A night out at a restaurant can mean different things to different people. Some go out just to satiate their hunger, some go out for the intense social interaction and some go for an experience that they can’t find anywhere else. At Perles et Paddock, a beautiful restaurant erected in a space that once housed a garage, you can appease your hungry, please your social cravings but mostly, you’ll have that experience you’ll remember long after the meal is done.
I tried Perles et Paddock with my friends, Caroline, Véronique and Vincent while Marie-Annick and Mel were anchored at the bar (it’s always good to have friends at the bar for a post meal glass of wine). We all love a good discovery and we crave a great food-centric night out on the town. The atmosphere at Perles et Paddock is perfect for an occasion like this. The vibrant, electric and cooler than cool (without even trying) vibe is absolutely my kind of scene.
The way people eat in restaurants is changing. Montrealers no longer want to order a big, heavy meal and rush home. Instead we are more inclined to chose a bunch of smaller plates to share and pick at over the course of the night. Perles et Paddock have taken to this trend and put their expert spin on it. For a very reasonable fixed price you will enjoy Les Perles, a selection of 3 canapés, three main course plates and three mini desserts. For a little more you can add a wine pairing and I recommend that you do. The whole experience ties perfectly together and should you choose to try Les Perles you’ll be saying wow for most of the night.
Food preparation and plating is an art. The chef and team at Perles et Paddock served up a delightful menu that looks as good on the plate as is tastes. The canapés, which are the same for everyone unless you choose the vegetarian option, were inventive, using simple ingredients to prepare a wonderful mini taco, a surprising goat’s cheese dish and a delightful mini shooter of soup.
Although we really enjoyed the start to the meal, it was the small plates that came after that really stole the show. Once again, the plating was genius. The three dishes I chose each received very different reactions. The pan fried leeks with Brussels sprouts, tarragon and fresh Quebec mozzarella (pictured above) was splendid. Comfort food isn’t the way I would describe much of the food at Perles et Paddock, but this dish came very close. The freshness of the cheese paired perfectly with the light salty flavour of the leeks and the sprouts.
The second plate received a more polarizing reaction. The braised endives themselves were cooked perfectly and were served with both candied and lightly heated grapefruit, croutons and honey. The bitterness clashed with the sweet and salty and bursted with flavour. At first I was put off by the dish but having had a week to think about, I think this was actually one of my favourite dishes of the year so far because it got a very strong reaction from me and I won’t soon forget it.
The last main course dish I chose was a plate of pulled guinea fowl. Everyone at the table agreed that this dish was the standout hit of the night. It was served with a caramel onion puree, curcuma boilers, fried shiitake mushrooms and a vermouth and curry sauce. Getting each element together on the fork is important here because everything worked as the flavours blended.
We ended the evening with a selection of three mini desserts and just as much attention to detail was given to the punctuation of the meal as it was to the beginning and the main courses. As promised, we crashed Marie-Annick and Mel’s dinner at the bar to finish the night chatting with the owner and sipping on a last glass of wine. I love nights out in Montreal.
Perles et Paddock is an excellent restaurant that goes above and beyond to create an exciting experience for anyone who choses to spend an evening trying something new. It’s an affordable experiment with food that will have thinking about your meal long after the experience has past.