We were eager to sample pig's head at the famous Au Pied de Cochon for dinner but without any reservations we were out of luck! Not knowing where else we could go for Quebecois Cuisine, we called our friend Laurent who took us to L'Orignal in Old Montreal.
Located in a small side street right off Rue-Notre Damme Ouest, L'Orignal did not serve the kind of food we were expecting of Quebecois Cuisine. Maybe it's our own misconception but we were expecting huge plates of Game Meat, Foie Gras Sauces and yes Pig's Head!
There was Game Meats on the menu and Foie Gras but they were all served in a much refined manner which may have explained why it took the Kitchen 45 minutes to get our Appetizers out.
Bread Basket: Olive Bread
I'm a sucker for breads in restaurants. We we were served a variety of breads on the basket and I chose the Olive Bread which came out to be warm and fluffy. One could really taste the Olives
Fresh Seasonal Greens
This was simple and really good! The greens were fresh and crisp and the vinaigrette tasted like lime and champagne with an acidity that was balanced out with some sweetness
Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella, Fried Shallots and Wild Arugula
Laurent's Appetizer. The Mozzarella had a nice meaty texture and went well with the thick cut tomato slices and rocket leaves. The Balsamic Glaze was great giving it an added sweetness
Grilled Octopus with Oyster Mushrooms, Fresh Corn and Grilled Red Peppers. Black Pepper Emulsion
Another excellent appetizer. The Calamari was grilled to a crisp exterior but maintaining it's juiciness. The Fresh Corn and Grilled Red Peppers were sauteed with some black beans and went so well with the Black Pepper and Olive Oil Emulsion
Bison Steak and Fries, Caramelized Shallots and Maitre D'Hotel Butter
Wanting game meat I chose the Bison which was cooked to a recommended medium rare. My Bison was tender and the berry sauce definitely complemented the gamey flavor of the meat. The Home-Cut fries were good too. They were seasoned just right and was crispy
Grilled Venison with a Pistachio Crust with Pearl Barley Ragout, Caramelized Carrots and Green Beans. Roasted Garlic and Herb Sauce
Zhao Kun's Venison was cooked medium rare as ordered. The Venison was a little chewy for Zhao Kun who actually preferred my Bison. The Parley Ragout however was excellent. It mimicked Risotto but had more bite and was creamy at the same time.I actually swapped a quarter of my Bison in exchange for Kun's Ragout.
Grilled Pork Tenderloin: Special of the day
This was definitely not Laurent's day as he ordered the Braised Boar Shank but our waitress got the order wrong twice ending him up with Lamb Chops and then the Pork Tenderloin. The pork was cooked a little too rare and was served with Tomato Slices and Green Beans. The sauce was a little bland with the pork. I did like however the Turnip Chip
A simple dessert that was well-made. It had a nice sugar crust and was very creamy. It went well with the Blue-berry Compote whose acidity cut some of the fat and sweetness of the dessert
Molten Chocolate Cake
The chocolate cake was definitely very rich and decadent. It was a little liquidy in the middle but one could taste a little uncooked batter inside. The Vanilla Ice Cream was also quite nice with the cake
Overall the food at L'Orignal was pretty good with the exception of Laurent's Pork Tenderloin. We got a little agitated as our waitress initially insisted Laurent ordered Lamb Chops when we all heard him order the Boar Shank and was further shocked when she came back with Pork Tenderloin and insisted he ordered that!
Anyhow, she did eventually apologize at the end of our meal and waived off Laurent's glass of Red Wine from the bill.
Price: $$$$$ (Approximately USD $70 per person)
Address: 479 Rue Saint Alexis, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2S1, Canada
Tel: +1 (514) 303-0479
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