It was my first night in Montreal and after a whirlwind tour of the city with my very own private guide I found myself running up to my suite at the Hotel Nelligan to have a quick shower before heading downstairs for a review of the properties fine dining concept “Verses.”
The evening started at the bar where I sat in a wee private cubby hole overlooking an indoor courtyard. A few minutes after sussing out the cocktail list my guest for the evening Joël Vautour arrived. Mr. Vautour works with RSVP Magazine which focuses its editorial and imagery on showcasing Montreal’s creme de la creme. We sipped on a few cocktails before sauntering into the dining room. It was a Thursday evening and I was pleased to see the space was packed.
The team in the kitchen prepared a selection of their favourite culinary creations that evening. Each dish was a mystery to me when it arrived at the table. We started off with a plate of nibbles featuring bresola of bison, salmon duo, rillettes and gravlax and coucous of cauliflower. This fresh start was followed by warm lobster claw sitting on polenta bisque foam with asparagus spears. Of course no Montreal dining experience would be complete without a taste of foie gras which in this case was served on top a braised endive tart and complimented by the essence of orange. My favourite dish of the evening was an interesting take on surf n’ turf which featured sticky and sweet braised beef short rib and tempura soft shell crab. After several perfectly paired glasses of wine and a thoughtful display of the kitchens articulation of savoury we finished our feast with a colourful assortment of sweets.
My first day in Montreal was action packed and a tasting at Verses was a perfect pause before bidding the city good night. There is something so beautiful about ones first tastes of a destination. I slowly pressed No. 4 in the lobby elevator and soon launched myself into bed with the anticipation for the tastes of tomorrow.
Special thanks to the team at Hotel Nelligan for hosting me as their guest at Verses.
We sampled (* notes my favourites):
bacardi limon, framboise, canneberge, bulles
grey goose la poire, citron, mousseux
Panthere Rose *
grey goose l’orange, campari, pamplemousse
Amuse the Mouth *
bresaola of bison, salmon duo, rillettes and gravlax, couscous of cauliflower
polenta bisque foam
Seared Foie Gras
braised endive tart, puree of orange confit
Lime Ricky Granite
Surf n’ Turf *
braised beef short rib, soft shell crab tempura, sweet potato puree