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samedi, 14 avril, 2012
My wife and I arrived without reservations at around 5:30 pm, but were placed immediately by our waiter Martin in the enclosed porch section at the front of the restaurant. Talk about atmosphere! This place oozes with it and the food? Oh la la, this is French cuisine at its finest.
With a great selection of wines and a waiter who really knows how to mix drinks as well as how to treat you right, my wife and I soon realized we were going to have a special evening. I started with French Onion soup. This was prepared as it's meant to be prepared, with a deep dark broth prepared in wine, morsels of freshly cut bread and melted cheese dripping over the edge of the bowl. My mouth was watering before I even tasted the first spoonful. My wife's bisque à l'homard was equally satisfying.
This was followed by generous portions of large and tender scallops in a special creamy sauce served to my wife and giant scampi in garlic sauce ordered by me. Both plates had fresh ingredients, were expertly spiced and superbly cooked.
For dessert the créme brulé was the best I've ever tasted and my wife's mousse au chocolat was absolutely fantastic. Our taste buds are still reliving the extraordinary and memorable experience a week later. Martin put his bartender experience to good use when I ordered a café Bresilien. And he put on quite a spectacle using the movable table with butane gas to first caramelize the sugar perfectly around the outside edge of the glass and to then ignite the Brandy glasses with the haunting bluish flame. What a show and what a taste!
There were many other things to comment favorably upon about Le Surcouf, but too many to mention in this article. But one thing I will add is that the main chef better watch himself as sous-chef Gérard was magnificent. Thank goodness we were seated in the front of the restaurant, however, as the power went out multiple times and plunged many of the other patrons into near darkness while we were graced by the natural light courtesy of large wooden-framed Victorian windows. But this only enhanced the already ancient and mysteriously warm and charming ambience.
In closing this restaurant is clean and wonderfully decorated, unlike most of the restaurants on the other side of the street along the boardwalk and is well worth the extra dollars that such a high class restaurant deserves. My wife and I will definitely be returning soon. Highly recommended for those looking for a total gourmet experience without compromise.
What do you get when you mix a Haitian-born chef, a warm and generous Quebecois hostess, their charming daughter/waitress and a nineteenth century stone and timber building? A perfect blend of excellent service, romantic ambiance, and the kind of food that I hope I'll be eating every day in heaven.
Fuzion Zen is the perfect name as that's exactly what you can expect to find at this restaurant. From the moment you sample the first savory creation you know you are going to be treated to a special evening that is clearly the mark of a Master Chef whose culinary background is rich and varied. It was not surprising to hear that Gerald has worked at such notable establishments as Leau à la Bouche and Chez Milot. It is no wonder that you detect subtle influences of French cuisine on the palette fused with Japanese and Thai. Each course is created in-house and will not only stimulate your taste buds to new heights never before experienced, but will also give you a visual feast worthy of the title masterpiece.
I had for the entrée a Chaudrée with a generous mix of seafood and an Escargot Zen while my wife had the Entrée Chef # 2 (a crépe creation with smoked salmon). What a start! We of course shared our plates and both of us were amazed at the flavours and textures that had previously been unknown to us.
For the main course I had the Poulet Général Tao and my wife the Filet Mignon. We both agreed that the sauces and spices for both meals were out of this world and the side dishes of vegetables and rice as well as the incredibly original preparations (a slice of crispy banane plantain with portholes and two spaghettini frits acting as antennae gave the illusion of creatures from outer space) were to die for. My Poulet Général Tao was one of the best Ive ever tasted, but my wifes Filet Mignon was a tad undercooked, but tasty nevertheless. It must be added, however, that the portion was huge and Im sure the chef would have cooked it some more had we asked, but we were too busy enjoying the meal. And given that the idea behind Zen is to enjoy the moment, we did not want to interrupt the flow.
For dessert I had a Crème Glacée Frit and my wife a Création Chef (which on this night was a Strawberry shortcake). Again, everything was prepared fresh with the best ingredients and a flair for creativity.
Hats off to Chef Gerald, hostess Ann and their daughter Naomi for giving my wife and I a night to die for (but please remember we want you to serve us in heaven).
This is not "Fine cuisine Thailandaise" as they advertise on their business card. A fast food shopping mall type of eating experience perhaps; but then again my wife and I have eaten better at one of those food court eateries in Fairview or Carrefour Laval than we ate here. My wife and I decided to order different dishes and share.
