As we walked through drizzle and gray we were greeted by the welcoming beacon of the Toque! sign which seemed to promise felicity and spring.
The restaurant has tall ceilings, light colored woods, blues and earthtone colors and simple clean lines. Floor to ceiling windows brought in delicious light from the outside and well modulated interior lighting provided complementary soft and warm light. The room is elegant without being stuffy. Distance between tables is generous and interior noise levels were perfect. As much as we love the hustle and bustle of a place like Joe Beef or Pied de Cochon, the fact is that Jerry doesn't hear that well (blame it on working around Navy aircraft long ago) and we often can't really hold a conversation at that type of restaurant. So here we sat in a light-filled room with the pleasant hum of happy eaters and looking forward to a long chat and good food.
|The Bar at Toque!|
Toque! is owned by Christine Lamarche and Normand Laprise. The current chef is Charles-Antoine Crete. Much has been written about this team of "artists" as the Toque! website refers to them. There have been many awards and stars. Now it was our turn to see what all the fuss is about.
Fortunately for us, the food and service did not disappoint. The flavors were...well...spring like. Fresh, light and yet somehow complex, and perfectly seasoned. Our waiter and wait staff were very helpful. For the first course (of the 2-course lunch): I had the cauliflower soup, a slightly richer version than we had at Joe Beef the night before). I liked it very much. Jerry had a lemon cream with salt cod on toast...see the picture below...it was really, really good. A delight to the eye and palate.
|Lemon Cream and Salt Cod with radish and green magic (my words not Toque!)|
For the main course, I had the skate fish which was perfectly done...it was the first time I've eaten skate (a type of ray) and I love the firm texture and delicate taste. Jerry had the flank steak...also perfectly prepared.
Finally for dessert we shared a plate of "made just two minute ago" churros with chocolate dip and Illy coffee. I'll never eat another churro in my life without comparing them to these (and I'm sure they will never match up).
|Fresh, FRESH, Churros and chocolate|
900 Place Jean Paul Riopelle, Montreal, QC H2Y 3X7 T:514-499-2084