No. 25: Maison Boulud
The New York-based Lyonnais master chef Daniel Boulud has found a most appropriate home in Montreal’s RitzCarlton.
In the strikingly European setting of the relaunched hotel, the original César Ritz-designed lobby juxtaposes with the modern lines of Boulud’s restaurant, courtesy of the celebrated Japanese design firm Super Potato. And that combination of the best old-school heritage and very modern thinking is also reflected on the plates here, overseen by long-time Boulud chef Riccardo Bertolino.
At weekend brunch, expect a perfectly-rendered scrambled egg with black truffle, or an artfully-colourful riff on the bistro classic harengs, pommes a l’huile, this time executed with slices of lightly torched mackerel, perfect disks of potato, poached leek and dabs of aioli, olive oil and a sprinkling of espelette. Bertolino is masterful with pasta: say, crisped squash-stuffed mezzalune with mushroom foam.
At dinner, expect contemporary takes on European classics executed with local products—like a bouillabaisse-style black bass, or a Boulud classic like beef two-ways with red wine sauce and spinach soubric.
From its chocolate millefeuille to Boulud’s signature end-of-meal warm miniature Madeleines, the pastry kitchen is exceptional. Service retains old-school RitzCarlton professionalism in a newly relaxed atmosphere.
Montreal does not have many international-brand restaurants. This is a great one. JOHN AYLEN