Keeping up a blog is hard work. The past months have been radio silence, mostly because I’ve been busy with work. But now that my contract’s ended, I’m itching to be productive to fill up my free time.
So here goes, a long overdue review.
In January (yes, January), my friend and I paid a visit to a good friend in Montreal. It was an epic, fun-filled time, with us jam-packing a ton of activities into one short weekend. Food, of course, played a part in these activities, and we found ourselves at Grange Vin + Bouffe on a recommendation for dinner.
Grange is a wine bar/bistro located in Old Montreal. It’s a beautifully furnished restaurant with a warm and intimate atmosphere.
The place was pretty busy but we managed to grab seats at the bar.
A heavy focus on wines is evidenced by the advice on the door of the wine cellar. The menu is divided into three sections: snacks/mini plats, suite/p’tit plats, and résistance/grands plats. We were told by the bartender that the first two sections were smaller portions meant to be shared as appetizers, and the last section was meal-sized plates. Unfortunately the menu was in French, in which none of us were well-versed. The bartender, however, was kind enough to give us a brief explanation of the items and shoot us a couple of recommendations.
We got the scallops to start. They were large, meaty, and perfectly cooked.
The friend who we were visiting went for the baby back ribs – his go-to item at any restaurant. It came with a side of smoked parmesan polenta fries. I didn’t try the fries but did taste a rib. The meat was tender, and the sauce was sweet. Maybe too sweet. Perhaps it’s just personal preference, but the flavour seemed to lacked depth, and was missing the smokiness and char typical of a perfect rack of ribs.
My other friend’s inability to read French, lack of understanding of “tartar”, and decision to not inquire about what he was about to order became his greatest downfall. Misled by the description of the dish, he ordered beef tartar thinking that “filet mignon” meant a steak. Imagine his surprise when a raw pile of ground beef arrived in front of him. He’s never had beef tartar before, and barely downed a couple of bites before ordering a glass of wine to wash it down. Taste-wise, I found it a little bland. A little more seasoning would have been nice.
For myself, I ordered the Salade duo Canard. The confit duck was good, the salad was fresh, and the vinegrette cubes were sweet-and-sour pops of heaven. Yet the dish was incredibly greasy for a salad. The greens were drowned in oil (presumably duck fat), which formed pools on my plate. The duck “chips” weren’t so much “chips” as tiny, sad, and soggy pieces of duck. The portion was also on the smaller side for 20 bucks.
Sadly, the food at Grange Vin + Bouffe was greatly disappointing. Although it’s a restaurant that is better known for its small plates and drinks, it is no excuse for serving unimpressive main dishes. With its high price-to-portion ratio and average-tasting food, the beautiful and cozy restaurant suddenly became a little pretentious. I can see it as a nice place potentially for a drink and a few snacks, but it’s definitely lacking in the full-meal department.