New year, new restaurant! I spent the last dinner of 2017 at Fieldstone, a restaurant that showcases the chef/owners’ stories by putting the blend of flavors and techniques from Mexico, Cambodia, Spain, and Canada on the plates. On the new year’s eve, I went on a memorable 8-course culinary journey with chef Chanthy Yen!
Locating on the Main (aka boulv. st-laurent), the exterior of Fieldstone is quite low key, and as the restaurant is a bit below ground-level, it could be easily missed! As soon as I stepped in, I immediately fell in love with the decor. It reminded very much of the modern vibe of the restaurants in San Francisco – warm, woody, and cozy.
On the New Year’s eve, Fieldstone serves an 8-course tasting menu. We started off with an amuse-bouche – pan-fried cactus kimchi dumplings. It was a bit too oily, and hard to taste the cactus as kimchi can be quite overpowering. However, thanks to the kimchi, it made definitely prepared our appetite for the upcoming dishes!
The first cold appetizer was the crispy pear and radish, which was seasoned with sumac tamarind dressing with Oka cheese and toasted millets. It was a dish with various textures and tastes! It’s more of a sweet beginning, because of the dressing and the pear, but the crunchiness of radish and toasted millet let you forget that it is something sweet. The Oka cheese was the perfect addition of the savory touch.
While we were slowly enjoying the first dish, there was a constant waves of cigarette-like smell. We thought someone was smoking at the back, and the restaurant has bad ventilation. Mystery solved when we were presented this dish, which turned out to be the favorite dish of the night – smoked beet tartare, served with sunflower shoots and seeds with bee pollen. It was my first time having beets in a restaurant that was served with any form of cheese (normally goat cheese, feta or ricotta). These beets were very tender, which easily broke down by just pressuring it with tongue against the upper jaw.
Next, it was the scallop crudo, served with annatto seed oil, watercress purée, and turnip foam. As much as I love scallop, annatto seed oil was what that left a vivid impression. The annatto seed is known as the poor man’s saffron, which is commonly used as a natural food coloring in some countries such as Vietnam and Latin America. It has a slightly peppery scent with a hint of nutmeg, and tasted nutty and peppery.
On to the meat. I had quail at Miel a week ago, so there wasn’t much excitement when I saw it. However, it got more interested when the staff started to describe the dish. It was coffee marinated quail, served with chorizo oil, Venezuelan chocolate and chestnut. The combination of coffee and chocolate can hardly go wrong. The quail was quite tender, and I really liked the flavor combinations! It was a very earthy dish.
Now onto the ocean specie – Mekong sturgeon, marinated in Cambodian curry, served on a bed of forbidden rice (aka black rice), and finished with a piece of squid ink tuile. This was the only dish that we thought was a bit on the bland side. Since it was a white fish, the curry could’ve been stronger. It was very subtle, as if the curry was only used for the coloring. The rice tasted like any regular plain rice, except with pretty purple color. Nonetheless, the freshness and quality of the fish were on point. It has a very firm flesh that needed a knife for each bite, just like a steak, but not the kind of toughness that you’ll get if it was an overcooked fish!
As I don’t eat beef, I had the option of chicken, rabbit or fish for the main course. If I knew the previous course was fish, I would’ve probably chosen chicken, but anyhow, I love fish so much that I didn’t regret it! It was swordfish, served with cherry tomato raisins, smoked celeriac purée, and jingle bell peppers. Though Christmas is over, and I’m not a fan of bell peppers, I found the name quite cute! For someone who doesn’t like any bell peppers, jungle bell peppers tasted just like any other peppers. Even though I had two fish dishes consecutively, but they were completely different! The texture of swordfish was more tender and delicate than the sturgeon.
My friend had the charcoal beef & chimichurri, served with fried peppers, and toasted sunflower seeds. Though I don’t eat beef, but the color was mesmerizing, the contrast of red and black; evenly cooked/redness in the center.
Before desserts, we were presented with a palate cleanser, which was guava poached in sparkling wine. Not sure which kind of guava they used, but pretty sure that it’s not the same kind as the ones we have in Taiwan. The guava itself wasn’t sweet, but rather with an astringent aftertaste.
Been saying this every time: a meal isn’t complete without a dessert, but at Fieldstone, we got desserts (yes plural!).
I loved this dessert so much that I wished I could’ve had a second one – Birch aerated chocolate with Sorghum cracker as the shell, chocolate ganache, and buckwheat honey. The dessert was brought out by chef Yan, which he explained that the dish is better to just eat it with hand, like tacos! The purity of the chocolate and the earthiness of honey – match made in heaven.
Phew.. you made a long way till the last dish of the night! The last dessert is called Fieldstone, which is foie gras carob ice cream with sugar coral and meringue. It was such a beautiful dish, like the trendy deconstructive desserts. My mind was so focused on “foie gras” that I’ve totally omitted the “carob”, which is very similar to cocoa powder but has a caramel flavor with the slightest hint of pure dark chocolate. That’s actually what the ice cream taste like, instead of foie gras.
Overall, it was a great experience for the first visit! Definitely want to go back for brunch. When I first saw the information about this dinner online, I messaged to ask for more details of the dishes that will be served, because of my dietary restriction. They didn’t know what they will be serving yet, but said they’re happily to accommodate it! I could already felt the warm hospitality before visiting, not to mention that when we arrived, the staffs were very friendly too! Fieldstone serves tasting menu (3, 5 or 8 services) and a concise snack menu. The menu changes based on the season, and do not worry, they are the kind of restaurant that are more than happy to accommodate customers’ needs!
5427 Boul St-Laurent, Montréal, QC
Tel: +1 (438) 387-7197