Le St-Urbain has been on Eater list of essential Montreal restaurants for quite a long period of time. Located in Ahunstic, which is not-so convenient for people without a car, serving seasonal menus. I was near the neighborhood for a job interview, so I can’t think of any better reasons to let go this chance!
Le St-Urbain is definitely a neighborhood restaurant. With dark-toned wood furnitures, the ambiance is calm, low-key, and quite bistro-like. It’s also definitely more spacious than I expected. I had an impression of the restaurant being quite intimate, but it wasn’t.
Since chef Marc-André is also the owner of the bakery, La Bête à Pain, next door, without a doubt, the bread that they serve is one of the top notches in Montreal! Also, every Tuesday and Wednesday, they offer a 4-service table d’hôte for $40! My mother opted for the set menu, and I ordered a la carte.
The amuse-bouche of the table d’hôte, an one-bite sized arancini. It was warm and crisp outside, gooey inside. Perfect start as it made us look forward to the upcoming dishes!
For the table d’hôte, there are only two choices in each category from the regular menu. For appetizer, my mom chose the heirloom tomatoes salad, which had buffalo mozzarella, grilled bread, and basil. Big chunks of grilled bread that soaked up the vinaigrette and olive oil were packed with all the flavors!
On the other hand, I had a heavier one compared to my mom’s. It was flat haricots with artichokes, tuna cream, parmesan, and pistachio. “Crème de thon” (tuna cream) was what caught my eyes! Blending meats up kind of gross me out, not to mention that it’s blended with creams. I’m not sure how they made it, but the cream was surprisingly light and with a hint of umami taste!
For the main course, I had the pork flank with lobster, asparagus, béarnaise sauce, and truffle. I had a moment of “wow” when it was served. I saw big chunks of lobster claws, but where is the pork flank? As the first ingredient listed on the menu, I was expected it to be the dominant item on the plate, but in fact, it was hiding underneath the lobster claws. The lobster was definitely fresh as the meat was firm and springy, not puffy. However, the pork flank wasn’t as tender as I expected. For the truffle, I thought it was just truffle oil, but it was actual shaved truffles on top as a finishing topping!
My mom had the smoked beef brisket as main, which was served with corn, grilled vegetable, and roasted potatoes. It was quite a rustic, earthy dish. Oddly, we both thought it looked like pork, smelled like pork, and tasted like pork! We were quite confused, and even confirmed with the waiter. He assured us that it is beef, which was sous-vided. My mom thought it was quite good, nonetheless.
Dessert is included in the table d’hôte, and you get to choose one out of the dessert menu. The only one that intrigued me was panna cotta served with strawberry, rhubarb, and meringue. I loved it! The vanilla seeds are still visible. It had a smooth mouthfeel and a melt-in-the-mouth texture, not too sweet yet perfect with the sourness from rhubarb. Definitely lifted all the heaviness from the main course and made a perfect ending.
Overall, it was a great evening. Our waiter was very friendly, and kept asking if we would like another piece of bread. The portion is quite generous, and fairly priced. The only down-side would be its location, too far!
96, Fleury Ouest, Montréal
Tel: +1 (514) 504-7700