18 May 2014
After a few low-key days in Toronto, I headed to what has become one of my favourite places in the world, Montréal. I allocated 3 days of good eating in town, and it wasn’t difficult to plan the three big dinners. The first of which on Sunday early evening was at Hôtel Herman.
I remember visiting Hôtel Herman a few weeks after they opened last summer and loving the food, so I made a return visit to a place that does genuinely good food, drink and service — what any restaurant would aspire to do. It has a similar spirit to my late Elettaria, for a reason that’s hard to describe.
I sat at a prime position at the big wrap-around counter and began enjoying my evening of food, drink, and good banter with the good folks there. I decided to go all out and really stretch my stomach as I had not eaten anything all day, so why not, right?
My first dish of the day was based around raw Atlantic halibut.
A very nice dish, accompanied by asparagus, herring roe and a few other treats. A very nice combination, as the roe really brought out both the fish and the asparagus. Very spring-like, excellent!
My second dish of the evening was the razor clams. I just love these things and couldn’t pass it up.
Mmm, these were fantastic, with oyster emulsion. Wow, this really brought the already tasty clams out really, really far — almost like it was another dish. This was really out there, some excellent use of strong ingredients. I don’t quite remember my wine pairing for this (sorry, I still need to replace my failing phone so I can take proper notes!) dish but it was excellent.
I was very happy with my meal so far. I had a tough time choosing between the razor clams and the snow crab so I got both — so that’s my next dish.
Mmm. You can’t really see it because of the celeriac on top, but beneath them there’s a heavenly serving of crab beneath. Excellent, flavour of this Québec delicacy! Fantastic! Now they brought out a comped mid-course, a cute little urchin.
Nice. I am really liking this place. Good wine, good people, and excellent food. The perfect neighbourhood restaurant! My next offering was the horse tartare.
I know what some will say, but I like horse. It’s nearly impossible to get in the States, and I always take advantage of it when I see it on a Montréal menu. A lean and delicious treat!
I was pretty full, but I knew I must continue to my last. I had told them I’d skip dessert for a fantastic self-crafted tasting menu, so I waited mightily for this final dish — the rabbit.
Wow, what a dish. An interesting way of doing rabbit, presenting it in a white pudding. In addition, it is served with rabbit kidneys and morels. Wow, wow, wow. Perfect set of flavours, cooked delicately without “hiding” the true flavours of the rabbit — especially the kidneys. Game lovers will die over this dish!
At this point I was extremely full, rather tipsy after some more after-dinner drinks, and was swelled and spent. The sun was just starting to go down here in Montréal, so I took my leave and made the long walk back to Centre-ville to my hotel.
It has been a good night here in Montréal, and I’m so glad to be back in this wonderful town — especially after such a wonderful dinner. To think, I got 2 more amazing dinners to go on this trip. Wow…
If I haven’t said it enough times, Hôtel Herman is beyond highly recommended. It’s in my trio of the best restaurants in town alongside Park and Joe Beef. And wouldn’t you know, those are my destinations the next two nights… <grinning>
5171 Boulevard Saint-Laurent