Montreal — Spring 2016: Bonaparte

Monday, May 2, 2016
We wanted to do one fancy dinner on this trip, so we had made reservations at Bonaparte, which is inside the historic Bonaparte Inn in Old Montreal. We all decided to indulge in the tasting menu, a six-course meal of "the chef's specialties."

Lobster bisque enhanced with ginger at Bonaparte

Housemade smoked salmon served with truffle oil at Bonaparte

Escargots in parsley fricassee and provençale vegetables at Bonaparte

For the first course, I chose the lobster bisque, rich and flavourful with a hint of ginger; so perfect for the cold, rainy night that we were there. For the second course, I chose the smoked salmon, plush and perfectly cured and served with a tart coleslaw that keeps it light and refreshing. For the third course, while the other two chose the mushroom ravioli, I decided to try the more unexpected choice: the escargots. They were cooked perfectly: soft with a nice chew, not tough or rubbery. I've never had them served any other way but drenched in garlic butter, but here, they serve them atop chopped tomatoes with garlic and olive oil on a sheet of filo dough that rounds out the flavour and texture of the escargot really well. It was followed by a most refreshing palate cleanser of pear and tarragon sorbet that I could see being a big seller at a gelato stand in the summer time, and then our main courses appeared.

Beef filet mignon seasoned with five peppercorns and cognac at Bonaparte

A symphony of homemade desserts at Bonaparte

I was craving steak, so I got the filet mignon served in peppercorn and cognac sauce, with parsnips, snow peas, green beans, potatoes, and mashed yams. The meat was so tender that it was practically melt-in-your-mouth. A perfect portion, and beautifully presented, too. Finally, for dessert, a sampling of their bestsellers: Palais Royal, red berry bavarois, cheesecake, and mandarine Napoleon liqueur crème brulée (my personal favourite). Paired with a cup of Earl Grey, it was the perfect ending to a gorgeous French meal. Service was impeccable — everyone was knowledgable, polite, welcoming, and attentive — and the ambiance is intimate and cozy, decorated in classic French Empire style, and is perfect for both group parties and romantic dates. If you're looking for well-rounded classic French cuisine in Montreal, Bonaparte is the perfect place to go. 

Restaurant Bonaparte
443 Rue Saint-François-Xavier
Montréal, QC H2X 2T1
(514) 844-4368
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