With MTL à Table 2017 finally underway, you’re no doubt in between meals, taking a break between bites or waiting for your glass to get refilled at one of the 175 restaurants participating this year. I’m looking forward to getting down to business myself but before I do I wanted to share an incredible experience I had at this year’s latest Saisons event. Hosted by Tourism Montreal and Saisons and lavishly prepared and served on the top floor of the Environment Museum at the Biosphere, a small group of us were treated to a seafood-centric, tour-de-force meal concocted by Chef Marc-Andre Royal. Featuring produce, meats, fish and wines sourced locally, the six course meal showcased the best this province has to offer.
The decision to host the event at the Biosphere was a smart move on the part of Tourism Montreal. Getting a gaggle of local media together at a landmark local such as this not only took us out of the ordinary, it also had many of us discovering the old Expo 67 pavilion for the first time. We’ve all seen it from afar but how many Montrealers have actually taken the time to visit the museum? Getting the word out on the Biosphere while filling our bellies with delicious food was a clever two-pronged win-win for everyone! With that being said, you should really visit, it’s absolutely fascinating.
When we arrived at the top floor of the museum a simple table with white chairs and linens stood as a blank canvas that would soon see artfully prepared plates oohed and awed over before being delightfully tasted. We stared with Tresor du large oysters with a smoked tomato mignonette, biardi crab served with buttermilk and dill and tuna albacore crudo with a little square of smoked salmon. These dishes were perfectly balanced and flavourful.
The meal continued with a delicately seared scallop and the main dishes culminated with a savoury veal cheek that fell apart at the touch of a fork. It was spectacular. The dessert (yes, we still had room) was as elaborately prepared as the rest of the meal and consisted of a creamy chocolate mousse and a basil covered squash cake, all topped with half a macaron shell. The meal was outstanding.
Drawing a focus to the wonderful food we produce here in Quebec is the theme of this year’s MTL a Table. Each restaurant that participates has been tasked with featuring something that has been created right here and to be enjoyed by people from around the world. For more information on Saisons, visit their website here and for more on MTL a Table, check out our preview article.
Image credit: Allison Slattery Photography