A special day requires a special dinner. Too many restaurants in Montreal fit in that category – we are so overwhelmed by choices. I want somewhere chic enough for a date night, but not plagued by the decor and only to be disappointed by the food.
I made a reservation at Bouillon Bilk.
It is strategically placed although the area is quite rundown with little operating business nearby. It is right in the middle of Place-des-arts, Chinatown and Quartier du Latin. Due to its close proximity to various theatres, the staff has the courtesy to ask if we have a show for the evening. If we did, I believe the staff would make sure that the service would end before the opening of the show. But we had all the time of the world – so of course, we opted for the tasting menu, 5 course meal. A wine pairing also available for the tasting menu? We’ll take that too please. If the tasting menu is chosen, the whole table has to order that too. This does not apply to the wine pairing.
The evening started early. At my arrival, the place was packed. It almost seemed like we were the late guests to an event; the only unseated table at 6:30pm was the one I reserved for. The tables were arranged very closely. You may feel your privacy is invaded, but with all the chatters, it is quite difficult to overhear your neighbouring table’s conversation.
We started off with a French interpretation on Japanese cuisine. Yellowtail sashimi – a thinly sliced raw piece of fish. This had to be my least favorite dish of the evening. The fish was playing a supportive role instead of the main role – but this could be the chef’s intention to ease into the next meal. As expected, the flavor was delicate and the focus was to retain the yellowtail quality at its purest form.
This dish quickly amplified my experience at Bouillon Bilk. It looked so simple, but it was packed with flavors. The homemade tagliatelle was so smooth – with a perfect resistance when eaten. The sauce was admirable – so aromatically buttery and tangy. I felt I was eating a lemon pie in a pasta format. This dish also reminded how delicious snow crab can be!
This is my third time eating rabbit, but it is my first time seeing it dressed in brown sauce that tasted like barbecue but a fainter version. It almost looked like miniature drumstick! The taste was similar to pigeon/quail meat. It was soft and tender – could not be any better. The liver mousse was heavenly. It was smooth, rich in taste but light in texture. Again, Bouillon Bilk reminded me how delicious liver mousse can be.
The duck was cut into thicker than usual slices. This permitted a juicy bite, similar like a steak. It was cooked to perfection, a nice pink surfacing in the middle of the meat. Foie gras was used as well – but I couldn’t detect it, probably it was well blended into the duck flavors. The morels brought in contrasting texture. It was my first time having morels and I loved them.
This dessert looked nothing like the traditional Mille-Feuille. It was a nice finishing touch: light without any custard filling. Not my type of dessert, it was still enjoyable.
The tasting menu was well portioned, so I was 75% full. I craved for more delicious food, but not physically hungry for more. Every dish was so well balanced in flavors as well; there was not one element that was out of place. The wine pairing was incredible; there was not one wine that I was not fond of. Most wines were crisp and clear that there was no dryness lingering in the throat – my pet peeve from dry wines.
Will I dine at Bouillon Bilk again? Absolutely! There are a few dishes from their menu that I am curious about, but my finance does not allow this kind of luxury.
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