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Restaurant XVI XVI (1616) : A Memorable Culinary Experience
What's amazing about Montreal's restaurant scene is that it's constantly changing and evolving and there's always something new. What's even more amazing is that behind these restaurants, passionate people are working very hard to make these large-scale projects possible. Since there are so many restaurants on our beautiful island, it's imperative to be creative and offer something that stands out. The team behind the restaurant XVI XVI has created something innovative and very interesting hiding inside this magnificent building on Sherbrooke Street.

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We were greeted by the "maitre d'hôtel" who took our coats and guided us to our table. We knew at that moment that we were going to receive an impeccable service, professional and attentive to details.

First of all, a very special bartender, located on the lower floor of the restaurant, will surely impress you with its skills. The R1B1 robot has been designed with increased precision to serve basic drinks such as wine, champagne, beer or a gin and tonic for example. When you present the card that activates it, it calls you by your name and asks you what you would like to drink. It also has some hidden tricks, like doing a special dance, no less! It is also impressive to see that despite its size, it has been programmed with such precision that it is very delicate with the glassware.

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The decor reflects the same theme of modernity and technology. It is very elegant, white tables and chairs contrast nicely with the walls and floors that are dark. White neons embedded in the ceiling as well as the texture of the walls bring a modern touch.

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The room in the basement, embellished with colorful lights, gives the impression of entering a futuristic place, especially with the robot in the back. This space will eventually be used to accommodate groups and to sit people for happy hour.

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The kitchen caught our attention because we could see it's beauty and cleanliness through the opening where the dishes come out, we would have loved to have a look. It is clear that the kitchen has been thought out with the same attention to detail and that every element is on the cutting edge of technology.

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From the moment we arrived, until we left the restaurant, the service we received was impeccable. Every person who took care of us was very attentive. We also had the chance to have the chef at our table a few times to give us extra details about the dishes and to ask if we were enjoying our experience. In my opinion, a chef who comes out of his kitchen to talk to the customer is very admirable.

We therefore trusted the chef and opted for a blind tasting menu, with the wine pairing. Our waiter arrives with a basket containing several types of bread, including a charcoal and onion flavoured one, a pecan one, a country loaf and a cereal loaf and lets us choose the one we would like. With this, a daisy butter and a delicious and tasty olive oil were placed on the table.

The meal begins with a small appetizer: a small buckwheat chip garnished with an apple chutney. Very small bites full of flavours!

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The appetizer service then begins with foie gras and an Alfred Le Fermier cheese mousse. The amount of foie gras was generous and deliciously prepared, and was accompanied by candied cherries and marinated daisies.

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The Alfred Le Fermier cheese mousse was served in a bowl inside a small casserole, whose bottom was layered with  pieces of hay in order to smoke the dish. A birch syrup and red grapes were served with the mousse. This dish particularly pleased us, the texture of the mousse was exquisite and the smoked side mixed with the sweet taste of the grapes completed the dish perfectly.

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We then received a second entree course, poached lobster and oysters. The lobster platter was above all beautiful! On the plate was a potato brunoise, dried rose powder, caviar and candied tomatoes. The broth that accompanied the dish was so tasty that we would have wanted to drink it directly from the plate.

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The oyster plate was colorful and featured raw oysters without their shell, accompanied by vacuum sealed cucumber, caviar, celeriac mousse and pickled onions. The plate was as pretty as it was appetizing.

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The main dishes were then served: a sea bass fillet and a venison dish. The sea bass was covered with sautéed wild mushrooms and white truffles, accompanied by a mushroom and spinach sauce made with black truffle butter. We also find spruce-flavored potatoes on the plate. The fish was incredibly delicate and everything that came with it was a real delight.

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The venison dish was simple and perfectly executed. Cooked to perfection, the meat was juicy and tender. Parsnip purée, wild rice chips, blueberry and red wine coulis also complement the dish.

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The meal ended beautifully with the desserts! They first brought a cherry sorbet on which we poured a cold spruce tea. The mix of acidity from the cherry with the bitterness of the tea was quite amazing. Subsequently, we receive a beet dessert. A splendid mountain of white wine sabayon covers a Granny Smith ice cream and hides pieces of candied beets. As we were eating, we discovered new flavours. This combination of flavours they managed to create was absolutely interesting and finished the meal on a very positive note.

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Visiting the 1616 will transport you on a culinary journey, where you will spend a most memorable evening. To fully enjoy the experience, opt for the tasting menu and let yourself be guided in this fabulous adventure!

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