Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tuck shop!

Notre Dame west has had several new gourmet dining establishments pop up over the past several years like the joe beef/liverpool house/mckiernans trilogy in Little Burgundy. Tuck shop opened up even further west, casually located in St-Henri. It isn't the most chic corner but it adds to the charm of this great new place.

The first thing i noticed when I walked in was this place was packed and loud! We had reservations and our 2 seats were the only empty ones in the whole restaurant. The decor was really appealing with an open kitchen and the menu scribbled on a chalkboard, wooden tables, deep green coloured booths. Tuck shop looks really good but the atmosphere is still laidback and cozy.

The crowd was mixed, a family at one table, young couples and groups of friends, older men at the bar.
When the noise died down a little, we noticed the Rolling Stones were playing. A whole album actually (Cameron approved of their choice and he's a huge music nerd so i guess that means something).

The first thing that jumped out at me on the menu was the octopus salad but i was promptly informed that they were all out. So I settled for malpeque oysters instead and a steak tartare appetizer as my main. Cameron ordered steak and potatoes (typical male go-to meal!). The rest of the menu looked really interesting with things such as morue fritters and a duck magret and confit dish for 2. The mascarpone and crab stuffed ravioli also seemed really exciting but I wasn't quite hungry enough to venture into pasta territory. Maybe next time.

The six oysters came with lemon wedges, cocktail sauce and a mignonette sauce. I really didn't like the red cocktail sauce, i just associate that flavour with shrimp and not oysters. The mignonette was really good though and the oysters were fresh!

My steak tartare was absolutely amazing! It had pickles and capers in it and a celeri rave kind of salad on top. For 13$ they served me a very reasonable portion and it came with a bowl of french fries.

The steak (served rare) and potatoes were also very good. The meat was tender and well spiced and the potatoes were typical comforting and delicious mashed potatoes.

I think the most expensive thing on the menu was a 45 dollar steak which is nowhere near the prices you would pay at somewhere like Joe Beef. The menu got me excited to see what else they would come up with in the future. Tuck shop has a kind of cool, a tiny bit trendy vibe but is totally unpretentious and kind of subtle in its coolness.

And often the service at these kinds of places tend to be a bit sloppy or snobby but the people here were super friendly but professional. Someone from the staff or maybe the owner or manager even came outside when he saw we were looking for a cab and he immediately found one for us and even opened the door for me! What service!Totally unnecessary but super appreciated. Maybe certain of the patrons feel a bit uneasy in that part of town so he felt obliged to assist us. I read a review by some Montreal foodies that mentioned that they had noticed prostitutes strolling by while they were enjoying their meal. The only encounter we had was with a tipsy fourteen year old boy trying to bum smokes off us. He was adorable and friendly but I can see how that can be unnerving for some people. I actually really liked the location of the restaurant, i think it's fun to get out of the main areas and not do the typical strips. And especially if it's worth it and I think at Tuck shop it is. I would definitely like to try this place out again!


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