A very lucky group of media and VIP guests were recently given a tasty preview of what Chef Derek Bocking has been cooking up for the recently opened restaurant, Maggie Oakes. The beautiful new space located in Old Montreal is the house restaurant for the equally majestic William Gray hotel. We were treated to a special cocktail which was followed by an elaborate three course meal.
The sun was still beaming down as we arrived at Maggie Oakes in the early evening for cocktails and canapés. A BBQ was fired up on the terrasse facing the always busy Square Jacques-Cartier but we didn’t sizzle in the heat. Instead we were quickly cooled down with deliciously chilled Grey Goose vodka martinis. Wonderful bites like Bison and albacore tuna tartare, chilled green pea soup and dry aged BBQ steak in a red wine sauce were served on the terrasse.
After an hour of mingling and seeing the sites outside we moved the party into Maggie Oakes beautiful dining room. I snuck into Maggie Oakes a day or so after it had its soft opening to take a peek at the decor. A contemporary design featuring brass finishes, a marble bar and a vertical garden are just some of the elements that impress right out of the gate and many of the evenings guests shared my sentiment. With Moët & Chandon bottles popping at each table, the celebration continued.
Taking our seats we ordered our appetizers, our main dishes and our desserts from a specially prepared menu. While we waited to receive our food, we nibbled on a freshly prepared charcuterie plate. To start I chose the roasted carrots and parsley root. Beyond the perfect plating, the dish was delicious. The root vegetables were roasted to perfection and paired perfectly with the kale purée, fresh grapefruit and chervil. Maggie Oakes and its Chef have adopted the farm-to-table trend that our city is loving so much and that is evident in its the quality of food served.
For my main course I chose the pasta dish. The fresh linguini was served with roasted cauliflower, perconio shavings and toasted pine nuts. The flavours of the cauliflower and the pine nuts blended very well and the pasta wasn’t too heavy. It’s a dish that won’t leaving you rolling away from the table but you will be satiated. The dessert that followed was just as good as everything else. I have insatiable sweet tooth and chocolate is the sword I’m always willing to fall on. I chose the Paris brest, a collection of praline cream, Gianduja chocolate, homemade ice-cream, caramelized almonds and mini puffs. It wasn’t a huge dessert which is great because more would have been too much. It was a great way to bring an end to the meal.
During the meal Chef Derek came out and gave an enthusiastic and passionate speech about the food he was so happy to prepare. Maggie Oakes proved that it has has much substance and it has style and I am very excited to see more.
Too book a table or for more info, visit their website here.
A fresh approach to market derived cuisine.