27 rue Prince-Arthur West (one block west of St-Laurent) | Tel: (514) 287 2725
f this was my restaurant, I’d change a few things. The lighting is spectacular except at the very front, where in the evenings if you’re unlucky enough to get seated there, you feel like you’re sitting at a picnic table next to neon fishbowl. Funny, the lighting is perfect elsewhere. Note the cool little blue light hanging over the place where Mr. Chefie chops up the salmon tartare right before your very eyes. That’s the kind of detail I’m talking about.
Other details I love: the quite unusual use of tile half-way up the wall that then turns to a chalkboard where the wine list is printed directly in block letters. Good selection of wines, a bit plain, but nicely priced. Wine chalkboard/wall is right next to the little sign that says you can have a jar of pickles or a side of fries or onion rings with anything.
Details I love: the beautiful waitresses with their long floppy ponytails. The silent busboy guy who fills my water glass, sets the table next to ours. I like how the waitress pours me more wine than my husband gets. This is always a bonus.
The seating. Again it’s unusual, but it works just fine. Bench seating along one wall, complemented with low square stools. It all works. But when you first walk in you think – what kind of place is this?
Yes, it’s a bit quirky, not a diner, not a cafeteria, a blendo resto. One new dinner special each night – we had pork chop with caramelized butternut squash, fennel and apples and it was lovely. When here previously for lunch, I got to sample one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. In my life. And it contained blue cheese. Well, you know how I feel about stinky cheese. But this burger is really really fabulous. And the fries are included. Not so with the tuna burger, a very big almost giant piece of mostly raw lightly seared, on a great bun. But no fries. And frankly no great zesty sauce either. How about a little wasabi mayo?
what's for dinner?
I’ve eaten here now a half dozen times, from when it first opened in the early part of last winter (was it February?), up to and including last week. I like the glass food cases where you can see (sort of) what you’re going to get for dinner. I love how newcomers walk in, and after they settle their coats and order their drinks, they walk around the whole restaurant, peering in the entire span of food windows, including the neon fish-bowl one up front with the desserts.
The fries, lemme tell you, they are spectacular. Homemade, thin, peel left on, heavily salted. Large serving. Very delicious homemade chili dipping sauce (which I then proceed to slather on the tuna burger I ordered, did I say it was missing something zingy?).
super delicious blue cheese burger, with fries
giant tuna burger
The music – and I’m getting weird about music these days – in this place is hands-down great, a nice mix of 80s and 90s, and not too loud. Just loud enough. There’s a growing trend I’ve found in restos lately to have the stereo on freaking loud (M:Brgr) with duelling closed-captioned TVs (hmm, also M:Brgr) that makes the whole atmosphere of the place rather irritating (OK, now I guess I should write up my M:Brgr review soonly since you pretty much know what I think already, except that they really do have good burgers, ruined by a crummy bowling alley slash sushi bar atmosphere with monstrously irritating music).
For value, Marché 27 is outstanding. Dinner for two $40 plus wine and tip. Beware, the desserts are not always super fresh – we had a lemon tiramisu in the summer that had maybe been there for days, hard on top, you get the picture. But then another time I had a caramelized apple goat cheese tartlet thingie that could have been dessert but it was an appetizer, and it was super divine.
caramelized goat cheese tart, good enough to be dessert
If anyone’s listening, here's the summary: Add sauce to tuna. Make fries included with tuna as they are with burger. Dim the lights at the front. But please don’t change anything else. Especially don’t change that you’re located three blocks from my house. Oh yeah, and the salad with apple cider vinaigrette and pine nuts is one of the best house salads I’ve ever had.
house salad with pine nuts
You should go soon, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Order the salad, a big bottle of pinot noir, and the blue cheese burger. Lemme know what you think. Better yet, invite me to come with you, I’m dying to go back. No really, email me, I'll come at a moment's notice. -- Reviewed by Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu (Dec/08)
Thanks to Charity Weeden for additional pictures.
[Shelley's on loan to MontrealFood from her new home at www.OneRoastVegetable.com]
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