For starters the tiny Imperial Rolls looked and tasted more like little crispy cigars than genuine Thai Imperial Rolls. The typical sweet and sour dipping sauce was bland and there was hardly any lettuce. The General Tao Chicken was extremely disappointing. A small portion of little strips of chicken covered in a crispy batter and sweet sauce did not taste or look remotely like the General Tao Chicken we've grown accustomed to being served in other better quality Thai restaurants.
Fortunately, we ordered a side order of Fried Chicken Rice and Mixed Garlic Vegetables and Tofu, which wasn't bad, otherwise we would have left the restaurant still hungry. None of the main dishes come with anything else. Overall, we found the preparation, spices, sauces, food portions and general appearance of the food not very sophisticated and certainly not at the level of "fine cuisine." Plus, considering the quality and quantity of the food, it was somewhat pricey.
Yes, it's true there's a nice view overlooking the water, but hey, my wife and I can pack a good lunch, a great bottle of wine and head for a nice lakeside view at many locations in and around Montreal for a fraction of the cost. The bottom line is when a restaurant advertises themselves as serving "Fine cuisine Thailandaise" it needs to deliver the goods. In other words, it had better have more than just a nice view, or else the owners will be the only ones enjoying the view as people will just search for the real deal some place else. My wife and I will certainly be doing exactly that.
We have never been to a Steak Frites St-Paul Restaurant before; but have been curious for some time to try one out. First and last impressions for both my wife and I are that it is First Class all the way: from the excellent service of our waitress, Véronic; the contemporary Parisian-style bistro with chalk-board menus on the wall; the steaks that are A-1, and finally the desserts which are superb. Vivre la différence! Nice warm individually baked breads were served to start - it's so nice to see how the butter melts first into the little crevices of the...
My wife chose for the appetizer, the scallops - er should I say scallop, as it was just one, however this just one was the equivalent in value of 100 average scallops - it actually melted in her mouth (I saw it with my own eyes) and the creamy sauce was incredibly good. For the main course she had the Filet Mignon 6 oz, but I've got to say we both thought they had mad a mistake and had given her a 9 or 12 oz instead (it was so big and thick a portion and incredibly juicy) with a lovely pepper dipping sauce, accompanied by green stringed beans and all-you-can-eat French fries (the way they were originally intended) and your choice of mayonnaise or ketchup dips.
I ordered as an appetizer the Calmars tapas, which was excellent especially with the creamy tartar sauce, although at first glance I thought it was not very much portion-wise. But after eating the full meal, it truly explains the meaning behind the term appetizer (to wet your appetite). For the main course I ordered the Medaillons St-Paul (3 nice thick portions of Steak with a more meaty flavour than Filet Mignon), accompanied by a mushroom dipping sauce, green stringed beans and all-you-can-eat frites. Excellent all-around.
For dessert my wife chose the Napoleon (Milles Feuilles) and I had the créme brulée - absolutely delicious! A cappuccino with cinnamon was perfectly prepared to help round out the excellent evening. Our thanks to the great service and authentic French cuisine. Félicitations à tous!
On a final note, it is refreshing to see that a chain restaurant can actually maintain the level of quality and service that befits the character of a first class restaurant. And, the fact that you can bring your own wine is a real plus as we felt as though the quality of the food was well worth the price and overall dining experience. We will definitely be back soon. Perhaps we will visit the original Steaks Frites St-Paul in Old Montreal...
My wife and I came here by default after originally intending to go to another similar restaurant up the street, but which was closed for vacation. We were not disappointed, however! There was an abundance of good food and good service in this charming family-run restaurant, which is so typical of Vietnamese eateries. It adds a certain sense that we are well taken care of when mother, father, son and daughter all chip in and share duties like a well-rehearsed orchestra putting on a command performance.
My wife chose combination (D) which includes the house soup (a fresh mix of light broth, vermicelli, mushrooms and lettuce), 1 Rouleau Imperial with the usual sweet and lightly soured light dip followed by barbecued shrimp and chicken. My wife liked the soup very much, although I prefer it with a little hot sauce and black pepper added. My wife does not like the way they do the Imperial Roll, although I do (very crispy and chewy). According to my wife the shrimps were among the best she's ever tasted and the chicken was excellent too.
I chose the à la carte menu having also the same soup as my wife and the Imperial Roll. But in addition, I had the General Tao Chicken which was a very generous portion and very satisfying.
For dessert I chose the lychee fruits and my wife the ice cream. Again extremely generous portions and very tasty.
Overall, I would say that although the Chez Pham lacks some refinement in some of its dishes, the more than generous portions make up for it. There is also a sense that this is more of a fast food restaurant, thus it lacks the décor and sophistication that you might expect to find in a 5 star restaurant.
