L’Orignal (Moose in English) has been a mainstay in Old Montreal for the past seven years. It’s proven its longevity and staying power by remaining one of the city’s favorite hotspots by offering quality food in a unique and cozy atmosphere. Over the past few months they have been overhauling both the restaurant and the menu and last week we were present as they officially relaunched. Orignal 1At the private event, attended by Montreal’s media, bloggers and celebrities alike, we were treated to a taste of what will be appearing on the revamped menu. The evening’s select menu featured eight shared courses of delicious food and as you can imagine, plenty of wine. We kicked the evening off with cocktails and mingling before heading to our tables and taking our spots. Orignal 6Once we took our seats it was easier to see the transformation the restaurant has undergone. The bar has been moved over to a cozy corner and in turn opened up space for a few more tables. The restaurant feels bigger in turn but hasn’t lost its charm. The friendly, “Canadian chalet” inspired décor remains as warm as always but with a few new touches that enhance the comfortable atmosphere. Orignal 7The first dish to hit the tables was a simple yet appetite opening, Broccoli à la Polonaise (broccoli, hardboiled egg, toasted bread crumb and lemon juice). This made way for an awe inducing second service of twice baked soufflé (pictured above) with creamed corn and chanterelles. The soufflé was both fluffy and deliciously creamy in texture.
Orig2For the third helping, we were served up a plate warm baked potatoes and seafood, featuring warm potted lobster, smoked trout, mussels escabeche and hot oysters.  A plate of hot homemade ricotta and savory spinach butter (pictured above) followed as our fourth course. Orig5OssoBuccodeBisonAs our belts tightened slightly, the food kept coming. Next we sampled dish a delicious pork cabbage roll on a bed of warm potato puree followed by a serving of bison (Osso Bucco de Bison) with a bone marrow pilaf and kohlrabi curry. It was an interesting combination that worked well together and didn’t last very long on the plate. It should be noted L’Orignal practices responsibly as a restaurant by supporting local farming and using only ethically raised animals leaving as little carbon footprint as possible. BuckleauxBluetsWe finished up with two desserts being brought out towards the end of the evening. A warm blueberry buckle and a maple syrup sponge served with chocolate. Though we were full to the brim I managed to acquire more dessert for our table by having the kitchen staff smuggle some out in secret. The end of the meal led to more mingling and wine. I had a quick chat with Travis Champion, one of the owners, about the renovations and he explained how important it is to remain fresh in a city where restaurant choice is almost infinite. Though the food speaks for itself, Montrealers and visitors to the city are always searching for something new. He also admits that though there is a trend towards bigger and bolder restaurants, there’s room for an array of restaurants when there’s such a diversity of taste. In the end quality speaks for itself and at L’Orignal that’s their bottom line. Photo credit: David Major-Lapierre Additional photos courtesy of ROSE PR







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