My forever man and I found this restaurant during an afternoon walk in Le Vieux Montreal just a few days ago. He was craving foie gras and I was craving scallops, 2 items not hard to find in Montreal restaurants. But, for some reason, the description on the menu outside L'Autre Version showed a unique presentation of these foods that brought us back a few hours later for dinner.
Oh my goodness! Marc and I don't go out for dinner often but neither of us is a foody neophyte either. We both love to eat and cook, using restaurants for the sensuality of inspiration and experience. So, we like to go to good ones. This was the best overall eating experience I have had for quite a few years.
First of all, the service was amazing! The 2 servers were both passionate and attentive, giving us bilingual descriptions of the courses served with obvious appreciation of their chefs. A place of this caliber could easily have a snooty air about it but I felt completely at home with the atmosphere and the servers. Warm and genuine.
The food, wow, what to say! My words cannot do justice to the blend of textures, the perfection of temperature and doneness in each course, and the creative presentation.
Marc got his foie gras as an appetizer served with sweet potato and cardamom cake, almond and caramelized onion purée, sea-buckthorn berry jam. My appetizer was goat cheese flan with beet declination, half-dried tomatoes, cider pearls, sweet and salty nuts. Those cider pearls were so beautiful on the plate, little flavour bursts of apple cider in the mouth. I have to say that each plating was gorgeous.
For the main, I did get my scallops, presented beautifully in a plate divided into 4 parts so that different foams and mousses could bathe the perfectly seared scallots in each of its own unique flavours. A smoked herring consomme tea was poured over one section in which the scallop rested on quinoa and parmesan.
Marc had the duck with artichoke and saskatoon berry sauce. The duck was rare and pink, which is a nice change from the overdone duck drowning in cherry or orange sauce that you usually find. Just a treat!
After a meal like that, dessert is necessary...to clear the palate, of course! Marc had all chocolate and since lychees are one of my favourite foods, I had something called Snow White which is White chocolate cream, lychee sorbet, coco crumble, fried rice noodles, raspberry crumble and glaze....in other words, pure heaven! Yum!
We had selected a Riesling to guide us through all courses. Initially expecting to move on to another after the appetizer, the white was a nice light accompaniment to our varied dishes right through to dessert.
I have already recommended this restaurant to several people and hope that they go. I do know that they will not be disappointed. Thank you L'Autre Version for a wonderful food experience!!
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