L'Assommoir - Bernard

October 28, 2009

Tonight was my second visit to L’Assommoir on Bernard. In a short resumé, my roommate insisted on me trying their food and mentioned the huge cocktail list available. The first time was a charm, great décor, service and food. I tried their salmon ceviche and the bavette - all delicious (except for one vegetable that had no reason to be on the plate and was very badly seasoned and cooked! but hey, mistakes happen!). As for the second time, well I have to confess that main reason I ended there was because I heard they had a ladies night each last Wednesday of the month. The night consists of a two-course meal for free if a cocktail is paid for and a certain code phrase is said. Well I liked my experience the first time so I thought, why not!

I started my night with a Basil-tini, a martini flavored with basil. I was expecting something fresh but it seemed to be made from a basil syrup that made the drink too sweet and faded the expected alcohol kick of a well done martini. L’Assommoir has a huge list of cocktails but after two tries, I would recommend going for the mojitos over the martinis for something freshly made and flavorful.

I wish I could find a place as amazing as the Orbit Room Café located in San Francisco, a must for mind blowing drinks. The barman makes a real show and it’s hard to resist the temptation to not order more than two cocktails because they’re all so amazing! But back to Montreal..

For the special night, the ladies get a menu with two appetizers and two entrées to choose from. For my appetizer, I went with the shrimp salad. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. The vinaigrette was generous but light as it was made of yogurt and citrus juice. The shrimp were of good quality but also felt a bit cheap with the frozen feeling in mouth. It was very contradictory!

My entrée was a plate of cod a bit overcooked with butter accompanied by quinoa, grilled vegetables and pomegranate seeds. Once again, the taste wasn’t something new but it was quite appreciated to get such a healthy and light dish in a restaurant. The pomegranate didn’t really go with the fish, it felt like that it more for the show but I did like to mix it with the quinoa. I think just a little extra thought on the presentation of the dish would have made the different ingredients blend better together.

Now to shock you all, but really just because I was sitting with three other girls, I did order dessert! We all decided to go with the dessert combo - an exciting and big wooden plate filled with sugary treats. The plate came with a chocolate fondue with fruits, one sesame truffle, one pink pepper truffle, one pecan truffle, one lemon crème brulée, one pudding chômeur and two profiteroles.

Sadly, everything was way too sweet even for the sugar lovers at my table. The only dessert that really stood out for me was the pudding chômeur! I’m quite a hater of that dish that becomes mushy too rapidly and tastes like cheap melted sugar. But for once, everything was amazing. The cake was flavorful and solid enough to stand up to the amazing caramel mixed with whiskey that covered the bowl. Definitely my choice for the future.

Conclusion: L’Assommoir is a good restaurant when you know what to get. Their ceviches and sharing platters are your best bet. The place is also always hosting special promotion nights so that newcomers get to try what they have to offer - Ladies night, men night, Thursday ceviche 5à7… Worth trying out before putting out the big bucks!

L’ASSOMMOIR BERNARD ADDRESS: 112 Bernard West PHONE: (514) 272–0777 HOURS: MON-WED 5h00 P.M. – 3h00 A.M. - THU-SUN 11h00 A.M. – 3h00 A.M. ALCOHOL: Yes VEGETARIAN FRIENDLY: Yes CREDIT CARDS: Yes PRICE: 40$ for a two-course meal with a drink (or 15-20$ on ladies night!)

Written by Sofia Shendi who lives and works in Montreal, as the CTO of Tastet. Join me on Twitter

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