Burger and tartare lovers with a delicate palate? See you at Taboo Cuisine Rebelle! Going against the minimalist trend, here you can customize your plate by choosing from 180 combinations of tartars, 45 mini-burgers and about twenty poutines or generous salads. Another burger restaurant in Montreal you say? Yes, but the Taboo pushes the boundaries by bringing you closer to a gastronomic experience and allowing you to vary the pleasures. A rebel burger of sorts!
Taboo cuisine rebelle is above all a family story: that of the Gaudreau-Pépin siblings, for whom restauration is a passion and a way of life. Together with Executive Chef Tom Meilleur, they opened the first Taboo in 2013 on the North Shore in l'Assomption. After five years of refining their concept and asserting their success, they opened a Montreal location in 2018. The room offers an industrial atmosphere: Large concrete wall revealing the structure in some places, metal beams... All this is dotted with rustic or cozy touches: wine cellar, painting, wood, with a pleasant diffused light and rhythmic R'n'b music. In harmony with the food, the place evokes the comfort food dishes offered in an urban atmosphere, with a touch of refinement leaving room for tasting.
The rebelliousness of Taboo has several aspects. The first is of course its immense menu offering you choices, choices and more choices. This is what you immediately notice when you sit at the table, where the impressive menu serves as a tablecloth.
The names of the dishes play with references: the burger including the apple is called Adam and Eve. You can also succumb to Mafioso, Louis XIII, 7th Heaven, Pirate or Crazy Lobster. The dishes are presented on wooden boards, poutines in pans or cocktails in Masson pots. Rebels don’t care for decorum.
As for the burgers, Beef, Pork and Chicken classics are offered, but you can also indulge in Filet mignon, Pork Tongue, Duck, Foie Gras, Octopus, Bluefin Tuna, or even Vegetarian Meatballs.
The offer of tartars opens the door to many whims and desires. We choose the meat or protein (beef, duck, bison, kangaroo, salmon ...), the format (from xxl bite size to mega gourmet portion) and the seasoning (Classic, Exotic, Truffée, Kung-fu ...). Everything here is homemade, from the Caesar salad dressing to demi-glaces (sauces) and many products are local.
Still not convinced? Let me tell you about the inviting poutines, foie gras, ribs, truffle oil, portobello mushroom, caramelized onions, duck, honey-dijon sauce... The Taboo Zombie poutine (homemade fries, Kingsey cheese, shredded pork, rib meat, crispy onions, bruschetta, green onion, jack beef sauce, Cajun sour cream and port demi-glace) won The Judge’s Choice of Poutine Week 2018 .
We start the meal by giving in to the beautiful list of cocktails with evocative names. Sweet, Flambé, Full Bodied or Bitter, always made with fresh ingredients and featuring Quebec products: Pur Vodka, Romeo's Gin, Lacroix Ciders, Spritz Les Îles and 1642 sparkling drinks. For us, it will be the Fruit de la passion (White Wine, Spicy Rum, Triple Sec, Passion Fruit Purée and Sprite) and the Rosa Lavanda (Ketel One Grapefruit & Rose Vodka, Lacroix Cider from Quebec, Pink Grapefruit Juice, Sprite and Dried Lavender Branches from Quebec). It is well presented, fresh, sparkling, floral, summery and without artifice.
Our server is friendly, attentive and above all patient! He takes the time to explain the concept and the menu, directing us to the best options and top products on the menu.
We compose our Mini-burger dish with the Figaro (2 ounces of filet mignon, double Swiss cheese, bacon, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and honey/dijon demi-glace), the Poêlé (foie gras, crispy onions, candied apples and pears and port demi-glace); and the Salmon (grilled salmon, gorgonzola cheese, lettuce, red onions and citrus mayo).
Beautiful, appetizing little burgers are brought to us. Wrapped in a brioche bread with a nice presence of the main piece of "meat", always cooked to perfection. The pan-fried foie gras melts in your mouth and the filet mignon is of impeccable tenderness.
We then compose our tartare plate. Our choices are the emblematic El Diablo Beef (Taboo mix, olive oil, dijon, dried tomato, sriracha, green onion and Thai chili), Duck with Truffle sauce (Taboo mix, figs and candied pears, sherry vinegar, truffle oil and fleur de sel) and Exotic Salmon (taboo mix, mango, orange supreme, cucumber, lemongrass, ginger, olive oil and lime). You can see the freshness of the meat that is cut with a knife (carved into small strips) and the sauces are all sublime. The diablo is spiced up without being too spicy, the Truffée is a sweet and salty delicacy that emphasizes the duck with brio, and the exotic sauce with its crunchy pomegranate brings a joyful sour touch to the salmon.
As an accompaniment, we choose homemade Parmesan fries browned in truffle oil and topped with spring onions. Comforting, soft and fragrant: Definitely one of the best fries I have ever tasted!
Although all these flavours delighted us, we still can't resist the call of dessert. We choose the fried Crêpe, a thick, warm, hot crêpe, both crispy and soft, stuffed with cheesecake and white chocolate marbled with a rich caramel fondant and chantilly. Our waiter had offered to pay for it if we were disappointed, but it won't be necessary!
Taboo cuisine rebelle cleverly blends comfort food with the pleasure and curiosity of a gastronomic experience. A chic version of a burger and tartar bar. The inviting dishes (ideal for sharing) and the friendly atmosphere in the restaurant are perfect for parties with friends, downtown trips or before a show at the nearby Bell Center. For the summer season, the restaurant also has a pleasant terrace with about thirty places.
Building on its success, the Taboo team is looking to the future: keep a close eye on the South Shore, you could see a third establishment appear there. You will then have no more excuses not to discover this playful, simple and original restaurant.