But, if you're in a hurry and want to eat decent Vietnamese cuisine at very reasonable prices, this is the place to go. You can also bring your own wine. May I suggest Sparkling Rosé - it goes down very nicely with this type of food.
I'm surprised there are no other reviews of this restaurant on this site given that they have been around for quite some time and the food is so good. The owner/chef Mrs. Nguyen, has been offering up a splendid array of authentic Vietnamese and Thailanaise cuisine to her patrons for at least 15 years. Lots of group parties, but also couples were counted among those who populated the restaurant on the evening my wife and I ate there (without reservations). The service was prompt and courteous, language difficulties aside (we couldn't figure out whether to speak French, English or Vietnamese to the waiter). In the end, we spoke French to one waiter and English to the other - the Vietnamese will have to wait.
Now for the food. For starters I'd like to say that everything appeared to be freshly prepared and cooked and the ingredients recently acquired, which is a lot more than can be said about other Asian restaurants we've tried that seem to recycle unused (or dare I say uneaten) portions of food from the day before. The difference is astounding as far as taste and texture of the food is concerned, not to mention the effect it has on your overall health.
My wife ordered Combo D. This includes the house soup, a delightful clear broth with fresh broccoli, vermicelli and mushroom; 2 Spring Rolls made with a delicious crispy batter filled with carrot and cabbage strings accompanied with bits of crispy lettuce and more carrot strings and the consummate Vietnamese sweet and just a little bit sour light dipping sauce. The main meal consisted of freshly barbecued and obviously marinated tender chicken and beef accompanied by white steamed rice and more crispy lettuce and strings of carrots (boy, our eyesight will certainly improve).
I ordered Combo E, which was basically everything my wife had except I had General Tao Chicken as the meat portion of the meal. I've got to say that this is the best General Tao Chicken that I have had in a long time. Tender, succulent morsels of chicken cooked in a crispy batter and a delicious sauce.
We finished off by ordering for dessert the Choi Chien - Banan and the Thom Chien - Ananas (bananas and pineapples individually cooked in batter and smothered in honey and stripes of chocolate - a classic Vietnamese speciality that I strongly recommend.
In fact, I would strongly recommend this restaurant for anyone interested in sampling reasonably priced authentic Vietnamese or Thalainaise cuisine. And you can bring your own wine too!
What a gem of a place nestled in-between the multitude of terraced restaurants on the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue board walk. To find a cozy and private spot overlooking the waterway and Marina in this popular West Island town is tough to come by, but to not have to battle the flies and gawking passer-bys is a real plus. A nicely air conditioned and quiet table for two with a view is the poetic equivalent of paradise for my wife and I, especially when the temperature outside is 30 degrees C. And it only gets better from there.
First, let me tell you about the owner of 24 years - Suzanne. Someone referred to her as a "crisse de folle" in a previous review. I'm not sure if the reviewer gets out much, but according to my wife and I Suzanne may be a little eccentric and artistic in her ways, but hey this only adds to the unique character of the restaurant which from our perspective is first class all the way. Suzanne was our waitress the entire evening and guided us through the menu making sure that we ate like Kings and Queens.
We started with a cheese fondue, which we dipped pieces of freshly baked baguette into. A great appetizer! Then this was followed by a very nice Ceasar's Salad. A great sampling of fondue dishes followed which included beef, chicken, tiger shrimps and scallops. Absolutely delicious! It was clear to both of us that the quality of the food was next to none. There's something special and appetizing about cooking your own fresh morsels of food in a fondue pot and then savouring them with different sauces afterwards. So simple, yet so gooood!
For dessert we had a dark chocolate fondue in which we dipped fresh fruits such as strawberries, bananas, pineapple,etc. The secret ingredient? Organic honey. Wow!
Also, there is a choice of white and red wines, both by the glass or by the bottle. I was again guided by Suzanne who expertly chose the Carmen Gran Reservo 2009 from Chile. A superb lovely and smooth Cabernet Sauvignon that was the perfect accompaniment to the meal. I also had a very nice Cognac VSOP a la Grange - beats Remi Martin any day!
My wife and I would like to extend a warm and generous thank you to Suzanne and the entire restaurant (her husband is the chef). We not only ate like Kings and Queens, we haven't felt this good in a long long time.
Felicitations on a winning recipe; one which combines great food, a warm ambience, friendly and expert service; a fantastic view and an incredible woman. We will definitely be back soon!
