The Divas had a 5 à 7 food event and as per our tradition we left a little hungry. Canapés just aren’t enough for the Divas! So we went for a “quick bite,” which, naturally, once we read the menu at Taverne F, turned into a full dinner. We aren’t very good with quick meals; we love the overindulgence and extravagance of a nice long dinner with many courses, cocktails and wine. But somehow we did our best and managed to control ourselves, even though self-control isn’t a character trait of ours.
We were in the Quartier des Spectacles and chose Taverne F based on their short yet mouth-watering menu. Taverne F is part of the Ferreira family which includes Café Ferreira and Café Vasco de Gama. Located on Jeanne-Mance in the middle of the Quartier des Spectacles, Taverne F is a Portuguese restaurant that serves petiscos, small plates for sharing.
We were seated on their terrasse, across the street from the fountains, perfect for people watching. We ordered drinks first, an F Caesar and a Ferreira Tonico. The Caesar was rimmed with smoked paprika salt for a little extra spice. In the Portuguese fashion Piri Piri sauce was the hot sauce of choice and chouriço with coriander for an added treat. The Ferreira Tonico was crisp and refreshing. Made with white Porto and tonic, it was garnished with a lime instead of an orange, unlike the description on the menu. Perfect for a summer night on a terrasse!
Our waiter told us that we should order five items to share amongst the two of us. We scoured the menu and narrowed it down, including a dessert. We started with the cheese platter which included four cheeses with dollops of a caramelized jam of sorts, and baguette crisps. The cheeses were a mix of local Quebec and Portuguese cheeses. Our favourite was the goat cheese which was a cendrillon goat cheese offering some smokey flavour. The blue cheese was a harder blue cheese, not too cream nor pungent, even those tentative to try blue cheese would have enjoyed it. We should have asked our waiter for details on the other two hard cheeses but we were hungry and they were lovely so we ate them without question.
All the cheeses were different from each other and well paired, we were rather impressed. At the same time as our delightful cheese platter, we also had the gazpacho, made with strawberries. Diva#1 adores gazpacho, especially when it is made right; it is the perfect summer treat. The gazpacho at Taverne F was tart and fresh; the basil flavour was dominant but didn’t mask the other ingredients. This is one of the few times that The Divas will order soup and it was well worth it and a perfection combination with the cheese platter.
Our favourite small plate of the night was the clams. The clams were served in a silver pot – they were well spiced with fresh herbs, and plenty of garlic, and absolutely delicious. The plump clams were served in a broth made with white wine, cilantro and garlic. We would have loved a chunk of bread to dip it in, it was that good! Instead we opted to use our spoons from the gazpacho and eat the remaining broth with our spoons. It was salty and divine, the perfect broth with the meaty clams.
We had the beef tartare which was flavoured with piri piri sauce, it was simple yet spicy. Piri Piri sauce is made with chillies, garlic, lemon and different herbs, though the exact recipe will vary according to region. It adds a kick to any dish and is well paired with raw red meat. Served with thin baguette crisps drizzled with olive oil, the tartare was light and no one ingredient dominated. It was also served with a small well-dressed salad. We enjoyed the beef tartare, the meat was thickly cut and almost creamy in texture.
Our favourite petisco and the one that caught our attention when we first read the menu was the burger stuffed with foie gras. Remember that this is a little plate so do not imagine a large burger but more of an appetizer. It was cooked rare, the juices soaked into the bun, we love our meat bloody and almost ready to get up and run away! Like Diva #1’s men
The meat was extremely tender and moist, and the foie gras and cheese that was mixed into the meat melted perfectly together. Absolutely divine! We ordered a side of homemade fries, which were slightly addictive and served with mini jars of ketchup and mayo.
Taverne F’s dessert was the perfect way to end our meal, light and fresh. Sliced strawberries with a Port and mint infused sabayon and small chunks of graham crumbs were all tossed together to create perfection. The sabayon was slightly warm, and coupled with the cool strawberries provided for a nice contrast in temperature.
Taverne F is a nice little restaurant in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles. The food is delicious, the service friendly and sitting on the terrasse on a summer night is ideal. The Divas had a lovely impromptu dinner and will definitely be back, if only for a glass of white Portuguese wine and a few (but probably more rather than less) small dishes. Best of all, it’s only steps away from Diva #2’s condo!
Our Rating: Splendid
Tagged: 1485 Jeanne-Mance, Beef Tartare, Cheese Platter, Clams, Downtown Montreal, Downtown Montreal Restaurant, Ferreira, Ferreira Montreal, foie gras, Foie Gras Burger, Gazpacho, Latin Quarter, Mint Sabayon, Montreal, Montreal Food, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Terrasse, Petisco, Piri Piri, Place des Arts, Portuguese, Quartier des Spectacles, Quebec cheese, Sabayon, Strawberry Gaspacho, tapas, Tartare, Taverne F, Taverne F Montreal, terrace, Terrasse