The last night of our trip in Montreal was especially brutal with a snowstorm that made it impossible for my wife Jun and I, along with our couple friends, to walk on the street for five minutes without finding a shelter soon after. Perhaps that’s why the dinner reservation that our friend from Montreal made was suddenly canceled. Scrambling for a back-up option, she was able to direct us to a classic French bistro named Leméac. In retrospect, it turned out to be not a bad Plan B at all. Jun and I had eaten plenty of French bistro food in New York City, and during our meal it was not easy to come up with a place we had been to that was as consistent as the dishes coming from the kitchen.
After a full afternoon of spa date, everyone in the group was starving, which made it easier for us to order as many dishes as we had would have liked for sharing. The goat cheese was a great complement to the apple and walnut salad which quickly disappeared in minutes. I didn’t have much expectation for the cold foie gras torchon, but it actually wasn’t bad at all. If you feel for something a little more hearty in the appetizer department, I highly recommend mushroom ravioli with pine nuts and arugula and/or the asparagus and wild mushroom risotto, each of which was rich without overpowering the palate and worked as a great antidote to a cold winter night.
The mussels and French fries were unfortunately disappointing (the mussels should’ve come out much warmer in temperature), and the angus beef filet mignon, accompanied by braised king mushroom and red wine sauce, was also pedestrian. On the other hand, the duck breast with dumplings, shiitake mushrooms and bok choy was quite capably roasted to give the type of texture Jun and I usually look for in a duck dish. Don’t skip the desserts at Leméac. My sweet tooth wife gave a thumps up to the decadent chocolate profiteroles that wasn’t shy in the generous use of chocolate, and the banana and dates sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream on top was also a standout dessert that everyone in the group gladly enjoyed.
The restaurant was not fully packed during our meal, perhaps in part because of the weather that made it difficult to venture outside. The charming neighborhood feel of the restaurant is a big plus to the dining experience at Leméac, as is the inviting staff showing full of Montreal hospitality to outsiders like us. There is an extensive French-centric wine list, with some great value options from the Rhone Valley, that you should not skip for complementing the meal. Leméac is not the sexist restaurant in the vibrant Montreal dining scene but it is not a restaurant you will walk out disappointed.
KenScale: 8.0/10 (Jun’s Score: 8.0/10)
- Creativity: 7.5/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.0/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
- Value: 7.5/10
Address: 1045, avenue Laurier ouest, Montreal, Quebec H2V 2L1, Canada
Telephone: (514) 270-0999