Today we hadn't planned on going for lunch and so we made a last minute decision to go eat at the new L'Aromate location on Maisonneuve. Considering that it is now part of the Hotel St-Martin, we expected the food and service to be of a certain standard. It was most certainly not.
There were many items on the menu that I was interested in. They had a good variety of contemporary cuisine and I had a hard time deciding on what I wanted to eat. I finally went for the tian de legumes with goats cheese and the seared sesame tuna steak as my main while my mother went for the cauliflower and potato potage and the veal cheek bourguignon.
First of all, the service was slow and unattentive. They took away our utensils after our entrees as though we were done our meal, they couldn't remember who ordered what and they gave my mom a coffee when she ordered a mint tea. It just felt like the staff was hungover or that they simply didn't care much.
In terms of the food, well the presentation was nice. The tian was probably the best part of my meal. It was a tower of aubergine, peppers and red onions with a few slices of melted goat cheese. There was a bit too much onion though as it gave me heartburn after and the aubergine was not cooked through and so a bit hard to cut. The soup was ok, nothing very exciting.
For our mains, once again, well presented. However, the ponzu sauce was way too salty (and i loooove salt) and the sesame crust seemed to be glued in an unatural way to my tuna steak. It scared me a little. The veal cheek was tender as it should be but the dish was underwhelming which should never be the case with veal cheek or a bourguignon.
The fare was very ordinary. The prices were not.
The meal without desserts nor wine came to 100$. This is ridiculous for the level of attention placed on the food and service.
I'm all for aesthetics but there has to be something more than just well presented plates and fancy decor. L'Aromate is definitely one of those style over substance kind of places and I would absolutely not go back here.
Can't wait to try Le Renoir's lunch menu at the Sofitel hotel. From the brunch I've had here, i can safely assume that the dining experience they offer is what it should be at a 5 star hotel.