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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

L'Atelier d'Argentine

This location used to be the spot of DNA restaurant, ran by chef Derek Dammann. I used to go to DNA once every year for its famous seafood platter and their decadent hazelnut tart topped with a ginger ice cream. This is also the location where I celebrated with my blogging friends our one-year foodie get-together at the basement where we ate on the table made of cat's eye. Even up until now, the cat's eye table from the former DNA still resides. It's a beautiful piece worth staring at. 

When stepping foot back to this location, it brings back mouthwatering memories. The décor of the right part of the restaurant has not changed much. The left part has been renovated to make way to a modern Argentinian vibe. 

Our maitre d' Audrey offers us suggestions with a good balance of seafood and meat for our 4-course meal. 

The empanadas, a classic Latin American appetizers, was served with four different fillings - beef with smoked paprika, fontina and caramelized onions, sweet yellow corn, smoked ham and provolone cheese. The flavours are as you can imagine - good, simple, nothing so special.

Our next appetizer is the crudo de corvina - interesting play of texture with the smoothness of the avocado salad and the crunchiness of the waffle chips. The corvina was fresh and properly seasoned, however the acidity from the avocado salad somewhat mask the taste of the fish.

The third appetizer was the octopus terrine with an olive tapenade. This was our favourite dish of the day. Octopus is a protein that is usually hard to work with, if not prepared properly, it becomes very tough and chewy. This octopus was very tender, melded perfectly with the saltiness of the tapenade and the herb taste of spinach - a harmony of flavours.

As for the mains, we had the 10 oz. hanger steak cooked medium rare, well seared and properly seasoned. The acidity and freshness of the chimichurri sauce balances well with the taste of steak. The Cordero was our other meaty main which consists of a lamb chop and braised lamb. Lamb chop was definitely a hit, as it was well seared and well seasoned. As for the braised lamb, I was expecting sackful of flavours considering it was braised, sadly it was lacking of flavours.

Finally, the desserts... the pear poached in Torrentes wine with mascarpone and blue cheese was sweet and delightful, but the after-taste of the blue cheese lingering in your throat can be an unpleasant feeling. 

The panqueques is one of these desserts in which I consider as the ideal dessert to finish the night. This dessert essentially plays with your taste buds - the warmness and softness of the crêpes, the coolness and smoothness of the semifreddo, the sweetness of the dulce de leche, and the crunchiness and saltiness of the roasted walnuts. A great play on temperature, texture and flavours.

It is definitely worth a visit. They also have some creative cocktails that are definitely worth trying out.
Cuarteto de Empanadas
Fernando - FernetBranca, coca, served on ice in a masson jar
Maté Limonade
- Fresh iced brewed tea, white Havana Club, lime juice, orange juice, mint
Pisco Sour - Pisco, lime & lemon juice, sugar, egg white
Crudo de Corvina - Short fin corvina, red onion, lime, olive oil, maldon salt, smoked chipotle flakes, yellow bell pepper, avocado salad
Terrina de Pulpo - Octopus terrine, arugula, chipotle flakes, lime, olive oil
Tapas de Asado - Hanger steak (10 oz) grilled with chimichurri & criolla sauce
Cordero - Pan roasted lamb chop, braised leg of lamb, rosemary, oak honey, malbec, roasted garlic purée, broccolini
Peras en Compota  - Torrontes poached pears, mascarpone crema, vanilla syrup, blue chesse
Panqueques - Dulce de leche stuffed crepes, honey rosted walnuts, sugar burnt bananas, milk semifreddo
L'Atelier d'Argentine
355 rue Marguerite d'Youville
Montreal, QC
H2Y 2C3
(514) 287-3362
http://www.atelierargentine.com/
L'Atelier d'Argentine on Urbanspoon

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