Spanish restaurants in Montreal are hard to come by. Basque cuisine is somewhat special as it showcases both coastal cuisine (fish and seafood) and inland cuisine (fresh and cured meat). Pintxos are served in portions smaller than the size of a tapas, but more up-scaled.
We ended up ordering seven pintxos and one main dish during the lunch period. Most of the pintxos have the right proportions of each element so that it doesn't feel that you had eaten one dominant ingredient.
As usual, I'll start my review with the low points. There was no worst dish, but some pintxos may need a slight adjustment. The piquillo and crab combo with its shellfish sauce was quite addictive, we even wiped all the sauce with bread, but the taste of shrimp was not very present. The raviolis did not have the wow factor as it tasted more pasta than the actual goat cheese filling and not enough of the stewed duck.
The grilled octopus and duck tartar were both very tender - they had both a nice balance of acidity and saltiness from its garnishes. The ragout of snails and mushrooms was perfectly seasoned with a nice earthy taste and a parsley oil to brighten up the dish. Lastly, the seared foie gras and lentils... what can I say? Perfect proportions, a must order!
Still a bit of room left in our stomach, we opt for the cassoulet - tender beans, fall-off-the-bone duck confit and a flavourful tomato-paprika broth all combined make this cassoulet delicious to eat.
Considering the abundance of pintxos in their menu, you won't be disappointed what you will order.
|Grilled Octopus, Chickpea Puree, Marinated Red Onions, and Citrus Vinaigrette|
|Smoked Duck Tartar with Olive Tapenade|
|Crab and Shrimp stuffed Piquillo with a Shellfish Sauce|
|Ragout of Snails and Wild Mushrooms with Parsley Oil|
|Stuffed Fig with Serrano Ham and Mahon Cheese|
|Seared Foie Gras on Lentils with a Sherry Vinegar Reduction|
|Goat Cheese Raviolis with Duck Stew|
|Duck Leg Confit and Chorizo Cassoulet|
256 rue Roy E.