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Restaurant evaluation: A glimmer of greatness at Marcus

Marcus is suitable. The recently opened eating place and bar from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson has spared no fee in giving us a beautiful putting, placed on the 1/3 floor of the equally new (and superb-looking) Four Season’s Hotel on rue de Los Angeles Montagne St.

As quickly as you step out of the elevator and are available head to head with an entire wall in floor-to-ceiling gold metallic, it becomes clean: Everything is stunning. The bar, in soothing sunglasses of cream, grey and inexperienced, transports you to an art deco-inspired reverie. Did I get dressed properly for this? This might cross your mind, as it all looks, feels — and likely is — costly. Plus, on the alternative facet of the bar, you can get right of entry to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, so the shopping fantasy is built properly in.

But it’s the eating place that’s the chicest of brasserie chic. The layout performs with sharp and easy textures of timber and marble, mellowed out by using plush brown leather-based banquettes and circular booths, rattan-backed chairs with sage velour seats. There’s a wall of lush green plants arranged in front of a bay of sliding home windows that can be opened to convert to a covered terrace overlooking the cityscape. This is all the wonderful paintings of Montreal’s gifted Atelier Zébulon Perron, who first raised eyebrows with the interiors of Buvette Chez Simone in 2008, and hasn’t stopped wowing Montreal eating place-goers ever because.’

So it’s clean to be swept up inside the magic of Marcus, with this kind of impressive putting and all of the hype surrounding the — take a breath — Ethiopian-born, Swedish-raised, New York-based chef’s first Canadian undertaking. (He currently has 12 eating places round the sector, together with his most nicely realize, Red Rooster in Harlem). The concept at the back of Marcus? To draw at the chef’s Scandinavian impacts, at the same time as highlighting neighbourhood, seasonal substances, with a focus on seafood. But you gained’t see Samuelsson main the brigade inside the expansive open kitchen. Rather, local restaurant chef Nicholas Bramos (former Toqué!, Monkland Tavern, 1909 Taverne Moderne), and French pastry chef Frank Vilpoux are at the helm. It’s no easy feat, as Marcus seats approximately two hundred, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, non-prevent.

I had no hassle finding 3 Mar-curious eating companions to join me. Everyone changed into excited to stay luxuriously for a night. On the Thursday night time, the eating place and bar have been packed, and even as we did should await our desk no matter having a reservation, we had been soon shown to a remarkable spot on the terrace location. It turned into cool and wet, so no home windows were open, but still, our big wooden desk become spacious and secure, the views first-rate and the abundant green foliage round us very haute Jardin. Our server delivered herself, but nobody should pay attention to her due to a DJ playing very far from cool (or maybe ironic) the ’80s and ’90s living room remixes. It was so loud we observed it tough to speak. Also, this was the simplest eight: forty-five p.M.

The wine listing is what you will count on from an excessive-cease hotel eating place: extremely good when you have the cash to burn. But there are some more cheap, exciting wines to be tasted way to sommelier Gabriel Bélanger, so when our server added the wrong bottle (I guess she couldn’t hear us, both) it becomes truely a happy mistake; the Meinklang Grüner Libre became a refreshing, low-priced, active preference at $65 (pores and skin contact, unfiltered) to start the nighttime.

The menu is broken into sections: raw, tartare, robata grill, salads, platters, mains, grilled fish and dishes to proportion. To begin, for the reason that highly spiced tuna tartare wasn’t to be had (bought out!) we went with salmon. The tomato salad had no more buffalo mozzarella (offered out!), so we went with a crimson endive alternative, in conjunction with yakitori wings from the robata grill. For mains, we kept it simple: Cornish fowl, crab spaghetti Picadilly, halibut, and New York strip in region of the favoured lamb chops (offered out!).

And then we waited … simply below an hour to get any meals. At this point, the tune had not dimmed but the lighting fixtures had, so it becomes hard to decipher all of the information on each plate, and as I started to question our server, she seemed flustered, giving me vague answers.

Easily a spotlight, the salmon tartare with lemon, dill and cucumber turned into outstanding; we literally fought for each bite. Unfortunately, the endive salad, a jumble of thinly laced carrots and green papaya, endive leaves, cilantro, basil and trace quantities of chopped peanuts, can only be defined as dry. As in, there was no dressing. The simplest perks came from the uncommon cubes of grilled watermelon hidden at the bottom of the bowl, and the muted chunk of the soft endive. And then there were the yakitori wings. Cooked at the robata (a Japanese charcoal grill that nobody defined), two metal skewers splayed a gloomy amount of deboned chicken the dimensions of my thumb, sparingly drizzled in a sticky maple and Sichuan peppercorn sauce. The fowl scant, the sauce cloying, and the accompanying grilled shishito peppers unseasoned.

Mains were also uneven. The Cornish hen became tender, yet the accompanying fricassée of carrots, peas and onions felt conservatively chook dinner-ish regardless of a tangy mole sauce, the substances of which had been as a whole lot a thriller to our server as they had been to us. The spaghetti Picadilly had a lot capacity: a wholesome dose of crab, an excellent quantity of chilli warmth, uni (sea urchin, to provide it that umami creaminess) and a dusting of breadcrumbs, however, unfortunately, way too much salt. The generous piece of halibut changed into additionally regrettably oversalted, even though served with a vivid eggplant puree and energetic lima bean, blistered cherry tomato and sliced-okra succotash. On a fine word, the steak turned into notable, with a finger of glistening fat capping each thick-cut piece. If only it got here with some thing more seasonal than a brick of scalloped potatoes underneath a warm melted blanket of what tasted like Gruyère cheese (I assume? No one changed into the round to tell us).

By the time we were given cakes, we had been discouraged. The vibe had gone from sublime to membership, and the song becomes now not improving. The lights became even dimmer, and we noticed several of the $one hundred fifty seafood towers going out, adorned with avenue-flare-sized sparklers — or perhaps that becomes just a diner letting the team of workers recognise they were nonetheless there, in a dark nook. The best location for candy comfort from that tune were Perron’s lovely bathrooms, mercifully soundproof, the girls done in pretty red terrazzo tiles and crimson gold accents, the men’s in hanging black and white marble.


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