X6, Hazelnut Chocolate Cake, Hotel Place D’Armes, Jumbo Shrimp, Lee Sallafranque, Lounge, Meatball Burger, Mojito, Monkfish, Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Old Montreal, Old Port, oysters, Pork Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Rabbit, Reservations Needed, Rib Steak, Risotto, Rooftop Terrace, Salmon, Splendid, Suite 701, Suite 701 Antonopoulos, Suite 701 Montreal, Suite 701 Old Montreal, Suite 701 Place d'Armes Hotel, wine, Yves Lowe