We were a party of 8, one of whom was my mother-in-law in a wheelchair. We were celebrating the 84th birthday of one of the members and of course la Fête St-Jean Baptiste. This place had been recommended by a number of people, so we thought we'd give it a try. We were not disappointed! Starting with the service - we were greeted by Patrick, who took charge from the get go,ensuring that my mother-in-law was manoeuvred efficiently to our table and later safely delivered back outside. Patrick was extremely proficient and friendly the entire evening and gave us a brief description in French and English about the history of this 3 generation Italian restaurant with roots to Sicilian immigrants who came by boat to Canada in 1945 at the end of World War Two.
Enough said about the history...The real joy of this place is the food...and the wine. There is a great choice of food from the daily Table d'Hôte menu which includes a chef's speciality that changes daily as well as a good choice of pizza and other authentic Italian dishes. My wife chose the Cannelloni pasta dish and I, as well as two others chose the chef's speciality which consisted of a 14 oz Angus rib steak that day. The rest of the party chose the all dressed pizza. As part of the Table d'Hôte we were offered a choice of cold melon soup with prosciutto ham or Mesclun Salad with aged Balsamic Vinegar. Both were fantastic.
As far as the main course is concerned I've got to tell you that in my experience I have not enjoyed such a juicy, tender, thick and perfectly charbroiled steak even in the best steakhouses. It was so good! It was accompanied with nice big Portabella mushrooms and red peppers. I might add that the three of us who ordered steak all asked for different degrees of cooking; medium rare, well done or medium and all were done exactly as requested.
My wife had nothing but rave reviews for the Cannelloni pasta dish and as far as the pizzas were concerned, from all reports they were also baked to perfection. We also had the Italian dessert speciality - Tiramisu; which came elegantly presented in various long stemmed and v-shaped Martini glasses - exquisite. Fabulous!
Finally, the wine. There is an extensive and varied wine list available which offers the wine connoisseur a wonderful choice, but I might add, it is somewhat pricey with prices averaging around $75 (ranging from $45 to $725). I chose a wonderful and smooth tasting Cabernet Sauvignon(2008)by Napa Cellars for $65. Excellent!!!
My wife and I arrived at this contemporary design and spacious Italian restaurant with no reservations at around 6:30pm on a Friday evening and there was still a lot of tables available particularly inside. We decided to take an inside booth for the intimacy and privacy (and comfort), but there were plenty of people grabbing tables on the outside terrace . We were served by a charming young man of mixed Spanish and Lebanese background fluent in 3 languages. He was also fluent in his knowledge of the various meals being offered. In fact, he was the highlight of the evening - excellent service!!!
As for the meals: We started by sharing a Calamari Fritti (plenty for 2 people)which we would rate as a 9.5 out of 10 - really really good, not rubbery at all, just the right amount of batter and served with two different sauces (the traditional tomato sauce and a garlic/mayo sauce - both delicious).
We then shared a 19" Calabrese thin crust oven baked pizza. Nice presentation on a raised cast iron serving pedestal, but I'm afraid the pizza itself fell short of our expectations. First the crust was somewhat soggy, second the toppings were somewhat scarce being scattered mostly in the centre of the pizza. I found myself scraping off the toppings and placing them onto one slice to make it more substantial and tasty and discarded a lot of left over dough. The Italian sausage (which is supposed to be the defining principal of a Calabrese pizza looked and tasted more like ground beef than sausage and if it wasn't for the spicy olive oil that my wife and I sprinkled generously over the pizza it would not have been very tasty.
Two glasses of Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon wine saved the evening from an otherwise mixed culinary experience and it appears that at least the establishment has a wide selection of wines to choose from, both by the glass and by the bottle.
All in all we would consider coming back to the Mozza Pizzeria for the Calamari Fritti, the ambiance, the comfort, the service and the choice of wines; but not for the pizza. Maybe we'll try some of their other offerings the next time around, but in the meantime I hope the owner looks at improving the quality of their main product - pizza.
My wife and I arrived at a very busy time at around 7pm Friday night without reservations. Despite this we were attended to promptly and attentively by our waitress, Lana, who was very informative and cordial throughout our dinner. Unfortunately, we found the thinly cushioned 60s retro-style cubicles with table and benches to be extremely uncomfortable and too low. Our backs were killing us after just a few minutes.
My wife started with the House Salad - it is a generous portion of garden salad and bacon, cherry tomatoes and croutons with a tasty ginger and lime dressing. The bacon was old and withered and dry - I suggest to the chef that it be ground into little bacon bits and then sprinkled onto the salad; also the croutons are way too big - much better if it's made of roasted garlic and rosemary on cubes of fresh baked French bread. I had the Caesar's Salad - similar to the House Salad only with Romaine lettuce and wedges of Parmesan cheese (I prefer it when it's powdered) - however, a nice garlic dressing without the typical creamy overkill, but again the same comments on the bacon and croutons as above.
