Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's 2008: Macaroni Bar

4448 St. Laurent
Montréal, Québec

I got a call from my university friend C before Christmas asking if I had plans for New Year's. Someone cancelled and she asked if I wanted to go to a New Year party in Montréal. Having no plans, I accepted. The party was held at Macaroni Bar, a newly opened, happening bar on St. Laurent, at the corner of Mount Royal. I didn't know any of her friend but they were all very nice and we had a good time.

But what about the food? It was a set menu, with a couple of choices. At $135 a head (alcohol excluded, except for a glass of champagne at midnight), my expectations were very high. However, all New Year's parties are overpriced.

We arrived after 8 pm and service was very prompt, maybe to ensure we would finish before midnight. All the female servers were wearing sexy black sequined dresses. It made us feel bad for the guests who also wore black sequined dresses... We started with bread and a dip that I thought, in the dark, was eggplant. It turned out to be artichocke based. It was not addictive like most artichocke dips because it was not hot nor did it have any cheese!

Our choices of appetizers were beef tartar and crab cake. My friend C went for the beef tartar while I got the crab cake. C thought the beef was good. Considering the last time she had beef tartar was in Paris, I think that is a compliment. I thought the humongous crab cake was good also. I especially liked the squiggly lined sauces.

Tartare de boeuf.

Crab cake.

Next came the pasta dish: orechiette with wild mushrooms & truffle. The portion was not too big and they were actually pieces of mushrooms (and the wild mushrooms were not button mushrooms)! C and I, being big mushroom fans, really enjoyed this dish. I didn't think this dish tasted particularly truffle-y but still very yummy nonetheless.

Orechiette with wild mushrooms & truffle.

By this time, I felt very full. This might have been caused by my sister's tight dress rather than the meal itself, but I digress. The main dishes were grilled veal chop or Chilean sea bass. Knowing that Chilean sea bass is not a sustainable fish to eat, I went for the veal. C, having no qualms about the sea bass, picked the fish. My veal was GI-normous. I was only able to eat half and someone else enjoyed the other half. I did like the mashed potatoes. C enjoyed her sea bass too but preferred my mashed potatoes rather than her celery root purée. I really liked the cipollini onions that I initially thought was roasted garlic.

Chilean sea bass with celery root purée.

Grilled veal chop with caramelized cipollini and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

By dessert time, I felt like I could not fit any more food. The chocolate fantasy had chocolate goodness and hazelnut, always a good combo.

Chocolate fantasy.

I got to sample dishes that I wouldn't necessarily order off a menu but it was pretty good. Supposedly, Macaroni Bar makes a mean mac and cheese and interestingly sounding gnocchi poutine (C being Italian thinks that's a travesty!). Maybe I'll try it out one day if I ever move to Montréal or get a job...

Thanks C for the invite!

Happy belated New Year to everyone! Hope 2009 treats you well and you all get well fed!

Macaroni Bar on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, dudette!

Linda said...

You make me sound like a hussy who only wears ill fitting clothing!

Miss.Adventure said...

Thanks Cathy!

But aren't you a hussy...?! Why are your dresses so tight?

Martini said...

Happy new year N.