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Licence IV - French Bistro in Griffintown

Located at the corner of Notre-Dame and Guy, the first thing you notice when you pass by Licence IV is the small terrace located at the edge of the street right in the front of the restaurant.

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The larges windows on the façade can be opened to enjoy the nice weather outside. That feeling of being outside when you're in the restaurant is really pleasant. When you get in, you immediately notice a sensual atmosphere although the welcoming could be a little warmer. The most striking feature of the decor is clearly the lighting; vintage street lamps that could have been seen in a vintage movie. The golden cracked mirrors and the gold tile on the ceiling bring a very elegant vintage look as well. The back bar is very inviting; the bottles are placed against a brick wall on large glass shelves. Between the two shelves, there is a projection on the wall of burlesque dancers and other sensual images.

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We were lucky to be served by Xaviera, she offered us the most attentive service. The meal begins with a French cuisine classic; foie gras au torchon. Served in a very traditional way, three thick slices accompanied by dried fruits and nuts. The highlight of this dish was the generous amount of homemade apple butter served to spread with the foie gras. This rich explosion of flavour literally melts in the mouth and makes you want to ask for more.

The charcuterie platter served later was garnished with Jambon de Bayonne, a duck sausage, Calabrese and Rosette de Lyon. There is no better side than cheese! Pieces of raclette cheese are served with the platter with a small skillet that has a candle underneath in order to melt the cheese inside before enjoying it with the delicatessen.

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As for the main meal, we went for a classic from Marseille; A bouillabaisse. The tomato-based broth was rich and unctuous. Considering the tomato taste was intense the seafood perfume was less present. The serving of seafood was generous; there were mussels, white fish, lobster meat and other delicacies. We also tried the Moules frites that was served in a cream and blue cheese sauce. The portion was generous and the cooking perfect, but it would have been nice to taste more of the blue cheese. For those who crave mussels, Licence IV offers all you can eat mussels on Wednesday evenings!

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