Montreal is filled with tastes from around the world and we had the pleasure of trying Pintxo, a lovely Spanish restaurant, not more than a strong armed stone’s throw from St. Denis on Roy. Despite the bitter cold, Montrealers won’t be kept in on a Thursday night and this quaint Spanish eatery was filled with brave souls, escaping the cold and enjoying some superb food. When we walked into Pintxo, we felt the warmth of the restaurant right away. A welcoming fire rolled over the logs in the foyer’s fireplace and just like when we were kids, we warmed our mitten covered hands for a quick minute before going any further (we don’t get to that very often in Montreal).
When we were finally ready to move away from the fireplace, we went past the impressive glass enclosed wine cellar and were accompanied to our table. Like many restaurants in Montreal, Pintxo is a mixture of varying architectural styles, in some cases even divided into different rooms, which for this restaurant only adds to the intimate atmosphere.
A pintxo is mostly comparable to tapas but, unlike tapas, a pintxo is served as an individual portion. The restaurant has a wonderful menu dégustation where you combine 4 chef selected pintxo and a main course of your choice. The fun part of this menu is the surprise choices the chef will send out, however the waiter will tell you in advance if you ask. We tried the soup of the day, which was a spicy carrot potage which we followed with the succulent smoked duck tartar, then came the foie gras and onion confit. Our last pintxo was a delicious stuffed fig with Serrano ham and Mahon cheese. For the main course we chose the filet mignon accompanied by roasted asparagus and goat’s cheese. I opted for no goat’s cheese but the steak was cooked to delicious perfection.
The service at Pintxo was spot on. Each table had a main waiter and ours was informative and very friendly, he even appeared impressed by two words of Spanish I uttered. The wait staff works as a team and their synchronicity was fluid and natural. They work together with their common goal being the happiness of the people they invite into their space which, in the end, makes for an enjoyable experience.