Now celebrating its 8th year, Happening Gourmand is Old Montreal’s version of New York Restaurant Week. It runs from January 8th to February 8th, and is the perfect occasion to discover a new spot in Old Montreal or simply enjoy an old favourite, all while not breaking the bank.
All the participating restaurants, which include Bevo, Kyo, Modavie, Suite 701, Taverne Gaspar, Mechant Boeuf and Verses, held a media event for bloggers in order to get the word out. The Divas were invited to the media event at VP Steakhouse, hosted by the lovely Karolina Jez. We had attended the Happening Gourmand media event last year and had enjoyed quite the adventure; you can read about our antics HERE.
Seated at a large wooden table by the fireplace, it was the perfect spot to chat, catch up and get to know fellow bloggers while enjoying wine and a great meal. Happening Gourmand’s 3-course dinner menu is set at either $21, $25 or $29, depending on the restaurant. Each restaurant offers a signature cocktail created for Happening Gourmand and there are also red and white wine pairings available.
We started our evening toasting with the signature cocktail before moving on to wine. Made with Ciroc peach, lemon juice, iced tea and mint, it was refreshing and summery, the perfect cocktail to lull us into a false belief that winter did not exist!
We had a choice of entrées and we decided on the escargots and crab cakes, which our waiter mentioned was a personal favourite of his. The escargots were rich, earthy, and tender and covered in a layer of mozzarella cheese au gratin. The warm bread that was given to us was perfect to enjoy the garlic butter at the bottom of each individual escargot ramekin.
The crab cakes were excellent. A very crunchy exterior held together the tender crab meat. Vieux-Port Steakhouse did not skimp on the sweet crab meat. Served with a mango and red pepper salsa, it was a great pairing along with the cream, white wine, and mustard sauce that was drizzled over top of the crab cakes.
The Divas were in the mood for red meat and VP Steakhouse is known for its delicious cuts of meat so we were in the right place. The Happening Gourmand menu offers several meaty options that also include two fish plates, and a delicious stuffed chicken breast.
We won’t lie, the bacon butter sold us on one of our choices! The 7oz sirloin baseball cut steak was a healthy portion served with green beans, red peppers and delicious fries. Cooked to medium rare, as we requested, the steak was tender and juicy and the bacon butter added another level of delicious. Served with green beans and roasted red peppers, it was a very filling dish and our favourite amongst the two steak dishes that we enjoyed.
A classic cut, the 10 oz New York Strip did not disappoint. Also cooked to medium rare, it was served alongside creamy garlic mashed potatoes, and some more of those delicious crispy green beans and roasted red peppers. A fresh grinding of black pepper enhances the flavour of the New York Strip that had perfect char marks. Some dishes at Happening Gourmand come with an additional cost, this 10 oz New York Strip was available for an additional 10$, it’s a serious piece of meat!
Cheesecake is usually hit or miss but VP Steakhouse delivered a smooth, creamy and light cheesecake with a slightly tart strawberry coulis on top. The crème brulée was equally as smooth and creamy, and as expected the layer of hardened sugar added enough crunch to contrast. Unfortunately the crème brulée was presented rather messily but both desserts were simple and delicious.
Happening Gourmand has once again partnered with Igloofest. If you take part of a Happening Gourmand menu, you can receive a discount when you buy tickets to Igloofest, which runs from Friday to Sunday from January 16th to February 8th. So take advantage of the 8th annual Happening Gourmand and enjoy some great restaurants in Old Montreal for a fraction of the cost.
Our Rating: As Expected
Tagged: 39 Rue Saint Paul Est, Baseball Cut, Cheesecake, Cocktails, Crab Cakes, Escargots, H2Y 1G2, Happening Gourmand, Happening Gourmand Montreal, Montreal Restaurant, Montreal Steakhouse, New York Strip, Old Montreal, Old Montreal Happening Gourmand, Old Montreal Restaurant, Old Port, Sirloin Steak, Steak, Steakhouse, Vanilla Crème Brulée, Vieux-Port Steakhouse, Vieux-Port Steakhouse Montreal, VP Steakhouse