Almost 40 years of history, L’express is a well known establishment of Montreal. It is a must go to French restaurant in everyone’s list when visiting Montreal, and a staple French restaurant for locals.
The restaurant is ornamented with memento. My eyes could not escape the timeless black and white photographs hanging on the wall, the round white bubble light fixture or the signature black and white checkered tiles; I felt I was transported to another time dimension.
The menu is catered to multi-cultural background customers (probably due to tourism). It is translated to multiple language, such as Spanish and German.
A big jar of pickles were placed on very table – I assume it was meant to be consumed in any way you desire. I had it by itself, sometimes as an accompaniment to my main dish. Either way, it became quite addictive.
This night, I decided to go for seafood while Mr.Butter went for the basic theme.
Octopus and lentil salad
The presentation of this dish was simply intriguing. It was fun and artsy at the same time. The taste however was not something I expected. The octopus was incredibly soft, almost crumbly like an Asian fish sausage snack. I generally prefer a hint of rubbery texture so I can chew a bit. The acidity of the vinaigrette was the only flavor that I detected. Other than that, I found it quite bland.
Green pea soup
The green pea soup was smooth like mousse cake. It tasted basic but reminded us of home.
As it was lobster season, they had lobster risotto on top of their standard shrimp risotto. I believe that they gave a good half of a lobster here. The lobster was great, something you would expect coming from a long standing restaurant. Risotto is always a hit or miss. Maybe it was the grain they used or maybe I am particular, the rice was a bit too cooked for my taste. It was missing a little bite. And the soup was too watery too. I had wished it was thicker so the rice could absorb the flavor better. The risotto was good, but it was missing all those factors to make it great.
Sea bass and vegetables
The sea bass was plainly displayed without overstating what it was. To be honest, I didn’t think they used the best cooking method to represent the fish. I expected more from L’Express. Maybe a bed of sauce sitting below of the fish could help?
This dessert was something I never had. It was a big meringue coated with hardened sugar. Sumptuous! It did become overly sweet, best to be shared!
This apple crumble was warm and soothing. It was a safety net in comparison to L’Ile flottante.
Maybe my expectation for L’express was too high. Or maybe I was expecting for the wrong things. Maybe their concept was to remain low key, family oriented cooking style.
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