Au cinquieme peché has been on my Montreal restaurants to try list for quite some time now. I've only heard positive comments about this little bistro on Mont Royal, near Bily Kun, so I was very excited when Renata decided to go there for her birthday dinner last weekend. The menu changes frequently depending on what's fresh and all the wine is what the french call vins natures (basically organically made wine).
This place is small, seating about twenty, and very charming and inviting. Our waiter for the night was superb! He was very helpful in suggesting wines and just patient and pleasant throughout our whole meal even though we're quite an undecided bunch especially when it comes to ordering wine to suit all our tastes. By the end of the meal, he even knew all our names! He also brought us a little taster of a dip that I can't remember the ingredients of...
To start, we all shared appetizers which included oysters, croquette de brandade and salmon gravlax. All three were delicious but my favorites were the croquette that were lightly fried and just so wonderful I kind of wish i didn't have to split it six ways...
As for the mains, I decided to do something uncharacteristic of me and not order the fish. Instead, I opted for a steak, rare, with mashed potatoes and bok choy that also came with a 2 hour braised paleron de boeuf ( beef shoulder). To cut this delicate meat all I needed was a spoon. It was one of those melt in your mouth experiences it was so tender. Amazing. Renata ordered the wapiti and according to her it was a rich texture for game but with a dry tenderness, like horse meat. She seemed to have enjoyed it.
My sister went for the sweet potato gnocchi and goat cheese which was just perfect. Claire and Kristina were the ones to order the fish of the day: a dorade served crispy with a chickpea polenta on the side. Everything was good but I woud say the winning dishes were my beef dish and my sister's gnocchi.
Oh and the desserts!! So we ordered all three to share: the nougat glacé, a little chocolate brownie like cake ( was it called suzie?) and the marron cheesecake. I'm very particular about cheesecake because I'm used to the home made variety that I bake with quality ingredients and minimal sugar. However, this marron cheesecake was one of the best I ever had. The little chocolate cakes were very good too and were scattered with pomegranates and other fruit. The nougat glacé was another crowd pleaser and we basically couldn't decide which was our favorite because they were all so excellent.
Au cinquieme peche was a great dining experience. The food was creative and high quality and the service familiar and professional. The prices were fair, it was about 70$ per person including 2 shared bottles of wine.
It was a great place for an intimate birthday dinner!