This week I had lunch at a private member's club in Old Montreal called Le 357. Chic. Small. Low-profile.
I don't want to say much to preserve the privacy of the members, but suffice to say the place completely wowed me. I've eaten at many private clubs in New York, London and Brazil and... never one with food as good as this. I'd go as far as to say the food at Le 357 is better - from the little I tasted - than any restaurant in Montreal. First rate indeed.
Elegant, wood-panelled room. A pleasantly silent environment, Christmas music playing softly in the background. Impeccable waiters, with aubergine shirts matching the décor.
I had an intensely beefy consommé, poured tableside over julienned lettuce for crunch. Delish. That was followed by tender medium-rare veal with crisp, golden nuggests of sweetbreads. For dessert, a delightful multi-textured chocolate concoction, dense and foamy at once:
My friend could not contain the hmms! and aaahs! after tasting these strands of marron paste (chestnuts: how Christmassy can you get?) atop a crunchy meringue, with crème anglaise around it.
Lovely mignardises capped the meal. I SO wanted more of the rapsberry gelée - it managed to capture all the summery goodness of the fruit in one intensely flavourful bite.