Now for the main meal - My wife chose the Braised Beef, a slow-cooked good portion of meat served on the bone in a deep plate with grelot potatoes and carrots in a delicious sauce, albeit somewhat too salty for her liking. I had the 10oz Filet Mignon served with Yukon mashed potatoes and asparagus with red wine sauce à côté. The steak was cooked just as I ordered - medium and it had a nice caramelized glazing. Coupled with the red wine sauce and a good glass of Château St-Jean Cabernet Sauvignon, it was a delightfully tasteful experience.
For dessert my wife had the key lime pie topped with whipped cream served on a nice crust made of Graham cookies I presume - it was to die for. I had the Pot de Crème - like a chocolate mousse only with a harder texture topped with whipped cream - it tasted very good, but I preferred my wife's choice.
As far as décor goes if you like a retro-style 60s cafeteria ambience then this is the place for you. Good for a big party of people, but not for a romantic dinner - it's way too noisy and lacks any intimate niches where you can sit privately as a couple. My wife and I both shared the opinion that the general atmosphere was similar to what you might expect to find at an airport restaurant.
Overall the food was pretty good the service was great; but the 60s cafeteria style décor, discomfort and noise left us cold.
I have to admit that I was shocked to see all the poor reviews of this restaurant, especially when my wife and I have eaten here at least a dozen times over the past year and have never been disappointed. It may be because we usually go when it's not too crowded (late Friday afternoon)I don't know.
All I know is that the service is usually very friendly and prompt and we usually get what we asked for. As a rule my wife orders a Sicilian Pizza with thin crust and loves adding olive oil to bring out the great taste and I order the BP Burger with cheese and bacon (to die for), but replace the fries with garden salad and balsamic vinegar dressing to please the doctor (but it's surprisingly good). I also have a 9 oz carafe of Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon, also to please my doctor(and my palate)
This has been a staple eatery where my wife and I often go for our "cheat" day. You see we've both been on an exercise and diet regimen for about three months now, but are allowed one day a week to eat what we want. Sorry if you thought I was going to tell some sordid story about us having affairs - it ain't happening.
What I can tell you is that we both highly recommend Boston Pizza in Centropolis, Laval as the food, service and ambience has always been great whenever we've cheated there. By the way, so far I've lost 20 pounds and my wife has lost 10 pounds even while cheating. Go figure!
Update: We went back to this restaurant on April 20th and were not as impressed as before. My wife's so-called thin crust pizza was not thin, but rather doughy and undercooked. My BP Burger was not quite as delicious as on previous occasions - I can't quite put my finger on why. Perhaps it was the disappointment of hearing that they no longer serve Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon wine, but have replaced it with the Beringer version (also from California). I must admit, however, that this was an equally satisfying complement to my burger, but still something had changed and my wife and I have decided not to return for awhile. I've also downgraded our rating of this restaurant from a 5 to a 4.
I don't wish to rain on everyone else's parade who seem to think that this is the greatest oriental restaurant in Laval. It just isn't. If you rate a restaurant for the quantity of food that is served, then perhaps you might give it a high rating (which I assume is how most people judge this type of restaurant).
But if (as my wife and I do) you use other criteria such as the sophisticated preparation of the food, the distinctive taste of each plate, whether or not the food is overcooked, whether too much batter is used, etc., I'm afraid that the Panda D'Or falls short on all accounts.
If you're not too picky and are looking to gorge yourself on an endless supply of tasteless, overcooked, unsophisticated food, with lots of sugar and batter, then the Panda D'Or is for you. But, you won't see us there again.
This restaurant was somewhat disappointing for my wife and I. Granted, there were a number of large parties reserved for the evening and that seemed to take priority over the other guests who were placed in a small room in the back of the restaurant. We started with a side order of Calamari which we would rate as pretty good, but not the best we've eaten. For the main course, my wife ordered the chicken and I ordered the 16oz rib steak. My wife did not like the way the chicken was prepared - it seemed to be very soggy and the outer skin was not at all crispy, but rather soaked in a paprika sauce of some sort. My steak was generous in size, but very thin in thickness (perhaps 1/4 inch), but was tasty nonetheless, but lacked the wow factor.
Overall, there was a lack of a distinctive Portuguese/Italian flavour which the restaurant promotes itself as. Rather, many of the side dishes (including salad, potatoes, rice) reminded us more of a lesser quality bring-your own-wine Greek Restaurant.
Here's hoping that the owners get back to their roots.