Tuck Shop Montreal
By Jennifer HoApr 24 2012 · 4 comments · Dining Out
It’s been more than a month since we went to the Tuck Shop to celebrate. I for one, have secured an internship for the summer at an agency I really had my heart set on! Bubbling over with happiness and excitement, Alex insisted that we head out for a couple of drinks and something good to eat. After everything we had heard about the Tuck Shop, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for us to go and check it out. Walking into the St. Henri restaurant, we were greeted by a lovely lady who seated us almost immediately. We don’t often sit at the bar – I guess it’s out of habit? But this time, we decided to try it, just for fun. And fun it was! We got a chance to chat with Jon Bloom, formerly of the Monkland Taverne and 1/3 owner of the place. Knowledgeable and courteous, he was an absolute pleasure to speak with – he gave us great recommendations and paired wines for us as we ate our main meals. Service was consistent throughout as well; the attentiveness and care with which Bloom and the other servers checked up on their patrons was astounding. I asked Bloom about the peculiar number of large mason jars encircling the upper portion of the restaurant – apparently the staff takes a couple days off once a year and spends a crazy amount of time making their famous house tomato sauce by the gallon. They make enough to last them the entire year and for all the cooking that they do, that is a lot of sauce!
As we sat at the bar, we got a Tom Collins and an Old Fashioned to start us off. The drinks were made well and on the strong side, which I love. To begin, we had the house cured organic salmon and the beef tartare. The salmon was served with grelot chips, herbed yogurt, lemon puree and trout caviar where delicate, thin slices of the fish were placed at the base of the plate, with lovely fresh veggies piled on top. The lightly salted crunchy ships served on the side was unexpected and actually quite nice. The beef tartare was a good classic that stuck close to home but jazzed things up just enough to make it still a new experience.
For our mains, the grilled Quebec pork chop was served with cheesy polenta, red cabbage, bacon, apple chutney, cheddar jalepeno sauce which tasted pretty amazing. Bacon, apples, cheese…. Beautiful combination reminiscent of fall that was really comforting at the same time. We devoured the grilled Kamouraska leg of lamb with ricotta gnocchi, braised shank, roasted peppers, olive, fennel, pine nuts, rapini, gremolata. You would think you would be bursting while after eating all the meat and heavier gnocchi, but while scraping the last bits of sauce off the plate, I felt perfectly full. You know that feeling. The one where you’ve just achieved this perfect balance of satisfaction, happiness and fullness. Where you can of course, still go for dessert. Basically how I feel everyday.
Onwards! A friend came by for dessert so amongst the three of us, we shared a caramel fleur de sel, a tiramisu and a homemade brownie with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. The caramel was an easy favourite – we even discussed who would get to order it for a couple minutes! As we debated back and forth, the simple solution was to share it which we were going to do anyway. And yes, it did taste as good as we expected it to be. The tiramisu was light, fluffy and airy all at the same time. Dusted with chocolate powder and imbued with rich coffee flavours, this was a great rendition of the Italian cake. Finally, the brownie. Served warm, as if it had just been made, the brownie was a known classic that tasted like it was right out of your mother’s kitchen. The evening couldn’t have ended on a sweeter note.
But it did. Just before ordering our last course, Bloom came by and delivered a lovely plate of Quebec cheese. Going back to the service aspect discussed earlier, these guys are awesome. Did I mention friendly and knowledgeable? Courteous and on point? We got along so much so that we actually ended up doing shots with Jon and Amelia. Make sure to check out Le Tuck Shop for some fine food and a great time.
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