For 2016 Montreal a Table, we dined at Au petit extra, a French restaurant with more than 30 years of history. It is rare to come across a restaurant with so many years of operations still holding Montreal’s competitive environment. Au petit extra must be serving something special to keep customers coming.
The ambiance of Au petit extra is refreshing in the sense that I am not seeing any modern or fancy decor. You can see the age of the establishment just by looking at the paintings. It is what restaurants all used to look like, especially a French one. It is not uptight either, although I think most diners are 35 years old and more, a more mature crowd I would like to say.
The Montreal a Table menu offered by Au petit extra was mostly French classics, but not common ones. That was exactly the reason that it was chosen. At 31$, the 3 course menu was a bargain! For each course, we had 3 choices.
For appetizers, we had salmon gravlax and black pudding.
The salmon gravlax was cut in thick slices, which I loved. This way, I was able to enjoy the texture and taste thoroughly. It was cured nicely, almost like smoked salmon. This might be the most generous portion of gravlax I had on a plate. I loved the idea gravlax is a cross between cooked yet raw meat. I still have not tasted a failed gavlax so far.
The black pudding was a great reminiscent of Ma’tine infamous (at least in my books) black pudding. It was so flavorful, not a pinch of dullness. The iron taste was minimal, and if I had not known it was black pudding (like if I had tasted it while being blindfolded), I may have thought that I was eating something else because the taste was quite complex.
As main courses, we had rabbit back and fettuccine with squid ink.
I did not enjoy the rabbit. I found it rather dry and a bit tasteless. It was quite a letdown especially, La Fabrique introduced me to this fabulous meat. I know it is typical to say this, but it tasted like overcooked chicken. To embrace this dish fully, I had to carefully include every ingredient around it just to mitigate the dryness and flavorless rabbit. It was a pity.
The squid ink fettuccine was delicious. It was my first time having it. The squid ink was subtle and I believe that’s how it usually is. The shrimps were sumptuous! I did not expect seeing so many giant shrimps all on one plate. I believe they were tiger shrimps. They were juicy and tender.
The dessert menu suddenly became larger than what was put on Montreal a Table menu. That’s great! But sometimes, more choices mean more dilemmas. I was too late to learn that their creme brulee is a house specialty, so I went for pate a chou and Mr.Butter had tarte a chocolat.
The pate a chou was very ordinary. I had expected more from a French restaurant. Leave the pastries to Patrice Patisserie. It is not bad, but it was just boring. There was no explosion of flavors. It tasted like something from the grocery, actually, some groceries may even do better than this.
The tarte a chocolat was really not my type of dessert (no wonder Mr.Butter ordered it). It was like a mousse chocolate, but much denser, almost like a truffle chocolate. I really did not want more of that.
Overall, I liked the food prepared by Au petit extra. For once, the portion served for Montreal a Table is more than fair. I recommend going to Au petit extra for a date night and if venturing out of French realm is not your thing.
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