I first went to l'Aromate for dinner with a friend. He'd gotten there before me and, glass in hand, warned me: "this wine is not good at all". Dinner was so-so: great seared scallops, but sloppily-presented bavette, and a weird looking paté de foie de volaille (chicken liver paté with Sherry) with hard toasts piled up and pierced through with a skewer.
The place seemed very.... trendy looking. The décor's main feature is a wall covered by a pretty light panel that changes colours every few seconds. The double-height room has a mezzanine with extra tables, and dramatic chandeliers with crystal balls wrapped in a silvery net. It was almost full, and the crowd seemed young-ish and branché.
I figured I had to go back and see if my first impression was confirmed, so I invited a friend for lunch. We both ordered the signature foie paté and.... yuck. It was very runny, almost soupy. My arctic char (above) was fishy and overcooked. She hated her warm pasta salad with feta and capers, which came swimming in oil.
Need I say more?
Yet... the place was hopping, every table taken - it somehow seems to be a huge hit. Go figure...
Bistro L'Aromate: 1410, rue Peel
Tel. (514) 847-9005