The W Montreal has seen its fair share of coverage on this blog. Whether it’s taking a look at newly designed rooms or checking out the latest cocktail menus or spending time getting pampered during Grand Prix, there’s always a reason to pay the W a visit. With the opening of the swanky hotel’s gorgeous new restaurant, Tbsp, we found ourselves once again pulling up a chair to get a taste of their latest offering.
Tbsp. has wow factor written all over it. From a design perspective the restaurant is one of the most astounding I’ve ever seen in Montreal. Lush banquets surround the perimetre of the restaurant, giving some guests a clear view of the bustling streets of Old Montreal. A series of tables featuring beautifully designed blue crushed fabric chairs are surrounded by a polished slab of blue Brazilian marble while soft tones of beige and brown complete a soothing ambiance. This seating area sits under a reflective ceiling meant to invoke the sensation of being underwater. The bar is another gorgeous element that gives the eyes plenty to be amazed by. The decor itself foretells an experience worth getting worked up over.
Joris Larigaldie helms the kitchen at Tbsp. and the keen eye for detail that starts with the decor continues with the Chef and his team to the plate. No stranger to blurring the lines between food and art, Larigaldie has created a concise menu that finds its roots in Italian tradition but is heightened with a little artistic French flair. Notable pasta dishes, fish, meat and more are all featured on the dinner menu, offering something for every taste.
During the restaurant’s opening party we sampled some of the food featured on the menu and for our return we insisted on starting with the gnudinis (a pasta invented for the restaurant) topped with rapini and parmesan, a creamy burrata with spec, asparagus and a dusting of basil and a grilled to perfection octopus with smoked potatoes and a sauce vierge. While each dish stood out on it’s own, it’s going to be difficult for me to go to Tbsp. and not order the gnudinis again.
The very best part about an invitation to come try out a new restaurant is the freedom that comes with not necessarily deciding everything that comes to the table. Following a hard-to-beat beginning the kitchen sent out three different main dishes for us to try. We began with a deeply flavourful dish of pappardelle with black truffle, morels and a portobello reduction. Black truffle has the propensity to take over a dish if it’s not used sparingly. Here, the dish is fully balanced.
We were also served a plate of mouthwatering scallops with butternut squash puree, brown butter and gremolata. The scallops were seared to perfection and the slightly sweet butternut squash added a nice twist. The last main dish of the evening, a perhaps the most rich, was the braised beef macreuse with bacon and a creamy mascarpone polenta. The beef was tender and cooked just right. The creamy polenta and crispy bacon complimented the beef perfectly. If you come to Tbsp. hungry, this will be the dish for you.
When asked if we wanted dessert, we declined, as usual – due to the fact that we had just spent almost two hours eating. We changed our minds, however, when the kitchen sent out a deconstructed tiramisu that was so artfully prepared, I still don’t know how the pulled it off. It was delightful and just big enough.
While parts of the W Montreal’s lobby are still under construction, it’s great to finally have a look at the future of the hotel. Tbsp. is a welcomed addition to our food scene and I can’t wait to see what’s to come.
Well worth the wait and worth the trip to Old Montreal to try this great new restaurant.