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“Disappointing.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bouillon Bilk

Bouillon Bilk
1595 Boul Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec H2X 2S9, Canada (Quartier des Spectacles)
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Ranked #15 of 4,678 Restaurants in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Quartier des Spectacles
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

My girlfriend and I were really looking forward to our dinner at Bouillon Bilk. This is a summary of our experience at Bouillon Bilk.

1. We sat at the table, we were asked whether we wanted an « apéro », we said yes. I asked the girl what Jameson was (I was 90% certain it was Whiskey, but wanted to confirm), she didn’t know. I mean come on, it’s your menu, you should know.
2. While waiting for our apéro, she came to take our order (food: appetizer + main course; wine: bottle). We asked for a recommendation for a bottle that would go well with our meal. She had no clue and said she would come back with suggestions. She came back a couple minutes later and said “I recommend this one or this one” by pointing at 2 different wine bottles in the menu, no explanation whatsoever. Unacceptable. We chose one of the 2.
3. While drinking our apéro, the waiter arrives with the wine bottle, opens it, pours some in my glass to test it. Again, unacceptable. Leave me alone with my apéro. Once I’m done, then come and see me with the wine. But whatever, I tried it, I said it was fine, and then she pours me a big glass of wine and when she’s about to pour my girlfriend a glass, my girlfriend says “no need for now, I would like to finish my drink first”. She walks away.
4. 1 minute later, our appetizers arrive while we are still sipping our apéros. Come on! We were thinking “Is this a joke?”. So we rushed to finished our apéros. Very unpleasant as both our drinks had whiskey (or bourbon) in them.
5. My girlfriend ordered “crabe de la Gaspésie” with mizuna. It was delicious. I ordered vivaneau (sashimi style) with marinated cucumbers. I hated it. The fish was WAY to salty. Plus, the quantity of fish was completely ridiculous, way too little and the pieces were tiny. There were also fruits (strawberries and blueberries) in my plate which I do not approve of. So my first dish was kind of a disaster. My girlfriend's dish was very good though.
6. Once we finished our appetizers, the main course arrived 5 minutes later. Again, unacceptable. Let me digest a little and enjoy some talking time with my girlfriend, thank you.
7. We had ordered the same main course: Pintade (guinea hen) with foie gras poêlé, porcini mushrooms and polenta. It was delicious, although I think the dish would have been a lot better if it had a little bit more sauce.
8. While eating our main course, the waiter came to our table and told us she was leaving because her shift was over and that someone would take care of us. Seriously??? I’ve never seen this happen in a good restaurant, but whatever, I can live with that.
9. Once we were done with our main courses, a desert menu was left on our table and we were asked whether we wanted desert. We politely declined.
10. It was now 9pm (we arrived at 8pm), we had drank an apéro, eaten an appetizer and a main course, we had declined desert and a bit less than half of the bottle of wine remained. To me, this is TERRIBLE service. If I pay 230$ for dinner and I’m in & out in 1 hour, that is unacceptable. Going to good restaurants is supposed to be a "night out", an "event", something you talk about during the morning of the dinner, the day or days before or, in some cases, weeks before. Most of the times, you'll finish your meal and wine and slowly go home (maybe catch a last drink on your way back) as that was the "night out". If my dinner is done by 9, what the hell am I supposed to do after? Go home? (really?, a bit early no?) Go for a drink at 9pm? (really? who does that?) A meal in a good restaurant should never last less than 2 hours. I don't care if we went on a Tuesday, 1 hour is unacceptable. If you're not willing to properly serve your clients on Tuesdays, don't open at all.

In the end, although the food was very good (except for my appetizer which was a disaster), the service was too terrible to recommend this restaurant. I’m not sure I will go back again. At that price, you can get much better in the city.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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270 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“overhyped, 'pretty good'”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

menu sounded very compelling. in the end underwhelmed. and one of my raw fish dishes smelled a bit fishy it was also a tad stringy. i did like it, but i did not love it and it is not on my short list to return. i would not hesitate to give it a second chance however if someone else really wanted to go. we enjoyed the cocktails very much. there are some bourbon cocktails that are strong and tasty. also, I did enjoy my foie gras themed dessert over a thick slab of pain perdu, but the foie gras texture was not perfect. it seemed a bit hard? i'm not sure that it came out at the right time (did it sit?). i just didn't love it.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Bouillon Bilk aims too high”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

To start with the positive, our food was very good. Raspberry salad with puffed quinoa, burrata and melon, magret with mushroom consommé, seared scallops - all very good.

However -

- Service was friendly but awkward. The staff kept on getting in each other's way. The menu presentation went through *every* item on the menu, rather than focus on off-menu specials, or highlights. They took our food order without asking for wine - this after we specifically said we intended to have wine. We ultimately had to ask to see the sommelier. The wait staff came by to alert us to a shift change at 9:30PM. Very weird.

- Food presentation was overly pretentious. All dishes were plated in a very 'haute cuisine' style which, frankly, is getting pretty lame. The worst offense was our raspberry salad appetizer, which came on a ridiculous two-tiered glass plate. Tacky.

- Cocktails were overprices and simply not very good. The place tries to offer something different, with house cocktails on the menu - however they don't hit the mark. My Old Fashioned was insipid, likely from over-dilution.

- Decor is sparse to the point of being non-existant. I've seen this work in other places, but here it doesn't.

In conclusion, while the team at Bouillon Bilk clearly know how to make delicious food, they need to continue to refine the dining experience and maybe they'll survive. But I won't be going back.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Food, service, ambience, what a wonderful time we had tonight. The food was delicious: I had the veal, my wife had the rabbit, we had brains and lamb as appetizers, and the ganache for dessert. Not only was the food wonderful, but our server was so knowledgeable about the choices and helped us pick out just the right bottle of wine. It was not inexpensive, but absolutely worth the price. We would happily go there again.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2012

Went to Bouillon Bilk for the first time on August 2 for supper, after having heard many positive comments about the food. Indeed, we were not disappointed: the food is exceptional, absolutely flawless from all points of view: preparation, creativity, quality of ingredients, presentation. The wine list is almost exclusively private importation, thus, difficult to tackle. However, when asked to recommend a wine according to our preference, the waiter did an exceptional job of choosing the type we wanted, at a reasonable price. The service was equally first-class, and the ambiance - perfect. Certainly, the decor is minimalistic (those bare walls could be easily painted or adorned), and the location is dubious, but once you sit down, receive your food and wine, and feel the ambiance, well, it all becomes divine! Another detail worth mentioning: this is not a two-services/night restaurant; in other words, arrive when you want, stay as long as you want (every restaurant that respects itself should do this). Can't wait to go back!

  • Visited August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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